By Anna Clemens,
They say home is where the heart is. My heart is most definitely at camp. At age 11, I began attending Camp Hebron. Prior to coming to Hebron, I attended other camps. I finally found a home at Hebron. From Frontiers in 2009 to Discipleship in 2013, I experienced all that camp could offer. I was challenged physically, emotionally, and most of all: spiritually. Camp was a place I could ask the hard questions, be myself, and find a family.
My years as a camper were the most formative years for my faith. My counselors showed me how to live like Jesus. And without a doubt they influenced many of my life choices from middle school until now. I became a leader for the Christian club in middle school as well as high school.
One of the greatest ways my counselors influenced me was inspiring me to become a camp counselor myself. By freshman year of high school, I planned on spending several summers as a staff member. During my Sophomore year, I applied to be a KA (Kitchen Assistant) for the summer. At that point I was too young to serve for the entire summer. However, Camp was implementing the SIT (Staff in Training) volunteer program. I finally had the opportunity to work at the place that became my home.
As a SIT, I served as a volunteer for three weeks. The first week I was assigned to work in the kitchen and I was the lead because I wanted to serve at camp in any capacity and so I was ecstatic to serve in that capacity. The following week I served as a counselor for Family Camp: Adoption Focus. That week was one of the most formative weeks of my SIT experience. I was able to experience the job that I had been looking forward to for years. That week showed me how to work with kids effectively, be patient, and resolve the conflict. Conflict resolution skills, as I have learned through experience, are one of the most important parts of working as a counselor. These weeks as a SIT provided me a with basis on which to work in the future. The final week I learned how to be flexible and work both in the family camp and the kitchen. Sometimes at camp, you have to work in the roles that you don't expect and you have to be flexible. This week exemplified that need for flexibility. Those three weeks, became the basis for the upcoming years of my service at camp.
The upcoming summer I applied to work as a CIT (counselor in training). I couldn't believe I was offered the opportunity to work at camp for an entire summer. I had finally achieved my dream. However, it did not stop there. I returned for a second summer as a counselor and these two years have helps me to transition from high school to college with ease as well as given me innumerable skills for the rest of my life. Camp has taught me how to lead effectively with grace. Camp has also given me the opportunity to explore my faith in a supportive community. Camp has also given me lifelong friends. These are the friends that I can go to at anytime with anything and they will pray for me and they will give me great advice.
My time at camp has been the best times of my life. Camp is home and it always will be. Even when I'm far away or just down the road, camp will be one of those places that I know I can always return to and find a family.
Camp Hebron is still accepting a few more applicants for summer staff. Consider a Summer that will change you life like Anna by visiting our Summer Staff page.