I’ll never forget that big grin on his face. He seemed to have it everywhere we went. I’ve long since forgotten the name, but I’ll never forget the impact that counselor had when I came to Camp Hebron as a child. No matter what we did or where we went, he was laughing. He showed me what it meant to rejoice always, and to live life abundantly.
The details have faded over the years, but I can still remember the night we were invited to commit our lives to Christ. I had accepted Jesus back home, but I knew for certain that I wanted the kind of joy I saw in my counselor, and I came forward to renew my commitment.
Years later, when the time to search for summer jobs came around, Camp Hebron came to mind and I signed up for the summer. Little did I know that working on staff would be every bit as impactful as coming as a camper had been. One summer turned into two, and those remain among the most formative seasons of my life. As a counselor and summer program director, I grew in leadership, responsibility, creativity and faith. The lessons I learned motivating campers up and down Breezewood hill shaped my character and helped form me into the person I am today.
These days I’m as excited as ever about the power of camp. I look at our culture and see young people inundated with screen time, influenced by celebrity culture, and pressured to succeed perhaps like never before. Camp provides time and space apart from the daily routine, a break from the barrage of negative messaging, opportunity to try new things in an environment that is safe and affirming, and a glimpse of what a vibrant community of faith can look like.
I’m grateful to have had the privilege of coming to camp as a child, and long to see that opportunity extended to yet another generation. #SummerIsComing; are you ready?
Dustin Musser, Executive Director