By Dana Barber
At the end of August, for a few years now, Andy has spent a week with approximately 10 teenage boys, playing wide games, paddling canoes, cleaning up food scraps, and discussing who Jesus is. Each time, he has no idea who will be there or what God will ask of him. Many of you may relate or recognize this as volunteering as a cabin leader, at teen week at camp.
Andy’s camp ‘career’ started over 25 years ago when he was 17 and his mom suggested to her introverted son that he try working at camp for the summer. He caved and went… then stayed for 5 summers at that camp. His love for camping ministry moved him to other camps and back again, now as a volunteer.
“I know how important it is in the life of a young person to have someone other than parents, teachers, or coaches show up. Camp is one of many ‘removed’ experiences where this is possible. There is space to think, and it is not like day-to-day life. Having someone who will sleep on the ground, search for treasure so your team can win the game, or cheer you on, is so important. And there is a way the Holy Spirit moves when that same person will also care enough to talk to you about the love of Jesus and hear your questions without judgement but love you enough to tell you the truth and offer hope, that makes every minute worth it.”
If camp ministry is not your “thing” Andy suggests asking your pastor for an idea of where you can serve others simply by being, you. Most pastors get excited when people want to step into the gaps and open themselves up to the leading of the Holy Spirit. “I have never regretted giving in to my Mom’s suggestion to go beyond my comfort zone. I have been blessed! I hope other’s will be too.”