I have never been in a place where more cheering happens and where enthusiasm is always present. It's contagious. If I felt like I was lacking energy, I would just look around me and see the other staffers and the way they were choosing joy. Just watching everyone work together and serve together with that joy was enough to get me moving again and ready for whatever was next.
Here is just a snapshot into some of the things that staffers do throughout the week...
Take families out on the sailboat.
Make snow cones.
Play ridiculous games, like our weekly "Patriot Games" on the Stars and Stripes theme night.
Serve in the kitchen. Kitchen staff - you rock. Seriously, they work so hard all day, every day and never complained once. Thanks to them, we have more than camp food - everything they make is delicious.
Greet families at the door... It's tradition to give fist bumps to everyone who walks through these doors into the dining hall at meal times!
Lead Bible studies with kids.
Serve ice-cream in the afternoons.
Yes, today is the last day. I head back to Chicago in a few hours and then I get on a plane tomorrow to fly to Czech. It's a whirlwind and it's hard for me to fully comprehend or even process emotionally. I have grown to love all of these people here, yet I love people in every one of my heart homes too. There's no easy way to say goodbye to any of these places. So I will heed the advice of my parents, and remember to be thankful that it's hard to say goodbye, because that means that the relationships are sweet. The Lord is forever faithful.
I love how the Lord uses places and people to teach us and shape us. He has different plans for each person, and he knows how to meet each person uniquely where they're at. Although when I was a teenager and a camper at Gull Lake, I never thought I would work on staff, the Father knew this is where I needed to be these past two summers. I used to think I would never have enough energy or enthusiasm to be a counselor, but God has provided enough for each day and has taught me so much about the strength of the entire body of Christ. It's been challenging, but so rich and fulfilling at the same time.
Gull Lake Ministries - thank you, for all you do for the families each week, but for how you invest in us as staff as well. I have learned and grown and am so thankful for these 6 weeks I've had here!
For more updates on Gull Lake, and also to see photos I took of each staff member, you can follow Gull Lake Ministries on Twitter. Find them here: @gulllakemin.