Shine Like the Son!
Every summer I’ve worked at The Pines Catholic Camp I have come away with an amazing experience, deepened Faith, and abundant personal growth. This summer though brought more of each of these than each of the three previous summers I’ve served there. One of my favorite things I was blessed to do was speak to the middle school campers about the Blessed Mother, not just once, but three times! Each time, I received amazing feedback from the counselors about what their campers learned. It was most humbling!
Summing the entire summer is impossible, but my top 5 things (in no particular order) are:
1. The SWAT Team! I had the honor of directing a team of young adults, and I learned so much from them! They worked so hard, so faithfully, and so humbly the whole summer… It was so humbling to serve with them! I found great inspiration in each of their unique gifts, talents, and personalities. And beyond all that, I love them to pieces! Several are beginning college this fall, and I’m so proud of them, and excited to see how God will continue to grow and mold them into Himself. I miss them all so much!
2. My sister coming to camp! My 15 year old ‘little sister’ came Teen Week, and I watched as she grew, learned, had SO much fun, made new friends, and best of all, deepened her already-strong Faith! God is so faithful, and so generous! I’m so proud of my little melody!
3. Seeing a few of my old campers! It was SO wonderful to see some of my girls from last summer! To see how seeds had taken root and begun to grow was amazing, humbling, inspiring, and so beautiful. Especially to recall that ‘one camper’ from whom I’d learned so much return, and teach me (and others) so much more! Amazing.
4. Speaking to the middle school campers about Mary! The Branch Village (aka middle school age group) coordinator asked me to speak to Branch about Mary a few times, and each was amazing!! I was able to share my own story with Mary, as well as answer questions about if we worship Mary (spoiler alert: we don’t!), why we pray to her, and who she is to us as believers is Christ. The feedback I got from each talk was amazing, and so humbling. The third time I spoke, I was so blessed to be introduced by #5 on this list.
5. (Meeting) Tori Harris! Tori is a Catholic singer and song writer, and an amazing young woman! She stayed in my house with me and my other housemates, and I was so honored to get to know her on a personal level. She’s awesome! And her music is gorgeous! (It’s also on iTunes! Look it up!!!) She spoke to me, to the rest of staff, and to the campers about Faith, fear, and following God’s will for your life. (A post will be forthcoming before long detailed all she spoke about… it was life-altering for me!)
6. (I know I said 5, but I forgot one…) Maria Walther! I met her last summer, and was so happy to get to see her again, and visit. To share my heart with such a lovely Catholic mother was encouraging, inspiring, and so uplifting! I wanna be like her when I grow up! She’s so much like Mother Mary. :)
As always, I built amazing friendships, learned to love Our Lord in a new way, and grew a lot! Jesus is still revealing to me the purpose and design He had for me at camp, and I am learning to love Him for it! He is so good to me! It was a joy to work at The Pines again, and even more, to take the mission of the summer home to “Shine like the Son in the kingdom of my Father!”