This is the time of year to make plans. To mark the passing of time, to aspire to greater things, or perhaps just to recognize that we’re halfway through the dark days. For me this time meant remembering pain, and change. Remembering love, challenge, and growth, all mixed together into a puree of emotion that I don’t know I’ll ever separate. I also can’t help but look back on my time at camp and ask myself “was it worth it?”
Being on staff at a Christian camp is a challenge. You’re volunteering for long hours of work and the stress of little down time until the weekend. It isn’t unusual to eat a meal on the run or be working at more than one job in the course of a day. Add in sunburn, cactus, dust, and being stuck in shared spaces with a host of other people and it doesn’t seem like a very good deal. And if you stopped reading at this point you’d probably think not as well.
But I’d be leaving out the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the spectacle of a brilliant canopy of stars. The excitement of seeing someone ride a horse for the first time, or rappel down a cliff. The shrieks of laughter in the middle of an impromptu water fight, and how incredible a good meal is after long hours of work. I could easily write pages (and have) about the honor of doing a job well and being there to welcome a new believer and see a life begin to change. I know the idea of sleeping in a leaky fort on a rainy night is somewhat daunting, but not for a second would I give up that night of great conversation and encouragement with the young men who shivered out there with me because it was difficult. Was it worth it? Absolutely. The road was challenging at times but the joys far outweighed any burden.
-Nick Oegema (Wrangler)