Camp Highland holds a really big place in my heart. I went to camp for the first time the summer of 2013 and it has been a huge part of my life ever since. Yes, camp was probably the most fun I have ever had and I made great friends and memories that I will never forget, but that alone is not what makes camp such a special place. Although I have not been, I’m pretty sure you can get all of those things I just mentioned at most camps you work at.
So what makes this camp different? Well part of it and a big part at that, is that while we are having fun on zip lines and rock walls or blobbing each other at the pond, we never forget why we are there. The only reason we are doing all this is to show kids, who may never see it, the love of Jesus. Everything we do comes back to him and how we can relate to Jesus through everything we do. What’s so cool is how different that looks for every kid. Some kids just need to have fun with people who are genuinely glad they are there, while others really just want to be shown love for maybe the first time in their life. You can tell which ones are like this because they are the ones who want to hold your hand and sit in your lap every opportunity they can, even if they may be “too old” and their peers are way to cool for that. I’ll be honest, I think those are my favorite kids but also sometimes the most heartbreaking. And then you have those kids who, above all else, really need an authority figure in their lives (these are always the hardest because it’s so much easier to just be the awesome, fun camp counselor). These are the kids who maybe don’t have a father figure at home or have one, but they aren’t really involved in their life. The amazing thing to see, though, is when you think you have been the bad guy the whole week, constantly laying down boundaries, and they act as if they want nothing more than to go home, Saturday comes around and they are devastated to leave; they give you multiple hugs and want to introduce you to their parents. It’s at that moment that you realize that you were exactly what they needed and exactly what they desired deep down.
The second thing that makes Camp Highland so special is what it does to YOU. Camp Highland will change you in such a good way. You are constantly surrounded by people who want to pour into you and love you, you are investing in God’s word multiple times a day, you are able to get away from the world for a whole summer and you realize you don’t need your phone every second of every day. You learn how to truly invest in those around you. Camp will make you a better friend, a better son or daughter, a better disciple, a better mentor, and most importantly it will bring you closer your Heavenly Father.