Dear Camp Counselors (for my children's past and future counselors, other people's children their counselors),
I just got back from 5 days of counseling at a Kid's Camp. I had been a counselor before... 16 years ago at a Jr./Sr. High Camp (pre-motherhood). I was 22 and vowed I would never do it again for the rest of my life. I have made the exception to do Royal Family Kids Camp once and just recently 5 days ago. For some reason, I just couldn't say no to someone. I knew I was walking into a week of hard work. I was reminded why I made that solemn promise at such a young age and it is why I say thank you today.
Thank you for....
- Preparing days before camp even starts, buying gifts, decorations, markers, flash lights, hair stuff, bags...the list could go on and on.
- Covering our kids in prayer before they even walk on the campgrounds.
- Thinking of bringing extra blankets, bug spray, sunscreen, toothpaste, hair-ties, fans, space heaters, and Kleenex for my kid's runny nose.
- Stopping your life.
- Turning off your phone.
- Being so excited and welcoming when they get dropped off. This makes every mommy's heart soothed as they leave their children with others for 5 whole days! Some of us have been in agony over it and will be while they are gone.
- Being trustworthy for us parents who are excited to get a break from our kids for 5 days!
- Helping our kiddos get settled in and ready for the week.
- Guiding them through all the rules and keeping them on schedule!
- Reminding them to brush their teeth.
- Taking a midnight run to the bathroom.
- Squishing spiders.
- Carrying band-aids.
- Handling meltdowns beautifully.
- Making them take showers.
- Braiding endless heads of hair.
- Catching frogs.
- Teaching them how to make friendship bracelets.
- Advising them to change their underwear at least once during the week.
- Hugging them when they get homesick.
- Managing friendship drama.
- Checking the mouse traps in the cabin.
- Cheering them on when they are struggling to pass their swim test.
- Encouraging them when they fail swim test.
- Hollering like a mad person to make them feel soooo good when they finally pass their swim test!!!!
- Patting them on the back when they make a good decision.
- Somewhat controlling the amount of junk food they are consuming so they don't barf in their bed at night.
- Letting our kids find independence. Because we all know we over-parent sometime and don't let them do half of the stuff they do one their own at camp.
- Showing my kid how to do something I have failed to teach them to do on their own.
- Bringing a night light for our kids who are afraid of the dark.
- Staying up later to make sure they are all asleep and safe.
- Praying for our kid who has a nightmare in the middle of the night.
- Late night Glow Dance Parties!!!
- Playing with them.
- Taking another midnight run to the bathroom.
- Winning games, challenges, clean cabin award!
- Teaching them good sportsmanship when they lose.
- Counting your kids several times when they are swimming to make sure they are all safe.
- Taking them on paddle boat rides when no one else will go with them.
- Getting up an hour earlier so you can help them get ready.
- Reminding them to get their towel, tooth brush, soap, Bible.
- Taking them to the nurse when they get hurt and hugging them while they are there.
- Preparing devotions specifically for your group.
- Praying with them at meals.
- Walking, walking, walking and more walking (and probably destroying your shoes) with them everywhere to all their fun experiences.
- Writing letters to them.
- Keeping them under your umbrella while it pours.
- Giving up your umbrella to keep them dry while it pours.
- Praying words of life over my kids during chapel time.
- Asking the Holy Spirit to make life changing moments in their hearts that will last long after they leave our home.
- Crying for them.
- Weeping with them.
- Correcting them.
- Jumping for Joy alongside them.
- Dancing with them.
- Being an example on how to worship God.
- Holding their hand.
- Hugging them.
- Listening to them.
- Understanding their hurts.
- Instructing them about the things of God.
- Reminding them that God is their perfect heavenly Father who will never ever leave them and loves them more than anything.
- Leading our children to Jesus.
- Inviting the Holy Spirit to fill them.
- Being their biggest cheerleader when God shows them His plan for their life!
- And for loving my kids!!!!
So the words "Thank You" seem so insignificant for what you have done. In return, I ask that God will bless you with all the good and wonderful blessings from Heaven. That He would fill you with joy overflowing.
With much love,
A mommy of your campers
Will I ever counsel again at camp?
....ehh I will leave that up to God now. It is in my opinion, one of the hardest jobs in ministry I have ever done.
Special Thanks to Captured Photography for the top 3 pictures.