Camp, Contentedness, and Change


Monday I will embark on an adventure that many embark on during their college years. I did not have this experience during college summers, but thankfully God has graciously given me the opportunity to do it now! I am going to be a camp counselor.

Honestly, I needed the extra years to become ready for such a task. A few years back, I helped Abbie take some videography shots for Ridge Haven camp in North Carolina; I distinctly remember observing those campers and counselors and being completely humbled.

 “These people are so impactful and wonderful. They constantly put others above their own needs, keep their energy high and have such fun – all with no time to themselves and on a diet of fish sticks! I could never be as selfless as that. I’m just not cut out for it,” I thought to myself.

But evidently I am supposed to be cut out for it! That’s not to say that I am a much more caring or selfless person than I was 3 years ago, but my goodness I’m so excited for the prospect of becoming that person! I just spent 4 years focusing on my education, 1 year of a Dietetic Internship focusing on my career and success – and while I’m so grateful and excited for these experiences, and very excited to be a Registered Dietitian who helps people live quality lives and empowers individuals to make good healthy choices, my goodness do I need to spend a summer getting over myself!

There is no better way to get over yourself and learn contentedness than spending time with developmentally disabled, low income, or otherwise “impaired” individuals – and that’s what I get to do for the next 8 weeks!  I truly believe that when you have less, you are more satisfied. The pursuit of success, popularity, etc, truly does not bring happiness.

Something I never want to forget in life is the beautiful contentedness, joy, and satisfaction many of my friends with special needs have in life – so ecstatic to be working at the grocery store, local gym, or sub shop and living in an apartment with friends – always having something positive to say about their job! Where does this contentedness come from? I think it largely comes from living out of an attitude of gratitude. (Dude. I should totes make “Attitude of Gratitude” T-shirts!).

I know this is a kind of awkward tangent to go on when I’m talking about being a camp counselor, but it makes total sense really. You see – I felt called to go to work at camp this summer, because my inner selfish, career ladder climbing, wants to wear business suits and carry a big leather bag and have a nice watch and Gucci shades self needs to be put to death – NOT THAT ANY OF THOSE THINGS ARE BAD IN OF THEMSELVES, but my inner desire to be at the top and to serve my own self instead of the Lord with my life is very  bad. Very bad indeed, friends.

God is so gracious to naturally rebellious people like me, eh? 🙂

So camp…

  1. I think God will use on this journey of life, which is also a journey of getting over myself.
  2. Will bring about further contentedness in my life, and give me more beautiful examples of people living with an attitude of gratitude.


I’ll post at the end of the summer and see if my hypotheses are correct.

I will post bi-weekly throughout the summer, as I promised my Grandma. But in all honesty I’ve already written all the posts and have them scheduled to publish – I know camp is going to be a busy time and will  require my full focus! It’s very possible though that I may have some time to post a real-time update or two 🙂

Until then, happy summer!

“Everyone needs to work at a camp!” Chaela


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