Hi Swamp Blog Readers!
Welcome back to the blog. We are just THREE DAYS AWAY from the opening of Summer Camp registration and applications for full time and volunteer positions! That's right. Registration will begin on February 1st at campswamp.com.
Maybe you are too old to be a camper this Summer or are looking for a way to give back to camp this year. (If you are still loving that camper life, keep it up.) However, if you're looking to do something else this Summer, you are in luck! This week we have five Swamp volunteers talking about their amazing experiences serving at camp. If you are looking for some inspiration, just keep on reading.
Serving as a Teen Worker
"I think I really enjoyed working at the Swamp Camp this past summer because I get to help the younger kids enjoy the Swamp in the same way that I did. When we are younger we dont see exactly what goes on behind the scenes at camp but it brings me so much joy to be able to help provide such a magical experience that is The Swamp. I would recommend it to people for the simple reason of the joy that comes from serving others. Not only that, but the relationships that you build while serving are very special and encouraging."
-Lora Payne, 18, Right
Serving in the Kitchen
"Until this past summer, I had only ever been a counselor or camper before, and I really wanted to be out there another week so I signed up for kitchen working with my sister. We had a blast- it was so fun. All you have to do is cook and serve the meals- not even do dishes, they have teen workers for that 😉. It’s definitely still hard work and early mornings but you also get to just hang out, play games, relax or even nap. It’s one of the most rewarding jobs at camp. You are honestly the kids favorite people because they love the food so much. If you want to go to camp and serve, this is the job to do! Not to mention really important because without a kitchen staff, the children wouldn’t eat lol. Plus Ms. Debbie rocks!"
-Rebecca Bennett, 20, Right
"I volunteered last summer to help in the kitchen week 6. It really was the highlight of my summer. I loved the camaraderie of working with Debbie and the other volunteers to put out a great meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Watching the campers interact and have fun brought a lot of joy to my heart. And I got to see my daughter who was working as a counselor. I got to witness a baptism of a teen girl who was visiting from China. She was the first teen to be baptized from her congregation. That her parents wanted her to be with other teen disciples and catch a vision for teens in her country made such a statement to me about the importance of a place like the Swamp. But the best part to me was the Starlight devo. I had always heard about it from my own children and others. You cannot see the stars like that anywhere around my home. The devotional time with it, well, you really need to experience it yourself in order to understand the vastness of it all. I could go on and on...."
-Mary Fields, Left
Serving as a Counselor
"Hi! My name is Jordan Nabors, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and I’ve been given the opportunities to counsel at Camp Swamp for the past five years! It has truly been such an amazing ride being able to get to know the campers that come each week and make true connections with them. No matter what week I counsel or what cabin I counsel, I always find myself being inspired by the kids I take care of and grow closer to. Campers that are not even mine for the week seem to have a way of changing my life and heart for the better as well. I truly am grateful for the precious moments I get to share with the campers that come to have an incredible time at camp, and also developing lifelong friendships with the other counselors, teen workers, kitchen staff, and medical staff. I definitely suggest this fantastic and life changing opportunity to anyone! Thank you guys!!”
-Jordan Nabors, 22, Right
Serving on the Medical Staff
"For the past decade, the first days of the new year brought about the excitement of one specific conversation among our household - “When are we going to the Swamp?" The “How" question followed of course. Work schedules, travel and finances all had to be calculated. Soon, new questions arose- “Who can we take with us?” And, “How many times can I go this summer?” Three kids and my spouse join in the annual preparations that now includes work weeks and Swamp Corp trips. So I pause, taking some time to reflect on the “Why" question. Why do I love the Swamp camp so much?
Psalm 37:3-7 Speaks to me emphatically on this point. Through obedience and trust in God's plan, along with his delegation of talents and a beautiful family, I have been blessed with an education and vocation in medicine. This has led to the unique opportunity to serve as a camp nurse. As much as we all love to work (ha ha), I love the thoughts of dwelling in a safe pasture. For me, the love of the Swamp started with the idea of the place - the peace and tranquility of the woods and meadows, vast sky and soft trails, the radiant sun and open rain. Soon though, the stillness spoke. It’s voice was wonder, no worries, compassion, courage, laughter, learning, radiance and relationships. Hugs and tears, kindness and query surpassed anything that I thought I knew about healing. Like notches on the door frames of our homes, I have observed measured growth of character and spirit in and among our family. It’s a contagion I like. It is a culture we bring home. We cherish and nurture this love in it’s many facets. Camp Swamp is our Heaven here on earth; it is my safe pasture."
-Todd McLaughlin, Middle
Get in on the Experience
Those are some great reviews coming from people who have served! Having counseled full time at the Swamp the past two summers, I can attest that serving at camp is one of the best, most rewarding, and character-building experiences one can have. If you think you would like to serve in one of the ways talked about, you should definitely apply. So, don't forget to register/apply starting February 1st. You won't want to miss out on the joy of this experience!
If you have a joyful camp memory to share, email us with your story of joy to firstname.lastname@example.org
Much Love & Respect,