I’m sitting here in my home staring at a computer screen and thinking, “where in the world did my summer go”. If you have been following my journey at all you now that i have been away at Beulah Beach summer camp working there since May 20th. I spent three weeks at camp for staff training, and then headed out for seven weeks being a leader for Beulah on the road, followed by three more weeks doing different jobs back at camp once that ended. I have learned many new things, grown as a person, laughed a lot, cried a little, and made countless lasting friendships. All the while the Lord was with me and taught me more and more about his heart for the world this summer. The highlights of those lessons were about love, generosity, discipleship, and the body of Christ.
The thing that sticks out to me looking back at this summer is the body of Christ and how God uses each person to bring about his will. I had the opportunity to participate in many different roles this summer, some of these include: leadership, staff member, activity director, friend, counselor, crew member, nursery worker, and a ton of other jobs. I did everything from leading games, teaching devotions, praying with campers to receive Christ, and even raking seaweed. I realize that I does not matter which role I was in that God was still using me to further his kingdom. Our entire staff of over 100 people had an important job to do in order for the camp to run. We all did our part do fulfill our ultimate mission of furthering God’s Kingdom by leading campers to Christ.
In addition to all of this I also learned much about leadership this summer as I was pushed to new limits in my role of Program’s Director for Beulah on the Road. It was a slow start as I was figuring out what exactly my job entailed at the start of the summer. But, I had a great boss over me who lead me towards excellence and by the end of the summer I was totally in my groove and made the position my own. I learned about prayer, hard work, patience, and trusting God as he provides everything we will ever need. I feel blessed to have been able to serve at Beulah Beach again this summer, and I am now looking forward to how I can take what I’ve learned and apply it to this next semester at Nyack.
Warm weather, clean sheets, and home cooked food…Summer vacation is finally here! Now that finals are over, it’s finally time to rest. For most of us, all we want to do is eat, lay down, and watch T.V. It’s fine to do that for a little while, but it can be easy to let relaxing and eating become the extent of your summer activities. Here are a few tips to help you get off of the couch and stay productive during summer vacation:
1. Work! When you want to go to the movies, bowl, eat at a restaurant, or do anything else that isn’t free, having a steady job makes these activities hurt your wallet less. Many employers will take on college students for a few months while they are home from school. Outdoor jobs that are only available during the spring and summer will often look for college students as employees. I have life-guarded for almost five years, and I have always had a job waiting for me when I come home from Nyack College. Even year-round jobs will sometimes hire seasonal workers. Stay persistent and consistent during your job search. My dad always tells me that once you apply somewhere, you should call the place regularly until they give you a definite answer. This may seem like you are being a nuisance, but it is showing the employer that you are persistent and consistent. It never hurts to ask if an employer will take you on for May through August. Even if you get a few “no’s,” keep searching and applying until you find a good job.
2. Volunteer! Find time to give back to your community while you are on break. Soup kitchens, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and other organizations are usually looking for more volunteers to lend a hand, even if it is only for a few months. Getting active in your community helps to improve the place where you live, and it will be a rewarding experience for you. Plus it looks great on a resume for all those future job hunts!
3. Educate yourself! I know that the burdens of education are the very things that you are trying to escape during summer break, but it is good to keep your mind active even when you are away from school. When there are no tests to study for, no papers to write, and no professors to please, you are at liberty to choose the subject that you want to learn about. Your local library has hundreds of subjects to choose from; you can learn about something without having to worry about getting a bad grade in a class. This summer I plan on reading up on theological topics that I have not learned about in the classroom, but I would also like to take in a few good fictions for fun. You do not have to stick to educational topics; even leisurely reading fiction will give your brain some much-needed exercise.
4. Enjoy friends and family! When it comes time to have fun, have it with your loved ones that you don’t get to see during the school year. Your parents, siblings, and friends from home are available to spend time with and enjoy. There are countless activities that you can do with your family and friends, so take advantage of them. Don’t seclude yourself this summer; be sociable! Getting to relax and have fun with the people you love is the best, most fulfilling part of summer vacation.