Being a camp representative for Northwest Christian University over the summer was never seen as a heavy burden to me. I viewed the position of NCU Camp Rep as an opportunity to encourage youth to pursue their Christian walk in a community filled with a future of ministry opportunities. (Of course, you can’t forget the perk of being in the sun most of the day!) Whether or not a camper chose to inquire about NCU, I left it up to the individual camper to choose the perfect community for their education. Besides, the reps were there to provide information and answer questions they might have, not to convince them that their university was the best. Camp was about being an example of Christ and about sharing the experience of the Christian atmosphere of the university you represented.
Summer camp is full of flittering emotions, boundless freedom, passionate adventures, ordered chaos, and smelly cabins… My clothes are stained with cherries, and tie-dyed. As a college representative for Northwest Christian University, I have been to three different camps that have blessed me in many ways this summer. At the Oregon Christian Convention (OCC) in Turner, Oregon, I was able to celebrate my 21st birthday during an “Amazing Race,” filled with throwing water balloons at campers and wrapping them in toilet paper in the rain. With Christ In Youth (CIY), at Oregon State University, I was blessed to participate in a week long Christian convention that happens weekly, nation-wide, and inspires youth to stay connected with an active Christian community. At this convention, I acquired friends from multiple Christian universities across the nation. On the coast of Newburg, Oregon, at camp Wi-Ne-Ma, I was blessed to lead a Brother in a prayer of rededication to Christ. My walk in Christ was strengthened and encouraged by Brothers and Sisters from around the world because of these camp experiences.
One of the greatest connections I made at OCC was with a family of missionaries who live in Kenya, Africa. They invited me to come teach a three-month course of English and various subjects to Kenyan children of all ages. That opportunity alone, has been more than encouraging for me to prepare my next summer for a mission trip to Kenya. That same week, I connected with a NCU alumni that was representing a seminary on the East Coast. No one had ever spoken to me about seminary, and by the end of that week, I was ready to take a break from NCU and go to seminary for two years! But the deepest connection I made during these camps were with the campers themselves. My most intimate connection with campers was when I co-led a Wi-Ne-Ma family group with a Sister from Hope International University and became known as the campers’ ‘dad’ and ‘mom’. The family shared tears, encouragement, and understanding as we gave our testimonies throughout the week.
Each life, whether young or old, strong or weak, became an important part of growth and an intimate source of inspiration in my own life. Each camp has and will always hold a special part of my testimony. I could never go back to these camps with an attitude of resentment or displeasure. It would be impossible for me to be discouraged from going to a camp that is truly running for Christ. Being a camp representative for Northwest Christian University allows me to be an integral part of the equation used in the construction of creating a camp environment focused on Christ.
Be the Beacon!
Your Brother In Christ,