boatz

The Shores is positioned on the banks of Lake Palestine, giving us both a beautiful view and a unique opportunity to minister to campers through some seriously cool waterfront activities. What we do at this camp would simply not be complete without our boats and boat drivers! Each week, campers are able to wakeboard, tube, ride banana boats and go waterskiing.

Last week, I had the opportunity to ride along with a boat during Dock Rock for two rounds of tubing. Many of the campers that climbed on the boats were reserved, quiet or even unhappy. The second each camper got out on that tube and took off, however, they were transformed. As they flew over the wake and got splashed with water, their faces lit up with expressions of absolute joy. By the time they returned to the boat, they were laughing and chattering about the experience. I was immediately struck by the change in personality and demeanor that many of the kids underwent—and what a huge role the boats played in it!

D-Haz told me this week that campers often come out not liking camp or simply having a bad day, but time on the boats changes that. By going out on a tube or getting up on a wakeboard or skis when they never have before, the boats are one of many ways that campers can open up and get excited while having their hearts prepared to break down walls. The boat drivers said they often like to ask campers what happened in Bible study or what they’ve been learning lately in order to encourage the kids to listen and pay attention.

As one of the boat drivers explained, our roles at camp aren’t necessarily the most noticeable. But as Urbaño mentioned, part of their job is to empower counselors.  This can be something as simple as telling the campers that they have a seriously awesome counselor (one of Trout’s favorite things to do) or as sitting with a cabin during lunch or FOB. Much of what the boat drivers do is service (both noticeable and behind-the-scenes)—serving campers, serving counselors, and serving the camp as a whole.

Talking with the boat drivers was a sweet reminder of what each of us is capable of at camp when we work and serve in and through the Lord. No matter what your role is this week or even all summer, you are making more of a difference in a camper’s life than you realize. Be intentional with your time and service and make it count!

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. (1 Corinthians 3:7-8 ESV)

I want to close this post with a great story that D-Haz told when I was talking to the boat drivers earlier this week. I’ll let him speak for himself!

Last week, a kid got on the my boat and came and sat right next to me. He looked at me and asked, “Can I sit at the front of the boat? Because that would be SO EPIC.” So I told him yes, and he went to the very front of the boat and instead of sitting down, he crouched down and stuck his face just over the top of the boat. When we started driving, he was just freaking out and was so excited about getting to ride at the very front of the boat and get sprayed with water. I asked him if he wanted to get on the water rocket and he said he didn’t. He just wanted a ride on the boat. He didn’t even want to get off the boat at the end of the ride. It was just an example of the joy people take in the small things.