Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer of Service

Three weeks before pre-camp training was supposed to begin, I sent in my application. After lots of prayer.. I had finally decided to head back to Victory Valley for a third summer. It was not an easy decision as it was in years past.. but I am so thankful God gave me the right answer. He blessed me with an amazing summer. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to serve alongside so many talented, hard-working, and God-fearing individuals. I'm also so grateful to now call them friends.
This summer I spent three weeks as the camp photographer, meaning I ran around all day taking pictures of the kiddos. I upload them to the website each night so the parents can look at see what their little camper was doing that day. My goal is to get three pictures of each kid every day..meaning if we have 120 kids, I take between 400-500 pictures each day (we give some wiggle room). It isn't easy, but through God's strength, I got it done every day.
For "teen week" of camp (the 12-14 year olds), I was blessed to be a counselor. I had a fantastic cabin of  eight wonderful girls who taught me so much. I remember after my first full day I was feeling so discouraged.. but then one of my girls came out to talk to me and I was privileged to reassure her of her salvation! After three years of serving at Victory Valley, that was easily one of my favorite moments. I had a wonderful week with my girls and I pray they took lots home with them.
It was a blessed summer, that I am certain of. Praise be to God for working in the staff and campers this summer! Words can't accurately describe just how challenging, fun, and rewarding this summer was. So I'll let the photos talk.. (ps.. there's quite a few.. :))

Reasons I love camp:

We get to eat fresh berries all. the. time.
The 2013 Girls Senior Staff. This was at the beginning of the summer at our commissioning banquet.. little did we know how God would use, stretch, and grow us closer together this summer.

We have ducks and ducks are fantastic.
We get to see God's creation (big and small).
Sometimes we get funny tan lines (and dirty toesies).
We smile because we have Jesus. :)
We have horses!
We have a beautiful creek
We keep God's word around us all the time.

We also keep God's creation around us all the time.
We teach kids fun things (like archery) .
We see nature in action.
We have friends who become like family.
We have kids who bring way too much clothing.

We have fun with chalk.
We smile.. a lot. 
We teach kids about nature, like Sycamore trees !
We're FTK-minded (for the kids).
We do crafts.. because they're fun and awesome.
We have an amazing group of individuals that serve from my home church (yay Grace!!) 
We have dress-up meals.. they're the best.
We have fellowship :)
We teach kids about the most important thing they'll ever know about.. Jesus.
We (some of us) sleep up at Outpost in tents in the woods.
Occasionally we do bad things to get on the bathroom list..
We have OV PRIDE!
We have a camp fish and turtle.. Gerald and Stanley. 
We counselors have amazing CA's (counselors assistant) who help us survive weeks of crazy teenagers. Seriously, I would not have gotten through this week without this amazing woman.
We have prayer partners who we meet with multiple times a week to lift each other up in prayer. I love these ladies.
We have peaceful mornings where you'll find many staff members out before the sun looking in God's word.
We make new friends :)
We have more fun meals.. like "Royalty Meal" where yours truly got to be the "Queen" (beside me is my King and Princess, haha). All the kids had 'honor' us when we stood by making noise. It was not a quiet meal.

We really do smile.. a lot. :)
We feed our ducks multiple times a day.. and they got kinda fat. Oops.
We look for 'teachable moments' to show Christ to our kids through everyday life.
We have butterflies everywhere.
We (Outpost) occasionally kidnap people..
We do have fun as staff sometimes.. :)
We cook hot dogs on small trees.
We love our tents in the woods.
Sometimes we go on trial for having "shot too many kids with a Canon"..
... and we're found guilty and this happens. Justice is apparently shaving cream and cheese balls. :)
We have staff that are like sisters.

We see the tiny, beautiful, and intricate details of creation.
We cook lots of things over the fire (yum!)
We find wild turkeys roaming the camp.
We kidnap people.. a lot.
Sometimes we let the kids name the camp newspaper.. and they call it Victory Candy Boom ?
We love Goliath for the lessons it teaches our kids about trust and faith.
We have amazing lifeguards !
We have times when all we can do is laugh.
We grow together as sisters and will never forget the people we served along side.. through good and bad.. I love these ladies.
We are people who love Jesus together, and work on becoming more like him.
We are family and we love each other.
We are the Victory Valley Staff. ♥ :)


  1. Is it wrong that I think camp is totally worth it just for the berries? :P Looks like you had a great time. :)


  2. WOW! Great photos, I feel like I spent the summer with you. Glad you had a wonderful experience, I'm sure everyone was blessed by your beautiful photos.


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