Camp is for the camper, and the adult leaders that accompany many of the youth who attend our programs are campers too! Find out from Kristen Hause, a youth worker, adult leader, and camp staff alum about how camp creates community for all of God’s children…including the adults!
I love camp! Specifically, I love the experiences I’ve had at Stony Lake Lutheran Camp. Over the years,
I have been a camper, counselor, high ropes facilitator and site director; I have fond memories of those
summers that I will cherish always. I made lasting friendships, helped to nurture the budding faith of
campers, and I saw the Spirit move in countless ways. It was awesome to be a part of that community!
Fortunately, my “grown-up” job was as a Youth Director and I enthusiastically encouraged my
congregation to send our kids to camp. It had been a few years since they had last sent a group of
confirmation campers. Based on my own past experiences, I argued that a week at Stony Lake would
help create a strong foundation for campers. They agreed and sent a group that summer… and I got to
go with them as the adult leader.
I quickly learned that a week at camp as an adult leader isn’t quite the same as being a camper, or being
on staff. Quite honestly, I would say it is the best of both worlds and then some. You get to experience
camp in a different way. Oh, you still create lasting friendships, play games, sing songs and remember
to appreciate God’s world around you. It is still an absolute blast!
You are still invited and encouraged to be an active part of the camp community. There are
opportunities throughout the week to help lead, or follow, as you are moved. Whether it is camp fires,
group games, worship or mealtime, you are a welcomed part of the whole. Yet you are also given the
space to be alone if needed.
You are expected to be just who you are, no more and no less… even the adults. It is an awesome
reminder, especially in this ever demanding world, that you are God’s creation. Not everyone is a
scholar, outdoor enthusiast, extrovert, or musician and that is okay. However, the gifts you do have to
offer are welcomed and put to good use to support the campers and staff.
You have the wonderful opportunity to witness camp through the lens of adulthood. You get to watch
your campers explore God’s love for them and their place in the world. You get the privilege to
encourage them along the way. You get to step back a minute from the hectic “adult” world and relax in
God’s peace, appreciating God’s creation, and your place in it, in a way that you may have forgotten.
You get to hear the Word in new, insightful and, sometimes, challenging ways. And you can see and
feel the Holy Spirit move in and through the awesome people around you.
I love camp. It is fun. But it is more than that… it is a community through which the Creator, Savior and
Spirit gives us a space to relax, be ourselves, and appreciate the world and people that surround us. I’m
so glad that, as an adult leader, I’ve been given the opportunity to experience that community again and
Christ Lutheran Church • Monroe, MI