In less than one week, our first wave of Summer Camp staff will arrive here at Camp Wakonda. Even though Ally and I have been doing this job just over two years, this will be our third summer of camp. No lie: Summer Camp is a tough, tough job. With the help of our Summer Camp staff teams, we’ve managed to pull off two summers that were blessings to our campers (both kids and families). But both summers have ended with many staff feeling burned out and others vowing they’ll never come back.
Having been a Summer Camp staff myself, for six years, I can attest that there’s never a summer where you don’t feel drained at the end…and I think every summer I said would be my last…until the next spring rolled around and I felt the call to return once more. There are things we can do, of course, to continue improving the staff experience for the young people who work for us, and we’re constantly praying over the changes we can make to improve that. But as our staff’s arrival is immanent, we want to say…
Thank you to our Summer Camp staff from 2021, who had to deal with two newbies like us changing things up and making the tough decisions directors have to make, having only one month to try to figure things out before staff arrived!
Thank you to our Summer Camp staff from 2022 (pictured above), who didn’t always see eye to eye with the decisions and changes we made, but pulled off a really great summer for our campers anyway.
And thank you to our incoming 2023 Summer Camp staff! We have over 50% returning staff this year, some who have been with us since our first summer in 2021. It’s crazy to think that we’re coming up on a third summer of working with some of our staff, and we are blessed by this, as much as we’re blessed by those who are trying our Camp Wakonda for the first time this summer. I’ve always said: the third summer is when camp really gets good
Please keep us and our Summer Camp staff in prayer as we go into our season of youth evangelism! We’re looking forward to a summer to remember, full of God’s blessing as we reach kids and families for Jesus
Here’s a link to the Wakonda web page and information about our Summer Camps this year: https://www.wakonda.org/camp
Zack Payne, Youth Director