Over this past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to be a lifeguard at a summer camp that is near and dear to my heart. And of course by lifeguard I mean counselor, breakfast server, dish washer, dish busser, day camp counselor, registration professional, housekeeper, lifeguard, and anything else you could think of. While Camp is mostly fun, games, and Jesus, it takes a whole lot of people and a whole lot of God’s love for it to run smoothly. Camp teaches you about yourself and your creator, and it never fails to change your life and teach you a lesson or two.

With both serious and silly ones, these are the 72 lessons I learned over the 72 days of being a Camp-go’er:

  1. There is no actual Schedule
  2. Be on time to meetings
  3. Braids cover up hair that hasn’t been washed in a long time
  4. You’ll learn more from the kids then you ever will from the sermons
  5. Always bring a water bottle
  6. And always know where you can fill it up
  7. Obey the “no diving” sign
  8. Hammocks are for everyone
  9. And so is a game of duck-duck-goose
  10. (this one might be a little prejudice but…) obey the lifeguards
  11. Everyone at camp wants to be friends
  12. Camp food is only good the first 2 weeks
  13. Bring your bible everywhere you go
  14. Campers love hugs
  15. Know at least 3 camp songs
  16. Always pray over the camper who is crying
  17. Keep a journal of all your thoughts
  18. Write notes of encouragement to staff members who are doing a good job
  19. Always make time to read your bible
  20. Everyone has a story
  21. Rock the face paint, costume, or outfit that your campers throw together for you
  22. Family camp has the best meals
  23. Funny faces make for good pictures
  24. Help out the kitchen staff
  25. Even the campers that are older then you look up to you
  26. Camp is for everyone
  27. Get to know your program director
  28. Always have construction paper and markers in the cabin
  29. Fireworks are prettier when seen from the dock
  30. Never be afraid to ask for help
  31. The campers basically think you are a superhero
  32. Don’t leave your room without a smile
  33. Lights out is just a suggestion to the campers
  34. There is a reason we rake the beach, no one knows what it is, but there is a reason
  35. Other people will teach you a lot about yourself
  36. Teva’s and Chaco’s are in fact cool
  37. You are never going through anything alone
  38. Own up to your mistakes
  39. Bikes are the quickest way to get around camp
  40. If there isn’t any issue don’t create one
  41. You’ll become friends with the most unlikely people
  42. Look forward to everyday
  43. Always hang up your lifejacket
  44. Worship with reckless abandon
  45. Be patient
  46. Open up your heart to receive God’s love
  47. Adopt a cabin every chance you get
  48. You don’t have to be friends with everyone
  49. Never miss an opportunity to be a Godly light to someone
  50. Staff waterfront day is the best day
  51. Open up your heart
  52. Tell campers about your experiences with Christ
  53. Understand that you cannot please everyone
  54. No one cares how badly you sing, so just sing
  55. You will survive Jr. High week
  56.  Some people just need a big hug
  57. You don’t need to try and “solve” everyone’s problems, that’s God’s job
  58. Be present
  59. You are in the place God wants you to be. Whether that’s your physical location, emotional state, spiritual well-being or anything else.
  60. Understand your worth and value
  61. Campers lives are harder then you can ever imagine
  62. You’ll smell like a campfire or the lake all the time
  63. Do it: climb that wall, ride that wake, play that game, eat that food, just do it
  64. Embrace the unexpected, no matter what it is
  65. Call your mom and dad
  66. Getting mail is the best
  67. You’ll probably cry if one of your campers accepts Christ
  68. Be a sister, a mother, and a best friend to your campers
  69. Show Christ through everything you do
  70. Serve with a joyful heart
  71. Love your campers, your job, your staff family, and your God with  reckless abandon
  72. Know that you are more then enough

These lessons, while some might silyly, are the work of a God who loves all of us for who we are. He sees us as worth more then gold and more precious than diamonds. I hope today that you feel the love of Christ, and know that you are more then enough.

Love, Karsyn Bryant


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