This summer, I was on Discipleship Team at Riverside, which means my main responsibility is deeply getting to know and supporting 12 Cabin Leaders throughout the summer. While supervising staff is my primary purpose, I was able to do various things around camp, including hanging out with campers, planning small events for campers and staff, writing staff Bible studies, leading meals, and helping with all kinds of other small things that come up. There is truly never a dull moment around camp!
My greatest accomplishment during my internship was providing a safe space where the girls I worked with felt comfortable sharing with me the real things going on in their lives. I got to share in the pain that many of the Cabin Leaders I disciple were feeling. Although it was really hard to hear about the terrible things that had happened to them, I felt honored that they felt safe enough with me to share them.
Through the care conversations I got to have with campers and staff, I learned that you never really know what someone is going through beneath the surface. It is so easy in this world to judge a person by only a couple of interactions with them, but it is so important you truly get to know people and know what they have been through to understand why they act the way they are. This is something I knew to an extent before I started my internship, but the more I get to know people, the more I lean into this philosophy of getting to know people before judging them.
What advice would you give?
Dig deep into the material that you are learning and ask questions about how you will use this in the field. During my class time, I was often focused on learning just what I needed for assignments or exams and missed some information that could help me better understand the people I was helping. But all in all, sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone and try new things to help people. No matter what, stick to what you believe is right and never give up on helping people.