My Butler girls from last year. I love these girls. From left to right: Lexie Greene, Anna Gillette, Alyssa Shafer, Sam Grissinger, Kaitlyn Zebell, Baylie King, Kara Bradley, Olivia Baker, Micha Eversole, Me, Jeni Woliver.
I’m going to preface this post for the people who may have stumbled across this blog and are not from my immediate circle of friends from my church. So if you know what Butler Springs is, skip a paragraph.
Butler Springs Christian Camp is a summer camp located in Hillsboro, OH. It’s become a tradition for my church (Southbrook Christian Church) to take a group of middle schoolers down there every summer to host Butler’s biggest camp all summer – 79ers (meaning it’s designed for 7th-9th grade students). I went as an incoming 8th and 9th grader – the weeks I went were the most spiritual encounters with God I’ve ever had. In the typical style of Christian summer camps, Butler Springs was a spiritual high for me. There was incredible worship (led by, none other than, Josh Moser) and impactful teaching. There were insanely fun games and different challenges to overcome – (like daring myself to go up really high on the giant swing and actually attempt the high ropes course). Dinner every night brought a different costume theme. Everyone was broken and poured into by the end of the week.
Last year was my first year as a leader myself. If people ask me about it, I’m pretty honest about the fact that it was pretty hard for me. It was spiritually, mentally, and physically exhausting. I had two girls go home for reasons I to this day don’t understand (their parents were furious), I had a bit of drama with another leader, I had issues to address with a student, I had a girl transferred to my room in the middle of the night, I led 12 girls by myself for two days. I’m not complaining as much as I’m trying to give you a perspective. My perspective.
This year the theme is “#Follow”. It’s based on the idea of hashtags on Twitter, and it’s all about the life of Peter and his ministry before and after Jesus’ time on Earth. I was able to sit in to some of the planning meetings with the youth pastors who coordinate everything for camp months in advance (Butler is probably our youth group’s biggest gig – we’re talking 200 students here), so I saw lots of brainstorming. I blogged yesterday about our worship team this year (they sound fantastic). Everything is shaping up to be wonderful, right? 100x better than last year, I’m hoping?
I gave Andrew Beal, the youth pastor pretty much in charge of putting campers into groups (unofficially), a list of my 10 requests (all the girls in the above picture plus new addition Corinn) in February of this year. I figured I’d get them this year.
Tonight I get a text from my co-leader’s father asking me how many girls I have planned to be in my group. I say 10. He says my co-leader’s planning to have 6. There is absolutely NO WAY that’s going to work. My blood pressure starts going up around this point.
You can probably imagine all the thoughts running through my mind. I just want this year to be so much better than last year. Please pray for me, but more importantly, for the girls I’ll be ministering to – pray that their hearts would be receptive to hearing the Gospel this coming week and growing in their faith. Pray that I would have the words to speak into their broken situations – situations more broken than I could ever imagine, much less than those I have experienced myself.
I’ll see you in a week, lovely reader.