At the beginning of every week, our Shores staff welcomes the incoming campers by jumping and cheering—basically just going crazy. At every week’s close, we give parents a glimpse of what our week looked like at the closing celebration. Week after week, we have parents ask us the same questions; “Why do Pine Cove staff jump and go crazy all the time?” and, “You’ve been doing this for [x amount of weeks] now, how is it that you’re all so energetic and excited after all this time?” Let us tell you!
First, we jump and cheer because we want campers to know that we’re excited they’re here because, from the moment we read their name on a cabin list, we love them! We want them to feel welcome and free to be themselves here. We jump to get them excited, to have fun, and to connect with their counselors and fellow campers. All of these things are essential to them having a good week at camp, so our jumping and yelling are equally essential components to the Pine Cove experience.
Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Now, jumping and yelling all the time can be exhausting. We won’t try to pretend we’ve hired a bunch of superhuman college athletes who never get tired or weary— as cool as that would be. This brings us to the second question that parents often ask us, “How are you all so energetic after all this time?”. The answer is simple, and it lies in the very foundation of Pine Cove’s beliefs; it isn’t by our own strength that we function, but by the strength of Christ in us.
Ask any of our staff members and they’ll tell you, there comes a time in the summer, typically around week 3 or 4, where we hit a wall. We can try to rely on our own strength and ability for awhile, but there comes a time when we just can’t do it anymore. However, instead of this being the point where we give up and just stop caring, this is just another opportunity that we staffers have to practice what we preach and fully rely on the Lord for our strength. Beyond our breaking point is the very best place we can be because it is where we as staff learn to trust in and rely on God in ways we, in our comfortable culture, don’t usually do.
Pine Cove is a place where God does much work. He changes lives here and, by His Holy Spirit, He chooses to accomplish His will through the staff that work here. Despite our feelings of exhaustion, soreness or tired minds, we press on to share the gospel with every kid that comes through our gates. We do not press on by our own strength, but by the strength of Christ in us. How amazing that God chooses to use us to accomplish His will!
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.