Anna had always come to Camp Wanake with her twin. She is the quieter of the two. They reached a point when they wanted their own experiences and to be seen as individuals. After growing up attending summer camp, the next step was serving on staff. Anna struggled with self-confidence during her first summer as a volunteer Leader in Training. She hadn’t yet acquired the skills to manage a group of children.
Anna sat on a log that summer and cried during a campfire. “I don’t think I can do this,” she said. “I don’t know if I fit in.” The entire leadership team surrounded her and prayed for her. During training, we taught the valuable skills needed to succeed and helped her practice them. As a first-year counselor, she continued to struggle with self-confidence. When it came time to encourage the children to go to bed, we joined her in the cabin and modeled healthy bedtime rituals such as reading stories and saying prayers with the campers. Anna became good at it.
The following two summers, she was the key counselor for our youngest 1st-3rd graders. They became her delight and her joy. During that time, she had several campers with challenging behaviors. This summer, Anna was a unit leader. She was a counselor to the counselors for children with deeper needs. She confidently said, “Yes, I can do that.” Anna managed situations for children who had pain-based behaviors, and she walked alongside new counselors who needed the self-confidence to grow in their skills.
In May, Anna graduated from college and took a job as an art teacher. She has no formal art training, but working at camp gave her the self-confidence to say, “Yes, I can do that.” At Wanake, Anna learned how to successfully acquire new skills and implement them.
We invite you to make a generous gift to support our ongoing work of raising up new leaders, like Anna, for the church and the world.