After finishing his junior year in high school, Matt Kiel applied for a camp counselor job at Wanake. He had no prior experience working with children. “I wasn’t looking for anything specific, but a job,” Matt recalls. “This sounds like fun. Let’s see where this goes!” he thought to himself.
Matt benefited from the three weeks of Wanake counselor training. Having not spent much time with children and not understanding how his mother worked full-time with preschoolers, he was as surprised as anyone that he loved being a camp counselor -- especially with the younger campers - energy, questions, and all! While Matt was not looking for emotional and spiritual maturity, he found it! “I find that I am better able to listen to and understand others. At Wanake I learned and practiced positive, healthy ways to respond to other’s emotional energy and needs.”
After three summers as a counselor, Matt felt led to volunteer during the summer ministry helping as a relief counselor after work, assisting with check-ins on Sunday afternoons, and helping in the kitchen. Now that Matt is living closer to Wanake, he is helping all year part-time. “I found that my work in the ministry at Wanake has led to a desire to work with the children at my church. I now volunteer for Vacation Bible School and desire to be involved with my church even more. What I appreciate most about Wanake is that kids grow close to God and are in His creation. I hope to see Wanake continue to grow and thrive.”
Your generosity to Camp Wanake makes it possible for people of all ages and stages to experience the love of Jesus, connect with God, grow spiritually, and be at home in God’s creation. Thank you for your support of the ministry we share at Wanake - the beautiful, spiritual place among the hills.