Miss J….RRBC Junior 1

One down, four and a half to go.  The first week of camp ended last Saturday and I have mixed feelings about it.  Six days with five girls in one small cabin is a challenge, but when you add devotions, activities, heat, lost sleep and getting along into the mix, it gets even more difficult. 

I was asked several times this weekend if I had a good week and I struggled answering that question.  Yes and no?  That’s not really an answer, but that’s what I felt like saying. Anyone besides myself would probably say I had a terrible week, but that’s not how I view it.  Yes, it was challenging.  Oh my goodness, more than you know… but I enjoyed it, I grew from it and I feel like I am better because of it. 

Like I said, I had five little girls in my room for the week, they ranged from nine to eleven years of age and they were playful, sweet, typical girls.  But, as the week went on, the excitement and shyness in my cabin changed, they started to get into tiffs about new friends, clutter and getting along in general.  It was rough, but I understood it for the most part.  It’s hard to live in a small room with four other girls that you just met.  No, you’re not going to get along perfectly; I get that.  Believe me.  Every year, when I was a wee little tike, my best friend and I would come to this same camp, stay in the same room and without fail, by the third day, we would be in a fight over our new friends.  So, I get that.  I understand that we can’t get along at all times and arguments happen, but it seemed like this week especially, my cabin just couldn’t contain it or work it out. 

They always seemed to be fighting over this one girl or ganging up on another.  It was awful and I didn’t know how to handle it.  I don’t deal with drama well, especially petty girl problems with each other.  They had problems getting along, controlling tempers, attitude issues and just plain being nice to one another.  It was rough.  And as their counselor, it is my job to help them work things out and make everyone happy again.  I don’t know if you understand how difficult this can be. 

I know I wasn’t in this alone.  I was constantly praying for the words to say or wisdom in how to deal with situations.  I had fellow counselors and staff praying for me as well and God interceded.  He helped me get through the week without pulling my hair out.  He gave me the patience I pleaded for and the wisdom I desired, when I needed it in each situation.  I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who is looking out for us and won’t give us anything more than we can handle. 

                Not only did I have God to rely on this week, but I also had two godly women in particular that were lifesavers.  The camp director’s wife, Judy, and Betsy Brown, the Dean of Women were there for me every step of the way.  They were there for support, advice, relief, prayer and reassurance for me as well as for my girls.  I appreciate the help they gave me last week, but I also am so thankful that we are a part of the same family, the same team…we are sisters in Christ.    “4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:4-5

                 Last week, I was humbled.  End of story.  A good friend of mine reminded me that receiving help from others isn’t a bad thing and we shouldn’t take it personally.  We are in this together and we can learn from our fellow counselors and staff.  I was also brought down to size by my girls.  Before the week started, I had all these great plans for activities and I had pictured how my devotions would pan out.   Yeah…that’s not how it happened.  Don’t hear what I’m not saying.  I enjoyed camp and the devotions went well enough.  I got the point across, but I now know how I can tweak them for this age group to make them more beneficial and meaningful for the kids in the future. 

I feel like last week was just a glimpse of what being a teacher will be like.  Every child will not get a gold star each afternoon.  Each kid’s home life isn’t rainbows and butterflies; sometimes it’s filled with divorced parents, arguing, or even abuse.  It breaks my heart.  I came to this realization too little too late last week.  I wanted one girl to understand that she can’t act this way.  I didn’t understand why she though it was ok, why she continued to act out and why she didn’t get what we had been telling her all week.  I was ignorant and I felt like an awful counselor at times.  But when I stopped and took into account her home life, her background, and everything I had learned about her throughout the week, I realized that I was going about it in the wrong way.  I wasn’t thinking about her as a nonbeliever, I was viewing her and treating her as a kid who has grown up in the church and should know better than to act like that.  I didn’t think about how Jesus was compassionate to those people in town who were looked down on.  I did not have a good attitude about things and I’m sorry I waited until Friday to change.   

I was able to share the gospel with this particular girl several times, I prayed with her, she memorized some scripture and she sat through several devotions and sermons throughout the week.  She seemed to understand what I explained to her, she just needs to break down and accept it.  The seed is planted, and now I’m praying that someone back home waters it now that camp is over. 

 This girl was my most challenging camper I’ve ever had, but I’m so thankful she was in my cabin.  At times, I felt like pulling my hair out, giving up, or pawning her off to someone else because I just didn’t want to deal with her.  But I didn’t.  And I’m so glad.  She was good for me. She stretched my patience, reliance on others and my spiritual life.  I was constantly praying about how to deal with situations.  I was in the Bible looking up scripture about patience, kindness, teaching and prayer.  I was able to connect with the staff and learn from them as they helped me work some issues out with this little girl. 

So, with that being said, I still don’t exactly know how to describe my week.  I guess overall, it was good.  I learned so much, I grew, I was challenged, I was convicted and I am better for it.  Isn’t that what camp is all about?  God used me in this little girl’s life, but He used her in my life just as much.  Thank you Miss J. 

2012-06-30_09

My girls embraced my love for mustaches :-{o  It was awesome!!

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One thought on “Miss J….RRBC Junior 1

  1. I’m reading your blog! 😉 Miss J was a blessing in so many ways; I didn’t get the privilege (?) of living with her, but I know she stretched me and made me think about anger and the gospel and God’s grace to work in any of our hearts. I pray that she eventually accepts the love God has for her! Thank you for your great service and godly example to her. You did a wonderful job! :-})

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