Get up at 6 am, follow with a 30 minutes in a car, 1 hr on a ferry, 20 minutes in a second ferry and suddenly I am at a local camp Keats Camp. Its a camp I have never attended or worked at, so I find myself pondering, why am I really doing this.
2 Reasons: 1) Giving my intern an experience that she will really appreciate as she was a camper and worker at this camp in the past and she may enjoy going out.
2) This one is the most important thing- I headed to camp to visit some of the students from my youth group. 2 of my students were working and 4 younger ones were campers.
Visiting camp for a day is an interesting thing if you aren't connected. You really want it to succeed to show your students you care, but at the same time you realize it may be a huge failure.
My day a combination of both success and failure.
It was a success because one of my students working was super pumped on my being there, I got to hang out with her and go dock jumping with a big group of people, and got to hang out at dinner time.
My second student working was also a success, while I equally wanted to see this student I wasn't able to spend as much time, but got some quality time at dock jumping with her.
So there are my two success' so the failures must have been with the campers.
- This was a failure not because I didn't hang out with them, but because I got totally rejected by them. They were nervous their youth pastor would humiliate them. They waved at me from a distance but they totally treated me as an outsider. It hurt! But I will get past it.
Failure #2 was the camps- They invited myself and two other youth pastors out to visit, we all were their the same day. The failure wasn't the inviting it was the fact they asked one of the youth pastors to get involved and get on stage and be a big presence (he is from the camp and has a huge ministry)
The second youth pastor and I were left to hang out in the background, simply because we weren't as connected. This was a reminder for me, that if I ever invite outsiders to something that you need to be aware of them and make them feel welcome once they are there.
This also got me thinking about what is it like for an "outsider to visit" are my students different with outside friends around or are they themselves, do they make their friends feel welcome. Do I give equal attention to all new students? - I hope so and I will definitely work on it for the future.