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Holly McCamant: Camp counselor has best three weeks at camp ever

I spent the last three weeks at Camp Cherith this summer.

Camp Cherith is this amazing Christian camp that teaches girls and boys how to give up all they have and devote their life to Christ. I was looking forward to this summer for years because I wanted to become a CILT. 

CILT stands for Camper In Leadership Training, and it’s a program for those who wish to become a counselor.

A few weeks before I headed off to camp, I got an email from our director wondering if I would like to participate in the first program of Sweat and Serve ever. I thought it couldn’t hurt as I was a CILT and could do it for free and let’s face it: a free week of camp in any form is wonderful and I couldn’t go to my school’s speed and strength workouts anyways. So I decided to go.

Sweat and Serve is basically like a work week. Our group of six girls cleaned the bathrooms, shower house, dining hall, washed dishes, wacked thistles in the horse pasture, moved firewood and more.

This sounds boring and some people wouldn’t want to do it. However, Sweat and Swerve is actually a lot of fun. Through all the work we did, our group of girls became incredibly close and spent every bit of free time together.

We worked hard, but we played hard.

Our work wasn’t broadcasted to the world but it was better that way. You really feel like you’re serving for the Lord and keeping one of his most important places running.

The next two weeks I became close with my cabin mates in a different style as my CILT started. It’s very intense and the next two weeks all of those in the program together.

One of our most interesting bonding experiences was going camping out in the woods across the lake away from camp’s facilities. We dug our own fire pit and set up our tent on the (very bumpy) ground. With our 40 percent Deet bug spray and some people with knowledge of fire pit digging (not me), we survived and thrived in that glorious place.

Also, some of us canoed back to camp to drop off trash, and there is hardly anything as a pretty as canoeing at around 10 in such a peaceful place full of nature.

The other thing that forced us to get to know each other quick was planning a program called all camp. Every week on Thursday we have this big game with the whole camp where all ages, from early elementary to high school, are mixed up and split into groups. Those groups go around to various places around camp and complete tasks.

Planning all camp was a lot of work but a lot of fun. We were lucky enough to have the theme be the movie “Frozen.” We cast characters, planned stations, snacks, transitions, decorations, a skit, decided where the staff would be and planned the songs and a message afterwards.

It turned out really well, and we had stations like building a snowman, troll sing-a-long and dance and an Arendelle mattress sledding competition. The Duke of Weselton with his crony and Prince Hans stopped teams and taught them to dance like a chicken and peacock. The staff that got their parts did a perfect job acting them out.

The next week was a lot less stressful as we only had to plan a worship service. We were lucky and got to work with a younger cabin and see how they did things. I got placed with a cabin with older elementary school kids and a wonderful counselor.

The counselor for that cabin taught me the less chaotic way of doing cookout with Trailblazers (that age division we had) and how to do the other activities with them. I managed to do a one-match fire and have probably the best week of camp ever.

Sailing was a little rougher my last week there as I tried solo sailing for the first time. The first attempt was rough; I went off course and ended up having to use the tiller to go across Lake Six to get back. Capsizing by myself also took a little work; I’m pretty sure my first attempt to get the boat down took five minutes. However, eventually I got the hang of it and can sail by myself.

I learned so many things at camp from fire starting to how to distract Trailblazers to how to capsize by myself. Most importantly, I learned how to dedicate my whole life to God. Now it’s time to take my knowledge and use it in the real world.

Holly McCamant is a junior at Frazee-Vergas High School.