From July 4th to August 8th, I participated in the Baby Ruths program at Pine Cove. Basically, I was assigned to a camp (the Timbers) with five other girls. We were placed under the authority of a "Mama Ruth," Sheryl. During the five weeks we worked to keep the camp as spic-and-span as possible, mostly with the aid of the cleaning chemical Spic-and-Span. We also helped with dishes and kitchen responsibilities and ran the tills at the camp store.
We participated in an intense Bible Study called the Gauntlet, ran by Jeff and Jason, where we studied women of the Bible, character traits, and memorized scripture. There were also mentorship opportunities with the director's wives, and practical skills learned along the way.
If this post seems dull and undetailed, it's because it has to be. A large component of the program is not knowing where you're going till you get there, or what you're doing till you're doing it. Half the time our mama would wake us up, so we didn't even know how much sleep we would get when we laid our heads down at night. It was a great experience, learning to let go of control and trusting in the program. To be honest, the first week I slept horribly because I was so anxious about what the next day would bring, but then I realized, they wouldn't make us do anything dangerous. They wouldn't make us do anything we couldn't physically do, or something they wouldn't make their own daughters do. If we were hungry, we would be fed on schedule, and if we were hot and nasty sweaty, we would be inside by the end of the day.
I was thinking on the way home about the opportunities I had this summer. I was invited to participate in a student leadership conference in Prague. I also had the opportunity to go to Greece with my family. I would enjoy visiting those places one day, but I'm glad I didn't miss out on this opportunity. I learned more about community and myself, and more about who I want to become than any other experience I could have chosen. Yes, it was exhausting and frustrating at different points, but what I gained by serving was worth it.