This past summer, I worked as a camp counselor at Ridge Haven in Brevard, NC. This was my first summer working at a camp, so going into the job, I really didn’t know what to expect. It didn’t take me long to realize that I loved the job and was very thankful God had given me the opportunity to spend my summer at Ridge Haven. The work was hard, the kids weren’t perfect, the days were long, the nights felt too short, but it was an awesome summer that I won’t soon forget. I saw myself grow spiritually and in maturity even by the end of week two, not even halfway through the summer. Before going off to Brevard, I wondered to myself if I should have applied for a job that paid more or related to my field of study more than being a camp counselor. However, now that summer is over, I know I made the right decision.
It’s true, being a camp counselor doesn’t pay as much as a lot of other summer jobs. I actually made more money the previous summer working for facilities here at Covenant, so it’s not necessarily the big, prestigious paid internships that pay more than working at a camp. I had plenty of better paying options that I could have taken this summer, but instead I worked at a summer camp.
It’s easy to choose a summer job for the pay, especially since it is only for the summer, but I think the overall experience should be the deciding factor. The way I see it, you only have three summers between your years as an undergrad -- only three summers with minimal responsibilities, lots of energy, and youth. One day, for most of us, summer will mostly be a change of weather while our lives continue as they normally do year round. I think while you’re given these three summers, you should use them to make memories, enjoy God’s world, and preach His kingdom to others.
This looks different for everyone, of course. For some, this might mean making no money at all and living in another country, serving others to further Christ’s ministry. While for others it could mean working a job that pays fairly well, but still brings glory to God and seeks to help others. I’m not against making money, I just think that should not be the deciding factor in finding a summer job.
Anyone who knows me will know this is a pretty crazy thing to hear from me. Simply put, I’m financially reckless. I spend way too much and don’t budget well at all. Money is something it seems like I always need more of. Yet, here I am saying that I’m okay not making loads of it this summer. I was given the opportunity to present the gospel to over 30 kids this summer, and that’s only counting the ones who were in my cabins. I know that being able to share the love of Christ with others is far more important than any amount of money I could have earned. Sharing with others what God has done in my life and through me is capable of having an eternal impact, and that’s something a few extra thousand dollars in my bank account could never do.