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I’ve been at camp for one week now, and there are countless little things running around in my head. I’m going to try to gather my thoughts a little bit and reflect on what has happened and what I’ve learned so far.

Don’t always believe first impressions. Whenever you meet a group of new people, there are always first impressions. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of taking a first impression of someone and letting that determine the future of your relationship with that person in either a negative or positive way. Volunteering at camp, I might meet someone and think something like, “Oh, they are totally my type–I’m going to get along great with them,” or maybe, “Hmm, I just don’t click with this person at all.” And many times I’m surprised that halfway through the summer, I’ve actually become super good friends with the person I wasn’t too sure about, or I actually wasn’t as similar as I thought I was to that other girl. So, keep an open mind about everyone you meet. Don’t assume that a first impression will always stay the same once you get to know someone.

Communication is vital. For a team to be a team, each member has to be willing to communicate clearly and often to one another. But not only do they have to share information, but they must also follow that information and apply it to their actions, or else they’ll just end up with misunderstandings and less-effective ministry.

Stay focused on what’s really important in life. Life is too short to spend it on self-gratification, entertainment, or a successful career. Only what’s done for Christ will last.

The people working in the background are just as important as the people on the front lines. At camp, the people on the front lines, like the counselors, program staff, and speakers, are the ones that seem to be doing all the work and usually get most of the credit for a successful ministry and positive results. But they realize that they are only doing half of the work, and that without the faithfulness and diligence of everyone behind the scenes, such as the kitchen crew, hospitality staff, and maintenance guys, it would be impossible for anything to get accomplished.

All members of the team need to work together toward a common goal rather than forming smaller groups or cliques and focusing on their buddies or themselves. We have to remember why we are here in the first place, and not let our focus get off track. It’s important to build relationships with the purpose of working toward the main reason that God has us in the place we are.

One is worth more than all. One soul saved from eternal death is worth more than the whole world.

Everyone is different, but everyone is equally valuable and needed.  Part of our staff training was taking a short personality test and being given one of four personality types based on our answers, which were put on a graph. The four choices were Expressive, Amiable, Analytical, or Driver. I wound up with Analytical/Amiable (not at all surprising), but the other members of our staff were a fairly even mix of all four (except for Driver, which only three of the group got). But it proved to show that every person is different in some way. Even people within the same group were never in the exact position on the graph. Everyone is different, yet equally valuable and necessary to complete the team.

You can’t have a unified team without trust. People who don’t trust each other are going to have problems with unity. Power comes through unity. For God to do great things in our lives, we have to be willing to trust the people that we work with, but that means that we also have to be worthy of each other’s trust.

Your boldness in speaking out the gospel is directly related to your level of brokenness and whether or not you are filled with the Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit is dependent on your relationship with the word of Christ and whether you are fully surrendered to His work in every area of your life (Ephesians 5:18-21 and Colossians 3:16).

On another exciting note, I also received my CPR/First Aid certification last weekend! So if you suddenly collapse or have trouble breathing or cut your arm while I’m around, I will (hopefully) be ready and prepared to assist you out of your life-threatening condition.

God has done a lot of cool and interesting things throughout these first two weeks of staff training, and I’m looking forward to what He will do as the summer continues.