Summer is officially over at Woodleaf. Our camping season ended Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the last group of our campers and leaders left; and Sunday saw the goodbye of the third session Assignment Team and the Summer Staff and the WorkCrew.
I am so grateful for all who came to Woodleaf this summer and gave of their time, their service, all for the purpose of bringing high schoolers (and one 5 day session of Middle Schoolers) to the feet of Jesus.
EVERYTHING that is done at camp, from the program team entertaining our campers, the leaders who counsel their high school friends, the speaker who has the privilege of telling campers the greatest love story ever told, to the people who spend hours in the kitchen preparing the meals, those who keep you safe on the ropes course and tower, the lifeguards who watch you closely, the boys who empty the garbage, the gals who clean the toilets, the wranglers who keep you safe at the track and on the rides, the doctors and paramedics who are here to help you when you are sick or injured, to the crew that manages the sound system, the girls that served you delicious whirleys, or who helped you make a craft or sold you special merchandise at the store, along with the one who recorded your week to view again and again; EVERYTHING is done with the purpose of allowing our friends to hear the Good News of how much Jesus Christ loves them.
But there is a very special group of people who came for 13 weeks to help the property staff accomplish all that is needed to be done in order to have a fun and successful camping season.
This year we were privileged to have 17 young adults from all over the country serving here to make this place " the best week of your life" to thousands of high school kids.
This group is called Interns, as they are here to learn what it looks like to work and live on a Young Life Property. Every Young Life camp has interns that come and serve for the entire summer.
This year at Woodleaf, Our Interns (affectionately dubbed "Winterns" by themselves) was THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL group I have ever gotten to be involved with.
The entire group had such incredible hearts to serve Jesus wholeheartedly. They always had a smile on their face, they worked ridiculously long hours without complaining and loved each other so well.
It was not a summer without difficulties. They endured tragedy and sorrow and comforted and encouraged each other thru some really hard times. But they also had FUN. They thoroughly enjoyed each others company, they developed deep and lasting friendships and experienced community like never before. They lived in crammed and tight quarters, but they cooked for each other and served each other. There was MANY late night discussions (and you think we didn't know!) that were real, honest and vulnerable.
These Winterns worked tirelessly and they were playful too. They loved each other with abandon.
For eight different summers, I have had the immense privilege and opportunity to lead the amazing and talented interns. Each summer has been unique. Each group different but all here to serve Jesus. Each and every intern at each and every camp deserves our appreciation.
Thank you doesn't seem to be adequate, but the gratefulness I feel, is one that words can't fully express.
This will be my last time to be an Intern boss, and what a gift this group of 17 has been to me. Going out with the BEST.
WINTERNS FOR THE WIN!!