Every fall and spring semester, Purdue, along with many other universities, have career fairs full of businesses and corporations searching for college students to intern with them over the summer. Students want career experience and an internship is the most traditional way of obtaining that and the “most obvious” way to prepare for the workforce as soon as we graduate.
I am a junior at Purdue with a major in marketing, so naturally I decided to work as a camp counselor at SpringHill… Before you call me crazy or tell me that I should have taken a more traditional route, there really are aspects of being a Summer Leader that will help me in my career field.
Virtues - Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Now, obviously you can learn these things anywhere, but I can look back on my summer so far and see how I’ve been stretched and grown in each one of these areas at SpringHill. This alone means so much to me as I continue through college and into the workforce.
Life Skills - How to solve situational problems on the fly and improve social skills. As a Summer Leader I have to problem solve constantly. I have to analyze and monitor group dynamics. I have to talk to kids and get on their level.
Leadership Skills - Speaking in front of people, leading group discussion in Bible study, leading countless camp songs, and explaining/playing games with small or large groups of campers. I have been trusted to take care of kids, which means I’m being trusted to lead and mentor them. This is a big responsibility and has been a chance for me to step up, speak up, and lead well.
Speaking to parents - Assuring worried parents that their kids will be safe during the week, making a good first impression, the value of a firm handshake and eye contact, and how to ask the important questions in a short amount of time before parents head home. All things that can help me during an interview or on the job as I interact with all sorts of people.
Problem solving/people skills – Knowing what to do when a camper is homesick, scared, stubborn, or just plain sick, how to make the best out of poor or difficult situations, and learning how to work well with my fellow Summer Leaders. Again, being a Summer Leader means getting creative and solving challenging problems. I also have to work with others and realize that not everything is about me, but it’s about the greater good of the group I’m leading.
Every once in awhile I think about what my summer would have looked like had I got a “normal job” like most of my friends. I’d be at home in my own bed, with my friends and family, making more money. But every time I think about it, I become more confident that this is where God wants me. I have had the opportunity to meet people I now call some of my best friends, I’ve been able to tell kids about the Gospel, and I’ve learned important life/career skills.
At SpringHill, we get to further our life experience. Not only are we answering the call to help kids know Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with Him, but we also have the opportunity to learn skills that will go a long way in our job fields. It is a privilege to be a Summer Leader and I couldn’t imagine spending my summer any other way.Written by Jacob Kerr, 2016 Summer Leader. Jacob is a junior at Purdue University pursuing a major in marketing. He is working this summer as an InPursuit counselor at SpringHill Indiana. He loves hanging out with friends, playing basketball, and getting ice cream at Dairy Queen. He has a passion for helping kids grow in their relationship with Christ and hopes God will use him this summer to do exactly that. Jacob will be documenting his experience as a Summer Leader in this blog series. Check out the other posts in this series on life changing experiences and having the right attitude.
We'd love to hear how your experience at SpringHill has impacted your life. Whether it was an experience from this past summer or you're reflecting back on years ago we always encourage sharing of how God is working through SpringHill.