For the past couple of weeks I have been working on being intentional about getting to know each member of my team. Summer tour has begun to open my eyes to how each person is different, everyone’s crazy quirks and what they care about most. All 8 of us are so different, and there are definitely times when we butt heads, but at the end of the day we all know that we can lean on each other because we have the most important thing in common.
Tommy is my older brother. Since the beginning he has made it a point to reach out and get to know me and figure out what makes me tick. He sees the needs of each of the team members and is able to adjust his leadership style depending on which team member he is serving. When he talks to me, he isn’t afraid to tell me what I need to hear, and when I need something from him he never hesitates to do what is best for me.
Will is like a brother, too, but more of the annoying type at times. :) He is so outgoing and always full of joy, and he cares so much about the people in his life. He loves teasing me and sometimes does things to intentionally annoy me, but I am beginning to understand he does it because he loves me. A couple of times now I have teased him back or teamed-up with him to play a joke on someone else, and I believe that in this way he knows that I love him, too.
Dane is finally at home in his camp environment. Once we hit Lake Ann soil, out came Dane’s dart gun and soccer ball and camp-counselor personality. At the Fresh Start Skit Night, we performed a Facebook skit and he went jumping around the campfire shouting “BE MY FRIEND! BE MY FRIEND!” and ever since, counselors have asked him to do that every week. Whenever I’m feeling unsure or uncomfortable, I know I can go hang out with Dane and take my cue from him and his crazy camp personality.
Grant has taken the longest for me to get to know, but I think I’m starting to see his goofy side. He, Dane, Jo and I were eating pizza by Lake Michigan and he committed to eating an entire pizza. Once he was done, it was his idea to try to stand on his head, and ONLY his head, for a split second while I tried to take a picture of it. After about 5 tries, we gave up and he tried about a dozen other jumping/leaping/diving shots (I discovered I’m a bad action photographer). I am so glad that Grant is becoming such a wonderful worship leader and friend to me.
Dexter is so committed to these kids and to his time with God. Any time we try to get people together before or after the service, he’s usually the one missing because he is talking to a camper or group of campers. He will wait and eat lunch an hour later than the rest of us if it means he can eat with a camper that he met earlier that day in chapel. Other times I will see him with his Bible open or his 3x5 cards with Psalm 103 written on them, memorizing and meditating on Scripture. He has inspired me in my walk with God and my relationship with the campers I meet.
Joellyn and I are the ones who butt heads. We are SO similar in personality, but have different interests, and when both of our OCD natures have different ideas of perfect, we meet at a wall. But we have had a chance to talk it out, and I am discovering that a huge part of working as a team is compromise and sacrifice. A silly example is hand motions for one of the junior songs; we took a couple of motions from each of our childhoods and put them together for a new set of motions that we teach the campers together every week. Joellyn has also become my accountability partner on this team. She sees things about me that I don’t see and is not afraid to call me out when she sees something I’m doing wrong. It has taken some time, but I am so thankful to be friends with Joellyn and to have a chance to travel with her this summer.
Rachel is so easy to connect with. From the beginning, she has reached out to every person on our team, seeking to connect on an emotional level. She’s not afraid of being rejected if that means she tried, but thankfully the two of us both sought to connect with each other. We have talked so much all year and this summer, and for some reason our two very different personalities have connected and we have become wonderful friends. I am just as thankful for her as I am of Joellyn, and I know that God did not make a mistake when He put the three of us girls on this team together.
I have been reminding myself since the beginning of the summer that God has me here for a reason. While struggling to find my place and sometimes wishing I could be a counselor again, I have kept asking God to show me why I’m here. But you know, I would not trade this for anything else in the world. I have known from the beginning that I am supposed to be on HeartSong, and even if there’s no defining moment like there was on Fall Break Tour, I am so content to be in the middle of God’s will this summer. I know that I am supposed to be here, member number 8 on HeartSong Green Team.