August 2-7 was a life-changing week for me. Why? To a lot of people, it could have been considered an average week, but there was something key in it for me.
I spent the week as a counselor/team/small group leader at Christian Youth Theater's Resident Teen Camp. It was probably the weirdest experience I've ever had as a leader at a camp, but it was amazing. I've not been stretched like this in years. I spent the entire week completely out of my comfort zone, and I grew so much. Every moment was a challenge for me to be outgoing, and worse, myself! (I know, it's a strange concept to actually be oneself!) I had a lot of awkward moments where the Enemy tried to make me feel like an idiot, but God helped me get through it by reminding me over and over again that who I am is right because that's how He made me, and if other people can't accept that, that isn't my problem.
I also was reminded that that is how I'm supposed to view and accept and love others: just as they are - the way God made them. What a humbling, awesome experience.
Beyond that, I had one of the most fun weeks in several years. I am a theater person, much as I sometimes try to quiet that part of my personality. I hide it not because I'm ashamed, but because others in my life don't always deem it acceptable. How sad, that I should deny who I am out of fear of rejection? If people are rejecting who you are, find other people! Find your tribe!
I've found another piece of my tribe, and I'm so happy. I met some new forever friends last week, and they experienced me both at my craziest theatrical self, and my most insecure. I've always found it hard to make friends, but these people took me at face value, and don't treat me like I'm weird. It's refreshing.
I also spent a lot of time with some AMAZING teens. Most of my time was dedicated to my cabin/small group of 15&16 year old ladies, and my Pink team that I co-led. Even without their ridiculous gifts in musical theater, these are some of the most incredible, God-loving, funny, kind teenagers I have spent time with. I love them so much, and I've been going through withdrawls over the last few days!
I'll stop blabbing now, and post a couple of pictures. :) I borrowed them from Bethany Larson unless otherwise noted.
Part of the Pink Team (my co-leader, Tyler, is to my left in this picture, wearing the pink shoes)
Some of the other Counselors: Annalise, Jesse, Sara, Larry, Aaron, & Samantha
My girl Jenna was the counselor next door (photo by Jenna)
Annalise and I (photo by Brandon Angelo)
More of the Pink Team!