Choosing to come to a place like PVM is a choice of action ... it requires sacrifice, balancing priorities, and even a level of risk-taking. More specifically, when you choose to serve at a place like a summer camp, you are choosing to love. You're choosing to go out of your way to give a gift to other people, to show them compassion and charity and to serve their needs.
I John 4:19 says that "We love because He first loved us." This is extremely important to remember, because it will help you understand exactly what the root of your love is. Without His sacrifice and love for us, we would not be able to serve kids at a summer camp. Hey, without Him we're nothing at all! It all comes back to God, and it's vital to know and understand that before considering any other reasons.
Psalm 139 says it best when this piece of scripture explains how God knew us before we were formed, He knew us while he was knitting us together, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:13,14) He loves us! He loved us before we were created! That's how God loves us (see Ephesians 1:5) ... and that's how we can love the campers.
Understanding this concept will not only help you make the decision about how to spend your summer, but it will also help throughout the summer, as you seek to serve the campers and the other counselors. If you lose sight of His love, it's like walking in the darkness.
2. Because children need you.
We hear it time and time again ... for many of the kids that come to this camp, that one week is the highlight of their entire year. Our campers come from rural Ohio, nearby inner-cities, and all kinds of different families. And to put it simply, summer camp at PVM changes their lives.
What really makes it special, however, is the unique interpersonal setting of Pleasant Vineyard. We keep the camps small ... around 100 campers per week ... so they really get a chance to get to know the people they're with. Plus, they really look up to their counselors – A LOT!
These are the kids who are looking for an adventure of fun and excitement, who are looking for a friend, who are looking for a role model, and who are looking for an answer to their struggles. You could be the person who makes a life-changing impact on a child this year. Developing friendships, building self-esteem, and demonstrating the message of Jesus Christ are just a few ways counselors make a difference in the lives of campers each year at Pleasant Vineyard. Think about sharing your excitement, energy, and joy with children of all ages and help make an eternal difference in the life of a child this summer.
3. Because God wants to do an amazing work in YOU and through you.
An amazing thing about serving at PVM is that you tend to work all summer, expecting to change campers' lives and impacting their futures, only to walk away discovering that you yourself have been changed!
Our mission is, "To help children and teens build on a firm foundation in Christ Jesus by creating a safe and fun camping environment where personal relationships and memorable learning experiences are developed." However, we know that God will also build in you an even stronger foundation as you sacrifically give to kids.
You are one of the primary reasons we are here! To build up Godly men and women leaders who will continue to impact the lives of those around them for the rest of their lives. Expect to be challenged and changed by the amazing love of Jesus Christ this summer.