During my high school years I was involved with Young Life and absolutely loved it. I loved the relationships I formed with my leaders, I loved hanging out with kids I wouldn't normally hang out with at school, and I loved learning more about God and what it meant to be in a relationship with him.
|my leader and I in high school|
The beginning of my senior year I made the decision to go to Carthage College in Kenosha, WI which was slightly difficult knowing there wasn't a Young Life club in the area. I desired to be more involved with the organization but it wouldn't be entirely possible during my time at Carthage.
After a series of difficult times during my freshman year of college and searching for more adventure in life, my Young Life leader encouraged me to apply for summer staff at Timber Wolf Lake. I came up with a laundry list of reasons as to why this was not a good idea and eventually threw my hands up in the air and said "what the heck, I'll just apply". That 'on a whim decision' led to being accepted to do summer staff and the jeep and I heading to Lake City, MI for the month of July.
I was scared out of my mind for what that month was going to mean for my life, but trusted it was a part of God's journey for me. I was giving up all comfort and the things I knew for something greater than myself. And I loved every minute of it. I experienced deeply rooted community for the first time. I made friendships I still have today. I played just a small part in kids' lives being changed. In fact, I loved it so much that when two friends asked if I wanted to road trip with them to a Young Life camp in New York and do another month of summer staff I said yes. That was one of the biggest risks I've taken so far in life. I agreed to get in a car with 4 guys I just met to go to a foreign place to do summer staff all over again. Let's just say the Lord had his hand over me and blessed me in incredible ways.
|friends from summer staff at timber wolf|
|the guys (minus one) I ventured to lake champion with|
Following that summer of amazing adventure and spending so much time at a Young Life camp I knew the Lord was leading me closer to that in the future. The summer after my sophomore year of college I was hired to be an intern at Timber Wolf Lake. Again I was scared for what was ahead, but trusted it was in the Lord's plan for me. That summer was a time of growth, humility, and learning so much more about the ministry of Young Life through camping.
|timber wolf lake interns 2011|
After spending two summers at a Young Life camp, I simply couldn't imagine not being there for my final summer as a college student, and was delighted when Timber Wolf asked me to return. This time I thought a lot more about Young Life camping as a career and discerning if that was where the Lord was calling me next.
|timber wolf lake interns 2012|
Much thought, prayer, and encouragement from friends led to me apply for the Year-Long internship at Crooked Creek Ranch in October 2012. A few months later I had an interview and then a few months more I was packing to move to the mountains. The day I left tears filled my eyes as I thought of all the Lord has brought me through to be at this point... all the laughter, tears, good times, hard times, fears, and hopes. It was an absolute dream of mine to work at a Young Life camp for a year and the Lord has brought that to be.
Never ever give up on your dreams. Some day you just might be headed west with all your belongings in the back of your car.