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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

More than Meets the Eye

First question my older brother asked me after he picked me up from my Summer job was "What is one word or phrase that could sum up your experience this summer?" After thinking about it, I said, "The tagline of the theme really sums up the summer - More than Meets the Eye."

Because when you look at all of the photos and videos that I took over the summer, you can get one kind of impression of how the summer went. In all honesty, there is so much more to it than what the photos and videos show. This summer, for me, was truly one of a lifetime. I enjoyed every minute of it - even the moments when things got a little tough. This summer was about hope. I can honestly say that I had never really thought of hope as a matter of perspective. I'm not entirely sure what I thought hope was before this summer, but I know I had never thought of it like this. All of our bottom lines ("Today's Truth"s) started with the same two words - hope sees. That right there sets it as a matter of perspective.

The first night of staff training, they talked about how we have a choice to look at situations through the lens of the temporary - what is here and now and could easily be taken away - or through the lens of the eternal - what is permanent and given by God. That was the challenge we, as summer staff, were given - to change how we look at the situations before us. This is also where our theme verse came into play.

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

— 2 Cor. 4:18 NLT

The ultimate goal is eternity with Christ. If we become so focused on the troubles that we face here on Earth, then we lose sight of that. It is so easy to get fixated on our troubles. To get wrapped up in all of the temporary things that this life has to offer us. When we take the time to look at our troubles through the lens of the eternal - through the lens of hope - things change. How we approach the troubles change. Not saying that this will make our troubles disappear, because that definitely does not happen. I'm also not saying that you will never ever get wrapped up in your troubles - because I definitely got wrapped up in one of mine recently. When we take the time to look at our troubles through the lens of hope, they don't seem quite as big and bad any more. At least that is what I have found.

In all seriousness, my summer was one of a lifetime! I truly enjoyed being the Media Specialist for the WinShape Camps for Communities Green Team. It was a complete honor to be able to serve my team and the hosts through capturing all of the their memories for them. Not everyone would find it enjoyable to be on the sidelines for about 99.97% of the time. My team did an awesome job reminding me that I needed to be involved too. That this was also my summer and I needed to make memories of my own. Because like it is easy to get wrapped up in your troubles, it is easy to get wrapped up in your specific role at camp and forget to simply enjoy it. Not that I did not enjoy my role, but it was more fun when I got to mix it with other things too. I really loved how I was able to serve my team in more ways than just their memory catcher. When they needed help with their skill or team time or even just an ear to listen, they knew that they could ask me for help.

But in regards to being their memory catcher... With the way my team was, my job was never dull. There was always something worth capturing and laughing my head off at later in the editing process. But the community I found within my team was amazing! I hope that everyone can find community like that at some point in their lives. The constant encouragement and challenges presented were excellent. Getting comfortable in your role and where you were at was definitely not an option, which kept things interesting and fun. The Green Team was a family for the summer. We relied on each other as families do. We were vulnerable and honest. Yes, there were moments when we got on each others's nerves, but we always resolved those problems (and no one ever stayed mad for long).

These twenty-six people, I had the pleasure of calling my family for the summer are some of the best people I have ever met in my life! They all hold a very special place in my heart that will never be taken by anyone else. It was an unbelievable honor to be able to transform communities with the message of Jesus Christ with these people. We truly lived the dream and rocked the pool - all day, every day; by everybody, everywhere.

If this sounds like an experience you'd like to have, apply to be a part of the WinShape Staff!

Until next time... Kara

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