Andrew loves the crazy games: light-up pool noodle battles at night, Counselor Hunt by day. “It’s just really fun sitting up at chapel and watching the chaos happen,” he said. He’s over six feet tall, but still Andrew’s body can barely contain his effervescent personality.
A sophomore at West Virginia University, he spent the 2023 summer as a program team member at Seneca Hills. He helped set the schedule, facilitate zipline and high ropes courses, and plan, teach, and run those crazy games.
He spent the previous summer as a counselor. And the summer 2021 in the kitchen. As a child Andrew camped at Seneca Hills and tagged along when his parents were guest leadership staff.
As a kid, Andrew enjoyed camp for the chance to be in the woods and with friends. But now, “it’s a place where you can just feel so close to God.”
“It’s like you don’t even have to try,” he said. “It’s just so easy to feel like God’s here.”
As a camper, Andrew said he was influenced by so many positive role models, people who he may not remember but who set a picture of how to live as a Christian. He saw the summer staff modeling Christian living in how they conducted themselves, even when circumstances were difficult.
Now, he gets to be the one trying to set that example. “I’m leaving this impression. That’s what the Bible calls us to do, and it’s so cool to be a part of that,” he said.
Andrew said he vividly remembers accepting Christ with his mom as a young child. But sometimes his faith was on autopilot. At camp, “it’s like I get to experience Christ again for the first time in a new and different way,” he said. “I don’t think I’d be the person I am without camping.”
He remembers his counselor in 2019, how they spent hours talking about everything from their struggles to Sponge Bob. “We got to connect, and he got to be that mentor to me that I needed,” he said. “It was such an impressionable time, an experience I needed.”
Then last year, as a counselor himself, Andrew found himself on the other end of an hours-long conversation; same place, same time. “It kind of all came full circle. It was just the coolest, coolest thing where you were just like ‘Wow, God, you’re cool.’ That feeling you get when you see His plan continuing.”
Andrew still talks to his former counselor. And Andrew’s former camper is working now at Seneca Hills. “That wouldn’t be able to happen anywhere else other than camp,” he said. The dining hall is Andrew’s favorite place. He loves good food, but it’s also a great way to connect and lay the framework for deeper conversations later. “Jesus went around and ate with people and connected with them,” he said. “It’s getting to do that, connect with campers over delicious food.”
Of course, not every moment of working at camp is deep conversations and happy memories. When days are hard and it’s hot and he gets frustrated, he remembers what his dad told him one day when he was complaining.
“He said, ‘Man if that’s the worst thing that happened in your day then it’s a really good day.’ And I think I’ve thought that every single day that I’ve worked here. It’s a great day,” he said. “I get to experience God’s work and God’s love every single day. It’s just such an honor to work here.”
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