COUNSELORS--AT THE HEART OF OUR MISSION!
It is almost time for summer camp and we are so excited! And that reminds us of the crucial part of a meaningful camp experience for those youth who will be coming. That is, the wonderful young adults who serve as camp counselors. They guide and teach campers about God's love for them. They ensure that campers feel welcomed and stay safe. They demonstrate by example what it means to love and care for one another as God has called us to do.
Recruiting, interviewing and hiring counselors takes months, but it is time well spent. Primary responsibility for this falls to Michael Megraw, Assistant Executive Director. This year, more than 150 young people have applied for the opportunity to work through the summer as staff. There is a rigorous screening and interviewing process to select some seventy people. Once selected, there is a two week, 12-hour per day, training period, with ongoing training throughout the season. Many counselors are certified lifeguards, and some are also trained as horse wranglers or rope course leaders.
Criteria for being a camp counselor include:
- a strong faith in Jesus Christ and commitment to one's own spiritual journey;
- a love for children and youth, and an ability to work with them;
- a willingness to live in an intentional Christian community throughout the summer;
- a serving spirit and ability to be flexible;
- a commitment to be present at the camp from Sunday through Friday each week, with little to no time for family and friends.
There are significant physical demands associated with being a counselor. These include: long hours; variable weather including hot days, summer storms and tornado warnings; keeping up with energetic youth in their games and activities; hiking and swimming. One also has to give up the notion of having much privacy!
Dan Scheneman, HPC director, says, "Hiring our summer staff is the most important thing we do. Great counselors are essential in providing the best experience for the thousands of kids who come to camp each summer."
Counselors come from all over the United States and, sometimes, even from foreign countries. They are at the heart of our mission to teach children and youth about living in fellowship with God in His wonderful creation, and building community with one another. The hiring process is carefully handled, and each year God blesses Heartland Center with wonderful staff and counselors for the young people we serve. Thanks be to God!
A Bit of History. . . . The Cookie Lady
"Is she here yet? was often heard from staff in anticipation. Of who? Why the "cookie lady," of course. The staff wanted to get a treat before all were gone. Maude, who lived in Trenton, MO, would bake cookies from the time she got home until the time she got back to camp where she would "just help out."
The counselors loved Maude, her treats and her grandmotherly presence. There was no job description for Maude. She came to volunteer during the weeks when her pastor was directing a camp during the 1960's. She became a first aid provider, treating minor scrapes and bruises; a helper in the kitchen, and a resource in any other way she could by giving others a hand. For a few years Maude spent many weeks of the summer volunteering her time and attention, making a difference in young and grown up lives with cookies and love.
"Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make the world around us
Like the heavens above."
People are saying...
We couldn't ask for a better setting for our team-building and training event.
It was a great day for all of us! Thank you.
Doing a zip line was something on my bucket list--and you certainly made it fun.I appreciated your patience in strapping me in--getting me settled on the platform --and then catching me at the other end. So here's a heartfelt thank you for "making my day." --91 y/o guest
Heartland Center -- June Groups
Please keep the following groups in your prayers as they spend a special time here at HPC in June.
- Kingwood Church
- Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
- LDS Kansas CIty Stake
- Kansas CIty Hospice Camp Erin
- LDS New Mark Stake
- Vineyard Church-Kansas City North
- Liberty Christian Fellowship
- Vineyard Church-Overland Park