My name is Katherine Muegge. I was on high school staff as an LIT (leader in training) at Camp Gilead in the summer of 2013. It was the best summer I’ve had so far. The summer before working I was at family camp and I had to decide between working at Gilead or another local day camp. I had been talking about it with some people and praying, trying to figure out what I should do. I was at high school camp when one of the counselors gave their testimony and said that if you ever have the chance to work at Camp Gilead, do it. So I did and it was a great decision.
1. Cleaning bathrooms and doing dishes CAN be fun
People on high school staff have 3 main jobs. One is cleaning the bathrooms, another is working in the kitchen where you serve and do the dishes, and lastly we do anything else we are told to do. When most people think of cleaning dishes and bathrooms all they think of is chores and hard work. Being at Gilead though seems to make everything better. Things that might not be fun at home become fun while on high school staff because you are working with great friends. We would sing and race to beat our last times in the kitchen. I found out cleaning bathrooms is a great time to get to know your fellow staffers better.
2. High school staffers get to know the campers too
When you are on high school staff you get assigned to a new cabin every week. Every day when it is the councilor’s hour off you take their cabin for that hour. Also you go to their other activities with them when you have time. It is a lot of fun to have campers ask questions about your life and working at camp. Having been a camper I remember looking up to all the staff members, thinking about how cool they were and wanting to be on staff one day just like them. It was so awesome to know that the campers looked up to you. I loved serving the campers food early in the morning when they were all tired. We were super energetic and excited to serve them even when we didn’t have energy. Sometimes they were the ones to help us get through being tired by making us laugh.
3. You make friends for life
This last summer I made lifelong friends. My 16th birthday was on a Sunday and we have a staff meeting Sunday nights so I wasn’t really able to do anything that I thought would be really special for my “Sweet16”. When I got to camp that night I was really surprised. The room that I shared with 2 other girls was decorated with balloons, streamers, presents, cards, a poster, and a cake. I expected maybe one or 2 people to remember but practically everyone did. I just felt so loved and blessed to have so many amazing friends. Also now when I have seen my friends from camp during the year it’s never awkward. We always have so much to talk about. Also there are so many amazing role models that worked at camp. I learned a lot from them.
I remember how everyone got sick during the same week of camp. Everyone was miserable, looking to see who had extra cough drops, and keeping up roommates because we couldn’t stop coughing. There was a time where we had a camper that everyone had stories about to make us laugh. One time we were cleaning the bathrooms and two councilors walk by holding said camper by his arms because he said his legs were paralyzed. There are so many inside jokes that I could talk about but only the girls who were on high school staff would understand.
5. It’s ok to be alone
Before being on staff I always felt like I needed to be with people. I felt super weird and awkward if there weren’t other people around. At camp there were some times where I was alone. Sometimes it was because I chose to be and other times I had to be. I realized how peaceful it actually is to be alone. It gives you time to think about so many things or just talk to God for a while. If there was something I had to by myself then I would feel really good about it afterwards because I did it myself. I also realized that being alone is a good thing for everyone to do because it kind of helps you to be yourself and not focus on what other people are doing.
High School Staff 2013 & Coming Back in 2014!