IMG_4335Hello! My name is Melissa and I am the counselor of Cabin 7 for the second year in a row!

This summer has been awesome so far and I have been making some fantastic memories with my fellow staff and campers. God has also been teaching me new truths this year…it feels like I just keep learning more and more lessons, but there is always somehow more to learn! Sanctification is a long process! I am glad that we can be confident “that HE who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. “ –Philippians 1:6 NIV

Me with my junior high campers!  (I'm in the back above the donkey's head!)

Me with my junior high campers!
(I’m in the back above the donkey’s head!)

This past week of Junior camp (3rd-5th graders) opened my eyes to how God sees us as His children and how He chooses to treat us regardless! Being the week with the youngest campers all summer, I knew it would be a fairly exhausting but extremely fun and hilarious experience. I love children! However, as all parents, babysitters, and counselors know, spending 6 days with a cabin full of 8 & 9 year olds can really test your patience! Trying to make your way through the cluttered cabin full of towels and swimsuits that weren’t hung up, repeating and clarifying directions over and over, chasing after wandering campers all around the camp, and trying to get your cabin to be quiet and go to sleep at night was a hard battle each day.

I was struggling to stay sane, get enough sleep, and have the strength to just get through the week when I was struck with a brilliant truth in chapel on Tuesday night. We were singing the song “Child of God.” He did SO much for us just so we could be His child. And now, even though we mess up, disobey, don’t listen, wander around, do our own thing, have to be told things over and over, and don’t shut up, God still loves His children – us – unconditionally. We sinners are probably so frustrating to deal with, but our Father still chooses to love us, care for us, and be patient with us every single day. He shows us an exorbitant amount of grace, mercy, and compassion, and He never loses his cool when dealing with us.

Goofy outfits & jumping in the pool ... all in a day's work at camp!

Goofy outfits & jumping in the pool
… all in a day’s work at camp!

Goofy outfits & jumping in the pool… all in a day’s work at camp! It was such a great picture of how I should treat my campers in my cabin, each and every week, even if they are disobedient, frustrating, or wandering around. Since I am daily shown so much love and patience as God’s child, I can have His strength (the Holy Spirit) to show the same love and patience to the children in my cabin each week. That is how I am called to live as a Christ-follower in general. The love and attention and unconditional grace that I show these girls with God’s power may be the best picture of God’s love that they have experienced thus far in their life. What a wonderful opportunity! With that truth in mind, it was so much easier to be patient and loving as a counselor the rest of the week. Check out this quote from Corrie Ten Boom…she must have known all about camp counseling!

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”

Melissa Ruhlman
Cabin 7 Camp Counselor