Working as a Team

Staff orientation week, Joey in in the red shirt!

Staff orientation week, Joey in the red shirt!

When I first set foot on the gravel parking lot in 2015 for my second year as a camp counselor at Hidden Acres, I didn’t know what to expect. Being a second year counselor meant there were higher expectations. I was going to be a leader, one of the guys that had the answers. I knew I was going to learn new things as well, but God showed me more than I could have imagined.

Single Moms Camp was my first week on the job. At the start I was nervous—tense, but excited at the same time. The week turned out to be my personal best! I actually handled every situation very well. I found I was a leader for the other male counselors and I used my experience to demonstrate maturity. It was a good feeling being independent and not having to ask for help. When the week was over I knew I had done a great job.

So naturally when kids’ camp came two weeks later I was pretty confident. I was ready to do things and be a leader!

That pride got tackled down quickly though. The kids, as awesome they were, were a handful. At first I tried to do everything myself. I tried to be the hero who could handle whatever came my way. But as the week went on and I pushed towards this goal I found myself tiring out and getting more and more drained. Being a counselor takes energy, so something needed to change. With still half a week left, it was time for a new game plan. I had no choice but to take a step back and let God take control.

I realized I wouldn’t be able to do things alone, so I turned to my co-counselor. We needed to work together as a unit, not as two separate individuals.

Working together and supporting each other worked out perfectly! When I needed to take a break from a camper he would step in. If he needed help entering into a new activity I encouraged him. This kind of teamwork was a new experience for me. From it I learned that to be a true leader in whatever situation God brings me into, I can’t have my pride get in the way and think I’m on a solo mission when actually I am in a community that has been put in place to work as a whole unit. We can do more together than what I can do as an individual.

Joey Winterbottom

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