The community found at Lakeside is like no other I have ever experienced. It’s not just a group of people coming together by force or obligation, but rather by a common mission. I’m not coming back to Lakeside because it is the best paying, most fun, or the easiest thing I could engage in all summer, rather I’m coming back to Lakeside because of the community. Lakeside is not just something I can do; it is something I can be apart of.
I first came to Lakeside in hopes of experiencing God, creating friends, and making some money along the way. However I didn’t realize how much more I would receive. I not only learned how much I love to have fun and act like a complete kid, but I learned how good it is to be with a group of people engaging in a common vision, love, and mission. Yes, Lakeside might seem like a common camp as we play Battle Flags, eat meals, tube, and dress up in crazy outfits, but it is so much more because we have a support system striving towards a common goal to point people towards God.
When I applied to Lakeside I didn’t know how fun it would be to lead a cabin activity where my campers were covered in shaving cream and blue juice. I didn’t know how involved I would become going on an imaginary bear hunt. I didn’t know how much I would cry hearing and seeing the brokenness of the girls in my cabin. I didn’t know how hard it would be to stay awake and upbeat each day. I didn’t know how much I would learn about myself by leading a cabin. And finally I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with the campers and staff. For Lakeside isn’t just a camp where friendships are made, fun is had, and worship is held. It is a place where God-intended community is found.
Shannon Peterson is a student at Gordon College and will be returning this summer to join our summer ministry leadership team.