September is nearly over, the fiscal year is ending, and my contract at the Wilds is in full swing. It is still hard for me to believe that I am on contract staff at the Wilds! I praise the Lord often for blessing me with the opportunity to serve at camp and still pursue my marine endeavors. Once summer camp was through for me I kept busy getting ready for my cooking contract. Now that it has started I am keeping busy cooking!
My birthday was a few days after camp ended and I got to go ziplining with one of my good friends to celebrate. Man, it was seriously a blast and worth every bit of money. Surprisingly, the day was booked and went very well. After ziplining at The Gorge in Saluda, NC we went to Hendersonvile for an ear appointment I had scheduled for the ear I messed up at camp (ask me if you’re interested in more info). When we were done we headed to Brevard, ate some barbecue, went to Dolly’s, bought peaches at a farmer’s food stand, and visited friends at camp as we were passing through. Once we got back to Greenville we watched the new Wolverine movie and probably ate dinner somewhere… I don’t remember. What a great day!
After my birthday I drove home to see family in Jacksonville, NC. I got to take my brother and sister and another friend up to Williamsburg, VA to go to Busch Gardens. We had an exciting time there and even got to ride all the roller coasters! The day of Busch Gardens we got up early and made it to the park in time for opening. After spending the entire day in the park (and winning prizes at the carnival games) we headed to my best friend’s from high school house to stay the night. The following morning we slept in a little, cooked a delicious breakfast, and headed back home to North Carolina. Praise God for safe travels. At home I got to hang out with my brother and sister a little more and I got to see some friends (marines, camp, and church friends). On my way back to Greenville (just before arriving at camp) I got to see more old friends in Raleigh! So blessed by these people, their friendships, and their encouragement. I got to see Mac Lynch and have lunch with him. I even got to see Mr. and Mrs. Benji Allweil! What a trip.
As of August 24 I have been contracted as a cook at the Wilds and I am loving it. I have worked every weekend since I have started, but it has been great getting to know the other people serving in the ministry and getting to know the kitchen even better. This is my first weekend off and I am loving it just as much. Now that I have a pretty good idea of what is expected I will be the boss in the dining hall on certain weekends I am assigned to work. Be sure not to come to camp those weekends if you want to eat, ha! God has been teaching me quite a bit as far teaching and leading is concerned. A leader is, above all else, a servant to his subordinates and his authority. As much as I want to teach our dining hall assistants how to do their job, do it affectively/efficiently and well, I still have to be willing to serve them and serve the campers who are primarily affected by our ministry.
I feel like a general lesson people at camp say they are learning is patience, but seriously, that has been a huge trial for me. As a counselor at the Wilds I expected the immaturity and craziness that kids brought with them so I looked beyond that. In the kitchen I am working with college-age individuals and a few of them have brought that camper expectation. It gets frustrating, but it opens my eyes to the fact that not everyone has gone through disciplinary training as I have (in the Corps) and challenges me to still be an example of the believer no matter how frustrated I get.
A few weeks ago we left Greenville and went to Stone Bay (Camp Lejeune area) and shot Table Two at the rifle range. It felt great to shoot again and I don’t think I did too bad. The weekend was a very long weekend (Thursday through Sunday) but we made it though and made it home safely. So what is going on now? Well here I am sitting at Starbucks in Greenville on my weekend off. Next weekend I drill again and then continue to serve at the Wilds. I am hoping to pick up Corporal sometime soon and then sometime after I still want to go into MARSOC. Right now I am taking three courses through Liberty University Online with which I also one day hope to get into the officer program. Keeping busy, keeping faithful, and keeping reliant. God is my sustainer and I rejoice that one day I will be with Him forever.