Students at California Baptist University spent their summer in very different ways. Some students held internships, some traveled, some stayed home and then some packed up their bags for a long summer of mentoring children at Christian summer camps all over the country.
Marissa Nunez, junior business administration major, worked at Camp Pondo in Running Springs, Calif. over the summer. Here, Nunez worked as program staff, where she helped serve meals and run activities for middle school and high school youth camps.
Nunez has been working at Camp Pondo for the last two summer and winter camps, where she has developed many lifelong friendships.
Nunez said the impact the children have made in her life especially is something she will never forget.
“You see kids come in who are so closed off to the thought of God and by the end of the week they are raising their hands, worshiping like no other,” Nunez said.
“We have kids who come from broken homes and families and you get to see this joy inside of them when they realize who God is and what he has done for us.”
Nunez plans on working at Camp Pondo again next summer and said she hopes others give it a try too.
“It’s such a great environment and not only do you work in kids’ lives over the summer but they work in your life and you grow as a person,” Nunez said.
Amy Nugent, Camp Pondo activities director, said she enjoys the work environment because everyone is so supportive and caring of each other, just like a family.
“When times get hard or you’re drained, you have people there to push you to find strength through God and not yourself or others. Not only that, but you learn so much about yourself and what God is doing in the lives of so many people,” Nugent said.
Nugent said it is her hope that when campers come, they are not only able to make fun memories, but also able to grow closer to God throughout their time at Camp Pondo.
Allysandra Currie, junior computer and electrical engineering major, worked at Camp Clarita in Santa Clarita, Calif., this past summer.
Currie worked as a recreation leader, where she watched over the campers, helped run the camp schedule, and acted as a role model to camp counselors.
“My experience was amazing because I love working with kids. Getting to build relationships with the kids and watch them grow was a pretty cool thing,” Currie said.
Other nearby camps to check out include Hume Lake, Thousand Pines, Cedar Lake, Calvary Chapel and Ponderosa Pines Camp.
Working at Christian summer camps offer many opportunities for students to not only teach others about God, but learn and further develop personal relationships with God, as well.