Wrapping Up Summer 2015

Camp Grace, Relating Publicly, Travel

I can hardly believe that over two weeks ago we said goodbye to our last campers at Camp Grace New York. I had a great month helping to serve nearly 100 kids on 150 acres overlooking the Hudson Valley. The property and view were amazing, and the staff and kids there were even more incredible

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Many of the kids we served in New York were from Operation Exodus and had been to camp before. I love watching returning campers because they are so excited about coming back. It is obviously one of their favorite weeks of the year. We were also able to serve a new ministry partner called Born Again Disciples. I also love to see new campers experience camp for the first time. The two weeks of camp were full and exciting.

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As much as I enjoyed doing camp again, it was not always smooth sailing. I was absolutely exhausted from eight weeks of camp in Georgia and even got sick for a short period. The Lord definitely taught me about leaning on Him and pushed me to really die to self during exhaustion and weakness in order to serve. It was challenging, but seeing the fruit of everyone’s hard work was worth each second I struggled. Praise God for growing me in every circumstance!

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We saw 27 first time salvations within two weeks! The majority of the 100 campers who attended accepted Christ last year and experienced more spiritual growth during camp this year. Seeing the joy and knowledge gained within just six days was incredibly rewarding.

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I was also fortunate to visit NYC three times during my stay. I had not been in four years, so I enjoyed walking around and seeing new parts of the city I never experienced. Several of the staff had never been to the city, so I had a lot of fun being able to share their first experience with them.

Spending time in the city and working with summer staff who are from the area really helped me realize how much camp is needed for the kids. So many of them need to get out of the city to have a change of setting and a gain new perspective. They face many temptations and hard circumstances in such an overwhelming, busy setting, and having a place to escape to and grow in is huge for them.

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Roadtripping up with my #MediaTeam was a blast, and the boys did an incredible job capturing camp in just two weeks. You should definitely check out the CGNY Facebook and watch the video at the bottom to see some of their hard work! I’m so thankful for them.

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Since my return almost two weeks ago, I have been easing into my duties for the off-season while also recovering from the 14 weeks of summer camp hours. I still have a lot of support raising to do on top of my fundraising, social media and design duties. If you would like to join my support team, click HERE. I could not be a part of this ministry without you!

Thank you for your prayers and support! I am so excited to see what God does next at camp.

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The 7-Day Restoration.

God, Relating Publicly

For the last few months, I’ve been a part of  a very cool project. Bugs4Christ, a nonprofit ministry I work with at home,  decided to restore a junk car in a week. Before they began working on the rusty 1972 VW Super Beetle in February, they felt that they were to auction off the car to benefit a local children’s home. So selfless. So cool. I’m close with a few of the guys who work with this organization, and was asked to write a press release for the project so the community could get involved.

An actual press release. For an actual nonprofit. And an actual campaign that glorifies God.

Naturally,  I said yes.

I didn't take this!

The Before. Note: I didn’t take this!

I wrote the release and bio, organized media, and sent everything out. That’s all I can take credit for. It’s a God thing that people actually started to publish it. Websites, radio, print. The project even got its own TV spot when a reporter filmed an on-location story.

In the shop.

In the shop.

The restoration was finished in March. This summer, the Super Beetle went on auction. The car was also entered into Y U Buggin, a big VW car show in Atlanta. Out of all the vehicles there, the bug won Best of Show, the top award. A few weeks later, the car was sold to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to the Children’s Home.

The After. I DID take this

The After. I DID take this!

Last week, the project came to a close with the presentation of the Beetle to its new owner. The auction winner arrived at the Bugs shop, gave a check to representatives from the Children’s Home, and drove the bug to its new home in Atlanta. The give away was beautiful and joyous, though I think everybody involved in the project was a little sad to see the car go after such an incredible few months with it.  However, now thousands of dollars are going to help children in need, all because a few guys decided to restore a junk car.

I needed this opportunity so badly, even though I didn’t know it. I’ve always struggled with trusting God 100%, and this project has reminded me that if He’s called people to do something, it’ll happen, and it will be spectacular.

The (very happy) new owners

The (very happy) new owners

I’ve been given a gift. Something amazing to put on my resume, a real, published project for my portfolio, and experience that will help me throughout my career. I’m also helping an awesome group spread God’s love through giving. If that’s not job satisfaction, I don’t know what is.

(NOTE: please check out the Bugs4Christ Facebook page to see more pictures of this project, as well as other awesome projects these guys are working on) 

– K

The Camp Grace Experience.

God, Relating Publicly

The past six weeks have been crazy. They flew by so quickly, but I have memories of long days full of hours of taking pictures and updating websites, social networks, drives, etc. I have to say, these memories are also of the best summer job I’ve ever had.

Camp has impacted my life in more ways than I will ever know. This was my first paid PR job, and I must say, I LOVED it. I feel like my job was God’s way of confirming that I chose the right career to pursue. I loved spreading the word about camp. I loved seeing the numbers rise on our Facebook page. I loved starting the camp blog and updating it for hundreds to read each week.  I loved taking pictures and choosing which ones to use for publicity. Most of all, I loved seeing many kids’ lives being changed because of camp, and knowing that I’m helping people on the outside realize that lives are being changed is a beautiful feeling.

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I will never forget the kid’s smiling faces when they reached the top of the rock wall, or passed the swim test, or rode a horse without help. I will never forget camp wide cheers, my coworker’s hilarious  skits, or huge group games. I will never, EVER forget my first Thursday night CrossTalk in the amphitheater with the sun setting over the lake. That night was the first night I watched through tear-filled eyes as fifty campers opened their hearts to God for the first time. That alone made the exhausting work week worth every second.

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Now camp is over, but I still get the opportunity to live on campus and do marketing work for a little while longer. Summer camp may be over for 2013, but that means its time to raise support for 2014. I’ll be working with camp as long as they need me, and I cannot wait to see how camp will continue to grow in the next year!

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  – K

Baby You’re a Fiiiirework.

Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly

I was a little sad this year because yesterday was the first July Fourth in about five years that I haven’t spent the day with my best friend’s family at their lake house. While I missed swimming/boating/pigging out with my friends and second family, spending the Fourth at camp was pretty amazing. Somebody had bought a few hundred dollars worth of fireworks for us to shoot over the lake.Image

They were absolutely stunning. The teen girls at camp were screaming and loving it. Actually, I was screaming and loving it too, along with my fellow staff members.

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Today is our last full day of summer camp. I’m sad to see the kids go, but I cannot wait to celebrate a successful summer with the staff this weekend. I’d say it’s been a pretty great six weeks of camp.

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As of Friday at 4:00 PM, I’ve been in existence for two decades. I still feel about four years younger, so I guess it’s the mindset that counts.

To be honest, the last week of work was rough. I had a stomach bug, both of my chacos broke, I had a massive headache, we lost all power for eight hours at camp, and I had the most embarrassing moment of my life. However, I am deciding to view the beginning of my third decade as a fresh start. July is going to be more laid back for me (hopefully) and I get to travel and get ready to move into my new house.

Although work has been pretty taxing lately, I still see that God is good and He is at work. I can see lives being changed because of camp, and if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. The next step of my job is to reach out to donors and potential supporters through publications, and I’m looking forward to this new PR side of my position.

On another note, my family got a new PUPPY! Her name is Nala and she is a baby yellow lab. I am madly in love.

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Also, one very excellent part of my birthday was my beautiful, scrumptious, perfect, delicious, fabulous CAKE.

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This masterpiece (was) a gift from my best friend from camp and my sweet bosses. It was a red velvet cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, one of my all time favorite restaurants on the planet. I can honestly say that this sucker was the best birthday cake I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve had a lot of cake.

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I want to upload some more pictures for this post, but honestly, I’m just too pooped at the moment. My flickr page is updated though!

– K

God, Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly