Scenic view of trees at camp

A Counselor’s Story

by Kathryn ShoafPosted Jul 5, 2018


It looked like something you would see in the movies. During his second week as a Camp in the City counselor last summer, Sam “The Kool-aid Slamma Jamma” Sierra stood in the backyard of his host family’s house holding a mason jar.

“In New Mexico, there is no such thing as fireflies or lightning bugs,” Slamma Jamma, then a first-year counselor from New Mexico explains. “We don’t have those.”

So when the opportunity arose for him to capture lightning bugs in jars one evening, he jumped at the opportunity.

“It was so funny,” he says. “I have always seen them in movies, but I never experienced them!”

Although catching fireflies is a magical experience, it cannot match the lessons that Slamma Jamma learned during his five weeks as a counselor. At Camp in the City, there is time set aside for the counselors to read the Bible and pray each morning before campers arrive. This firm discipline every day was life-changing for Sam.


Through working at Pine Cove, spending intentional time in God’s Word daily, serving others, and getting into solid Christ-centered community, he saw “how good and how faithful God is.”

According to Sam, “It’s just truly amazing to have a Christian community, a bunch of people that are whole-heartedly pursuing the Lord.” This is a common theme from a lot of Pine Cove college staff, because some of them don’t have a solid community at school.

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This Christian community combined with a newly flourishing relationship with God allowed him to have meaningful discussions with his campers. While Sam’s team was in Burleson, Texas, he had multiple conversations about Christ and salvation with one camper.

“He accepted the Lord, and I could just tell the Holy Spirit gave him this joy and this happiness that I could see on his face,” Sam remembers.

Sam’s memories from Camp in the City are very positive as he reflected on what God had done.

“Those five weeks… gave me a glimpse of who God is and how good, and how faithful, and how amazing He truly is,” he said.

The same God that can ignite fireflies in Georgia can also illuminate the smile on a child’s face in Texas. We love the way God uses camp to transform lives!

Kathryn Shoaf

Summer Media Intern

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