Scenic view of trees at camp

Lessons from Leadership Weekend

by Riley Sheehan

Dutch Speaking to Summer Staff

Being a leader can be amazingly exciting. Being a leader can also be scary.

When I pulled into Tyler for Pine Cove Leadership weekend, I felt an interesting combination of both. I was excited — to see old friends, to bond with new ones, to build community, to be trained, to laugh, to talk, to pray.

I was also nervous.

I have to admit, as I arrived at camp, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat unqualified. Why me? I don’t think I’m cut out for this. Sure, there are some things I know I can do, but plenty I know I can’t. Suddenly, something as simple as The Gauntlet that greeted us seemed both exhilarating and daunting. When it comes to being on Pine Cove leadership, did I have what it takes? I really wasn’t sure.

To my surprise, these fears were completely dispelled over the next few days as God taught me something truly amazing: when it comes to having an impactful summer, He has what it takes!

Over the weekend, I joined with Pine Cove’s 180 leadership staff to spend time in fellowship, prayer, and worship, as well as teaching and training, fixing our eyes on the Lord in expectation for a truly amazing summer. While I learned plenty of practical lessons about being a senior counselor and what leadership at a camp looks like, my biggest takeaway was the wonderful realization that this summer, the real power of camp is Jesus. Not just nature, not just adventure, not just cool activities, not just crazy skits, but our Savior Jesus. This is great news!

As I spent time with my camp’s leadership on Saturday night, our Site Coordinator directed us to open up our bibles to a familiar passage in 1 Samuel 17: David and Goliath. I thought I had heard this story so many times, but never had it before seemed so relevant to my life. God used David to do something miraculous and amazing, because God wanted to display his power through David’s relentless and persistent faith. David was small, but his view of God was huge, enough to believe God could do something insanely astounding through something as simple as a shepherd boy and a small, smooth stone.

This is why God was the hero in the story of David and Goliath, not David. Our glorious God loves being the hero of the story. And by grace through faith in His son, I am called into his family and empowered to do his work. This is powerful! This is the power of camp. Not me, not my friends, but God using seemingly normal and inadequate people like myself to do incredible and phenomenal things.

Pine Cove Camp in the City Leadership Staff

What I experienced this weekend was a growth and expansion of my view of God’s glory and power, and therefore a growth of my vision for what God could do this summer at Pine Cove. I realized that while leadership does include practical skill and direction, it is more about trusting in a powerful God and pointing people to Him, than it is about trusting in myself and pointing people to me.

This idea shift fueled worship and prayer amongst our leadership staff, as we joined together to sing, learn, and seek the Lord. There is something wonderful and exciting about worshiping and praying with a group of people that are growing in their belief of what their God could possibly do.

Am I prepared to lead this summer? I know some practicals. I know the ins and outs of our policies and procedures for camp. But I am prepared for this summer because I’m beginning to see more and more that Jesus is the power of camp. And our Jesus is an exceptionally prepared Savior!

Pine Cove exists to be used by God to transform the lives of people for His purposes and His glory. And I have never felt more prepared to lead out in praying, believing, and trusting that He will come through.

Let’s go, Summer 2014!

Posted Apr 9, 2014

Riley Sheehan

Former Summer Staff

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