by Anna Birch Posted Jan 22, 2020
We couldn’t do camp without our nurses! Whitney Cox has been serving as a camp nurse at the Shores for the past three summers. She and her husband, Rusty, have five kids: Paxton (14), Mackey (13), Kirby (10), Shepherd (9), and Neeley (7). They’re all BIG fans of Pine Cove! Read on to learn more about her experience at camp and why she keeps coming back each summer.
Do yourself a favor and send your kids to summer camp! Many of the fondest memories of summer will come from camp—especially ones nestled in pine trees.
My husband and I have always been in youth ministry, and we noticed early on that some of our most spiritually mature, fun, all-around kids went to a place called Pine Cove during the summer. It became a prayer for us that someday our kids would get to experience Pine Cove. I loved the idea of them getting to have fun camp memories, friendships that lasted into adulthood, and especially college-aged kids that made my kids feel loved. What’s cooler than older aged kids pouring into younger kids and making them feel cool?
Our kids had the privilege of attending Winterfest, weekend retreats, and summer camp. I was so emotional leaving them the first time because I was so excited for them and all the memories I knew they would make and also because I was so jealous! Then an amazing opportunity came for me… I got to go to summer camp too! I was going to be working as a summer nurse with my favorite aged kids in the world… high school students at the Pine Cove Shores! To be honest, I had the same nervousness as I did many summers before being dropped off at camp.
I wasn’t sure what my role would look like. Would I be a med passer and band-aid applier, or would I get to nurture kids not just in their health but also in their hearts? My expectations were blown away. This has become one of my favorite weeks of the year.
Maybe it’s because the water at the med shed is so cold, maybe it’s because I have AC, or maybe it is because I have the coolest health assistants helping me, but my ability to keep people healthy transformed into such a ministry. I get a birds eye view of campers on the ropes course and the privilege of speaking truth into their lives about the transforming power of the Gospel. Some kids come in just needing a little TLC, some come in to share real struggles, some come in to sit and talk about real life things happening at home, and some come in to write funny quotes they have heard throughout the week.
Pine Cove has become such a special place to me. I am so grateful for the experiences my children have had and also so thankful for the simple ways God has let me escape to the piney woods of Texas to use my gift to minister to these kids. My children and myself have begun to divide our year into two seasons: camp and not camp!