Summer Camp Staff Ready to Go

Summer Camp Staff Ready to Go

Camps with Meaning Associate Program Director Nadya Langelotz offers the following reflection on the upcoming summer camp season and summer leadership staff.

Strange weather has sprinkled spring and camp has slowly crept up on us, with the first week beginning on May 27. As I prepared for this season of camping, many thoughts crossed my mind. While the sites will undergo some major additions in the year to come, I dream of change in our programming and the structure of camp as well. How can we revive Adults with Disabilities Venture (ADV) weeks to accommodate many different abilities in a new way? Can we include mental health first aid training for our leadership and senior staff? Is there a way to spend even more time outside, building skills that prepare us to be resilient, courageous people in years to come?
(Photo: Caleb Friesen Epp teaching Bible at the first ADV week of 2024. Click to enlarge.)

Dreaming alongside me this year is our 2024 Summer Leadership Staff, who are a beautiful collection of experienced camp staff. I counselled many of them in my early summer staff years, and some were younger staff while I Bible-instructed and directed. In this space, I am seeing firsthand the growth and transformation of campers to staff to leadership, and the way gifts swell and expand into shining parts of these young people that I now get to plan, dream, support, laugh, and cry alongside. How lucky am I!

One of the most profound things about this group of young leaders, which I first noticed when I was a part of them years ago, is the number of life skills and tools they gain from spending the summer in their roles at camp. From gathering attention and leading groups, to phoning caregivers and families, to planning and organizing the smallest details, teaching and nurturing curiosity and new experiences, responding to crisis and supporting staff—they do it all! And they learn these tools together, in this particular community, which is sometimes messy and silly and very difficult, but what an amazing toolkit camp gives you—for work in so many spaces within and beyond camp. (Photo: ADV campers crafting with staff. Click to enlarge.)

I am just beginning to see the formation of these toolkits and thrilled to see the ways in which the leadership team supports and pushes each other to deepen skills and open themselves to new opportunities of growth. Let’s do this!

Please pray for Nadya and the leadership staff this summer, including Alayna Smith, Aubrey Epp, Ava Campbell-Enns, Caleb Friesen-Epp, Caleb Samson, Carlynn Davidson, Cheyenne Keeper, Grace Siemens, Kathryn Derksen, Lia Campbell-Enns, Matthew Fullerton, Miriam Huebner, Olivia Pries-Mallett, and Trinity Blair. Pray also for other summer camp staff and volunteers who help make camp so meaningful for campers. If you’d like to volunteer, see To give financially to support camps, see