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Four-Year Staff Recognition

This is the fourth summer that Ally and myself have been blessed to direct the Summer Camp ministry here at Camp Wakonda. We say "blessed," because it has been a blessing to work with the amazing young people who come through our program as staff. While we've seen many come and go, it's been really cool to see some of our staff stick around for multiple summers. The purpose of this article is to recognize our "senior class" of Summer Camp staff, so to speak: those who are working here for their fourth summer this year.

Dana Colindres

If you asked Dana, she has worked at Camp Wakonda many more years than four, and indeed she did volunteer various summers before she started officially working as a staff. She has worked probably about half of the total jobs that Camp Wakonda has to offer, so she has gotten a pretty well-rounded experience as far as what it means to work at camp. This summer, she is part of our waterfront team, for the second year in a row. She is currently studying Theology at Walla Walla University and has dreams of one day being the director of Camp Wakonda herself. Dana is a social butterfly, and can get along with almost anyone. One of the things I really appreciate about her is that she can work with anyone, and is very open minded when it comes to trying things a different way. She truly embodies one of the key tenants of Summer Camp work: flexibility.

Cameron Krawczyk

Cameron has been a counselor for Summer Camp for the past three summers, and is back this year as our Boys Director. Fellow staff have described Cameron as "the glue that holds the team together," and truly his friendly, laid back attitude has helped him to make friends in all groups and build up staff morale. Cameron and I have had many conversations about life and faith, and one of the things I've really appreciated about him is his willingness to talk through any questions he has or issues he needs help or clarification on. From being our youngest counselor his first summer, to now being one of the senior staff, Cameron has a lot of experience to pass along to our incoming counselors. For example, he's mastered the art of being a friend to the boys in his cabin, while also holding them accountable for adhering to the rules--not always an easy line to walk.

Caden Minett

Caden has been at the Rock Wall since he started working at Summer Camp, and is back this summer for his third year of directing the department. Of course, if you spend much time around the camp, you'll know that Caden is a Jack-of-all-trades. From helping his mom, Heidi, in the kitchen, to helping Ranger Elgin and his dad Chad with various maintenance projects, Caden is a year-round help at Camp Wakonda. Not to mention that he is now the director for the Coulee Region Coyotes Pathfinder Club, as well as a frequent helper with various Public Campus Ministry events. Caden has become known as the person you ask if you need just about anything done at camp. He's got a wealth of knowledge and a good head on his shoulders.

Katie Zeismer

Like Caden, Katie is in her third summer of directorship, only her path has been in the Nature Center. Her first summer, she worked under her older sister Kristin (who was then the director), and this summer she is the director, working with her younger sister Beth. Katie has displayed a willingness to help in any and all ways possible. I remember catching her mopping in the kitchen late at night, just because she didn't want her friends in the kitchen to have to stay up later to do it. Katie is currently studying at Union Adventist to be a nurse. With the level of responsibility I see her take at the camp, her caring way of dealing with people (and animals), and her willingness to learn new skills in order to get the job done: she will make a great nurse indeed.

In addition to recognizing these staff for the efforts they have put into Summer Camp evangelism these four summers, I would like to reccommend them to anyone who is looking for a quality employee. Whether it is spiritual work, people work, or just good old-fashioned hard work: these individuals will be amazing additions to any program. Of course, ideally, we'd love to keep all of them at Summer Camp forever. But as they move toward launching into the work force and become assets in the wider world: I would trust these individuals with just about anything you had to throw at them.

Please continue to pray for our young people, as they move into the adult world. It is our mission as the Wisconsin Conference Youth Department to invest in our young leaders as they discover the unique way that God has set them apart for His mission. We can't wait to see how God works through these young individuals as they fulfill the promise of Galatians 3:8/Genesis 22:18, "through you I will bless all nations."

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