Three Hillsdale students dedicated their summers to serving others and growing in their faith.
Senior Emma Carville has visited Chop Point Camp in her home state of Maine nearly every summer since she was eight years old. She began as a camper, returned later as an intern, and eventually, became a counselor. This summer, Carville worked as a counselor coordinator and was responsible for helping younger girls.
Carville said she found it rewarding to see the effects that her decisions had on the campers, as she was once in their shoes.
This camp has been fundamental to Carville’s faith. She said she considers it to be the entire reason she is a Christian today, as all of the spiritual leaders in her life have been at Chop Point Camp.
“It’s two to three months of investing in kids and helping them grow in their relationship with God, as well as growing in my own relationship with him,” Carville said. “I learned a lot about how we’re called to love one another and be disciples. I’m able to carry the skills I learn at camp into my life all year round at Hillsdale, too.”
Carville said that the skills she’s gained from working in leadership roles and with kids will benefit her in her future medical career. She strongly recommends summer camp counseling, no matter what someone is studying.
Two of Carville’s friends and fellow Hillsdale students, seniors Lauren Melcher and Claudia Sladick, also worked at Chop Point this summer and both had positive experiences.
Although Carville is not currently planning to return to Chop Point, she said she suspects that she will be back, adding that she somehow winds up there each summer.
Junior Ethan Greb spent his summer working with Team Effort, an inter-denominational Christian camp in Blue Ridge, Georgia. His job as a counselor involved leading projects for different youth groups each week, leading chapel, and acting as a mentor for the campers.
Greb lives in Michigan but learned of the job opportunity through Shelby Nies ‘17 who worked there two summers ago and recommended the opportunity.
“The door opened for this and so I took it,” Greb said. “Last year, I was looking for any kind of ministry internship or job for the summer, whether it be with a church or a camp, because that’s what I want to do long-term.”
Greb said that God helped him grow in a lot of ways this summer, as he learned lessons in patience, prioritizing, and putting others needs before his own. Despite these challenges, he said that being a summer camp counselor is a fulfilling experience.
Going forward, Greb hopes complete more missions work overseas on a one or two month-long mission trip. Nonetheless, he said that he would go back to working at the camp if that’s where he felt he needed to be.
Senior Sam Phillips worked in Ireland this summer for the Mission of the World, a missionary branch of the Presbyterian Church of America.
He said that he believes he has a calling to serve and has thought so for a while. He chose to go to Ireland because he could help out there without being a burden on a church. Additionally, he said that Ireland needs missionary help, but doesn’t require the use of a translator. Phillips said he was comfortable there without relying too much on the church.
“I wanted to be able to serve the church as much as it would serve with me,” Phillips said.
He spent time facilitating outreach ministry, teaching and attending Bible studies, and leading youth groups. Phillips said he loved serving the church there while learning valuable lessons in humility and faithfulness, adding that Ireland was a beautiful place to be. He said that it was also a good confirmation that he should pursue ministry, which was one of his main purposes in going.
To students who are considering going on a mission trip, Phillips said that the motivation shouldn’t come from an appealing location, but should be God calling them to the mission. He had experience from his home church before going on the mission, and he recommended beginning working at one’s own church before going somewhere else.
Phillips hopes to go to Uganda in the future and said that he trusts God to prepare him for that next mission.