“I think people need to work hard and be diligent, but everyone needs a good laugh to keep them going.”
Ever wondered how you might become an Adventure Guide at Rock-N-Water? It’s easy – just volunteer your entire first summer, work stupid hard, triumph over the urge to give up, laugh lots, and sleep it off for days after the summer is over and you MIGHT get to come back the following summer.
If you couldn’t tell, I was joking. Volunteer summer is not easy, in fact, it’s hard and it’s challenging. Because of that though, it’s commonly one of the most rewarding summers for our Rock-N-Water staff that have gone through the program (learn more here).
We wanted to share a bit of what one might expect to take away when serving as a volunteer at camp. Below is an interview with one of our 2019 volunteers, Justin Davidson. Check it out!
Why did you originally want to volunteer at Rock-N-Water?
I wanted to join Rock-N-Water so I could be a part of the impact that the camp has on the girls and boys who come here, just as it had on me. A major reason why I wanted to work here is to be forced to work hard and do the dirty work because I knew it would build character and eliminate the majority of complacency from my mind. I knew I would be used as God’s servant for an entire summer, which just brought me joy. I also want to spark passion in campers, just like Jacob Johnson (current adventure guide) sparked in me. My hope would ultimately be to bring them back again as campers or as volunteers themselves. Lastly, I definitely just wanted to be in God’s creation being challenged physically and mentally and to build lifelong relationships.
How has that changed now that you are here at camp?
I don’t think too much has changed now that I am here at camp. I think possibly getting kids to volunteer or come back is a bit hard to do when you aren’t with them all the time on adventures, but that has pushed me to become more social with all of the campers whether or not I have created some sort of friendship with them. Also, I’m not as joyful as I would like to be sometimes while doing certain work, such as kitchen days or Sunday jobs. However, I see the importance for both of them and in no way do I regret doing the work.
What is your biggest take away from this summer so far? Why?
I think the biggest take away is that the person next to you is most likely working just as hard as you or harder. I think I can find myself trying to compete or compare myself to others as I work which then prevents me from engaging with people selflessly. I need to work as hard as I can, learn as well as I can, and put the lessons I’ve learned into action as well as I can without looking for competition to the left or right of me.
What’s been your favorite part so far? Least favorite part so far? Why?
I love everything that has been challenging me physically and the process of gradually overcoming that struggle. I love knowing that through that process I’m growing stronger and creating a character that perseveres and doesn’t quit.
My favorite activity would have to be running the river in Fun-Yaks (inflatable kayaks.) Being able to take harder and more fun lines along the river is just a blast. Even the known fact that I will flip several times on the journey down the river is just so exciting and brings a little bit more adrenaline into the whole adventure.
I think the most difficult thing I’ve done this summer has been the Pack-In for the future backpacking trips. Carrying up to 60 pounds of food and materials for 5 miles was a struggle for me in many ways and forced me to trust and rely on God. My least favorite activity would definitely be the days I worked in the kitchen. Making food from 11-6 is so mentally draining for me because there’s no active energy running through me, which can result in not the best attitude and a quickly exhausted Justin.
What are you most looking forward to before the summer is over? Why?
I’m definitely excited to get checked off for commercial trips on the river so I can spend more adventure time with campers. Also, I’m just super excited to have life long friends by the end of the summer.
I’m also looking forward to the end of the season where I can look back at the beginning and see where I’ve grown and matured. I am looking forward to more responsibilities throughout the summer as I become more reliable and trusted.
How has Jesus revealed Himself to you this summer?
Jesus has revealed himself to me through the struggles and obstacles that come my way in the adventures. Knowing that I am injury prone, I asked God at the beginning of the season to keep me safe and to keep any past ailments from hindering my ability to succeed in any task put before me. He has not only answered that prayer so far, but has also consistently given me the energy to push through physical and mental struggles. Through these small circumstances, I have learned to trust God in a bigger way and have been reassured that I can always rely on Him.
How have you been able to partner with Jesus to reveal Him to others as a volunteer?
I think the biggest way that I have partnered with Christ this summer is by dwelling in his joy. Ever since I was born I have been a lover of laughter and humor. I love seeing others laugh, filled with pure joy and real happiness because I know that is something of God.
I think God has put me here this summer to spread His joy with campers, show that He really does have a sense of humor, and that he enjoys seeing us live a life of joy and peace. I think people need to work hard and be diligent, but everyone needs a good laugh to keep them going.