Have you ever wondered what it might be like working for Rock-N-Water as an adventure guide? Do you want to learn more about what it could look like to be staff at Rock-N-Water during our summer program?
Rock-N-Water is a special place where growth happens. On each adventure, campers are given opportunities to face fear, challenge themselves, and encounter God in new ways. But not only are campers being challenged, each year at Rock-N-Water we see so much growth in each of our beloved staff as well. Being an adventure guide at Rock-N-Water will grow you, stretch you, push you, and challenge you in so many ways. But don’t take it from me.
Below is an interview with one of our summer staff, Madison Roemer! Madison has been a part of Rock-N-Water’s spring program for many years but in 2022 she worked joined her first year as a summer. She went through Rock-N-Water’s Guide School in 2022 and jumped right into being an adventure guide. We love her and are so thankful to have her as staff! We asked her to share her thoughts about her first summer working as an adventure guide at Rock-N-Water. And we hope that this will help give you an idea of what one might expect to take away when working as an adventure Guide at our camp. Here are her answers;
How long have you been an adventure guide at Rock-N-Water? What keeps you coming back?
My first year as an Adventure Guide was the Summer of 2022 actually, not long at all! So only one year as of now, but hey! We can’t leave out the Spring seasons! I have worked in the Spring program at Rock-n-Water for the past nine years! Yes, I said nine! Crazy, I know. The 49er Fun program is where history comes alive! And so does the gospel. The Spring is vastly different in what we do and teach, but the core of camp still holds the same beautiful attributes of Rock-n-Water, and that is something incredibly special. Now that I’ve experienced both Spring and Summer programs, I can testify it’s only given me more reasons to come back, again and again. All credit goes to the Lord, because truly, He is the one who keeps ALL of us coming back. No matter the craziness of our lives, we always find our schedules open to serve at camp.
How has working as an adventure guide at Rock-N-Water changed and grown you? What was the hardest part?
Oh boy, when I tell you that becoming an Adventure Guide CHANGES you, I mean it! Never in my life had I been so spiritually, physically, and mentally challenged. And if anyone has experienced life, you know that challenging times are what GROWS you. We also know that growth can be uncomfortable. BUT you’ve gotta take that leap of faith (sometimes literally too) and trust that the Lord has put you in the place you are for good reason. That is exactly what I learned from Guide School this year. Guide School is Rock-n-Water’s rigorous ten day training course used to teach skills and test/grow you spiritually, physically, and mentally.
I want to highlight the hardest aspects of each challenge I faced. Firstly, let’s cover the physical aspect. Being an Adventure Guide is tough on your body. When I tell you my legs have never been so shot, it ain’t an exaggeration! I slept like a little baby every night from sheer exhaustion. BUT that was also some of the best sleep I’ve ever had so y’know… worth it! I loved the physical challenge through and through, but man, it was still difficult. Camp gave me a greater appreciation for the effort it takes to work as an Adventure Guide.
Secondly, Mentally. If camp was taxing on your body, it was even more so on your mind. Let me just say, as someone who grew up in a family that DIDN’T go cliff jumping just for funnzies, when we were told to jump off a rocky ledge into the frigid water below, I questioned just about every reason as to WHY I decided Guide School was a good idea. There were many times I almost backed out because of mental discomfort. The most prominent one was my fear of drowning. Yes, a river guide scared of water. Now isn’t that a conundrum!? I laugh at it now, but it wasn’t funny while in the moment. I was comfortable in small bodies of water, but as soon as I was told to swim across a pond, I lost it. That pond became a lake, and then an ocean of fears rushing over me. I was practically drowning for 20 mins… in my head. On the outside I’m sure I looked like a soggy wet cat, yowling and flailing about. It was probably quite hilarious to witness. BUT at the time, man was I panicked. In the end, I had to redo the whole swim test, and it haunted me for weeks. But through dedication, encouragement, and trusting the Lord through it all, I passed! I learned that I can do many things if I stay committed, but I wouldn’t be able to push through if it weren’t for the Lord giving me the strength. And to that I say, Praise the Lord!!!
Lastyly, the third challenge. Spiritually. This is often overlooked by the world, but as a follower of Christ Jesus, my faith is eternally more important than anything else. Someone once told me “Faith is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it will grow.” I can excitedly say that my faith was indeed exercised again and again at camp. Let me elaborate. First off, I’ve never shared my testimony before. And it was incredibly difficult to do so. Being open is a beautiful thing, but it is also terribly frightening to lay yourself out for all to see. Sharing my testimony allowed me to see my life before Christ, and after Christ. It actually put the focus on God rather than on me, which is what I was afraid of. I was able to tell people about what GOD did in my life, and how the LORD saved me from myself. And that was the most beautiful thing to ever happen in my life. I was also Spiritually challenged in the aspect of having to trust God, even when I didn’t want to. I learned to surrender fears, time, and energy. At camp, you don’t get much “me time”, and that was really hard for me because I need to be alone to recharge. BUT throughout each day, I found little quiet moments to pray and talk to God, and that always revived my soul and body just enough. Also, when you live 24/7 with other fellow Believers, you are always being encouraged and challenged in your faith. Not to mention the incredible conversations with campers. I was so incredibly blessed by everyone around me.
So to bring everything back around to the question above, YES. working at Rock-n-Water has permanently changed me and grown me beyond imagination. It is through extreme times that we see God in extraordinary ways. My faith has grown tremendously. And hey, I can confidently say I love swimming now!
What is your favorite part about being an adventure guide? Least favorite part? Why?
Favorite Part? Hmm… That’s a rather tough question. I’d happily say just about every aspect of camp is my fav!
But I’ll narrow it down for you. There are these really special moments that happen when you’re out adventuring with each group that comes in. You could be belying someone on rocks day, and they finally top out on the climb they were terrified to even attempt. Or in a canyon, watching someone jump off the cliff they were previously glued to for the past 10 mins. The moment someone pushes past fear, and conquers a seemingly impossible challenge to them; that is my favorite part. Witnessing someone step outside of their comfort zone and GROW is so beautiful, and so special to be a part of. It brings so much joy!
Now for my least favorite part huh? Well… that’s a hard one. Because there’s a handful of things that might be considered “not my favorite”. But they are all easily outweighed by the good. However, sometimes at camp, actually increasingly over the summer months of working there, I began to feel burnt out. Somewhat overwhelmed by the business and relentless cycle of camp each week. I’m an introvert, so I was really missing my recharge times. When you live in the dirt, on a cot surrounded by other girls. You don’t really get a social break. And that was gnawing at my patience. But this was also something I needed to work on, it was a challenge to grow outside of my comfort zone. With that said though, I would happily do it all over again! It was good for me, to learn to regulate my emotions and stay focused on the task at hand. Whilst also being more sociable! Wee!
How did God reveal Himself to you this Summer?
This Summer was overflowing with spiritual highs. There was this constant state of God’s presence at camp. I don’t know if it was being surrounded by fellow believers, sharing the Gospel with campers, worshipping the Lord every night, or who knows what. But I know that the Lord was present. He was, and IS sovereign over camp. I experienced God’s uplifting hand upon me and fellow staff alike. Though I was at times mentally drained, and constantly physically drained, God came through EVERY day and provided me with sufficient energy for the day.
I think the concept that sometimes we “see” God in our lives, while at other times we don’t is the wrong way to look at it. As a Christian, God is always with you. The Holy Spirit is within us, dwelling in our hearts. To believe that God is only sometimes present in our lives, is a sobering way to live. But when we realize that God is always at work in our lives, never forsaking us, then THAT is the most freeing understanding to come to! WOW!
BUT, to answer your question, God revealed Himself to me at camp by means of having to rely on Him more than I would in my life back at home. Simply put, I felt more in need of God, therefore I saw how He truly was there, guiding my every step.
What are you most looking forward to next Summer if you return?
Well, there’s two major things… Firstly, I cannot wait to reconnect with all the staff! They all very quickly became a second family to me, and I grew rather fond of living with them all (No matter how messy and smelly we can be.. Y’know, just river guide things). It’s like having a bunch of siblings that all love the Lord and enjoy doing crazy adventures together!
Secondly, I’m excited to reconnect with all the campers that will find themselves at camp next year. I can’t wait to share God’slove with each and every one of them, and be mutually blessed by their hearts for the Lord. All in all, my soul is eager to be surrounded by fellow Jesus lovin’ adventure havin’ joy filled peoples! So until then, hang in there, and know that Jesus loves YOU!