Hey guys! My name is Shay Gautier and in April, I graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a degree in elementary education. This is my third summer serving at Beulah Beach. My first two summers on staff, I had the privilege of serving on Day Camp. However, this summer, I have the opportunity to serve as a Resident Camp Counselor. I came to Beulah because I came to Wet N’ Wacky Wednesday every year and it was the best day of the year. I loved how I could have fun while still learning about God. I feel so blessed and honored to be a part of the amazing work God does through Beulah Beach.
Beulah is one of my absolute favorite places because of the connections and relationships you build with the people around you. You spend 12 weeks seeing these people every day, and it impacts your life in a way that other relationships may not. Coming into my first summer in 2020, I never realized that the friends I made then would become my best friends now. Before Beulah, I really struggled with opening up to people and I built up so many walls because of past friendships and relationships. It was difficult for me to trust people and feel like I could have those deep connections with others. But when I came to Beulah, my whole view changed.
Within my first week of being here, I felt this overwhelming joy and peace in my heart, and for the first time in my life, I could share my story with someone I wasn’t related to. I wasn’t judged for what I have gone through, but I was welcomed with open arms by the other counselors I was with who showed me what a true friendship looks like. I have created the best relationships with the people at Beulah, and I can safely say I have found my true best friends here. During the fall semester, I had a voice recital to showcase what I have learned throughout 4 years of voice lessons. There were 9 staff members who came to support me. Seeing how these people showed up for me gave me this feeling of love that I have not truly experienced before. Beulah has given me the friends that I feel like I don’t deserve, but the friends that I definitely needed.
When thinking of this summer and the relationships I have built from it, I can’t think of a better staff to serve with. I have been struggling with some anxiety these past few months. Every time I needed a shoulder to cry on, someone was there. God has used this struggle to show me that the lie I believe about being alone, is absolutely that: a lie. God has given me these relationships for a reason, and as the summer has progressed, I have been able to see the fruit of each relationship. Whether it’s the friends from 2020, or those I met this summer; each one has been placed in my life because God intended for them to be there. Beulah is really the best place to find others who love God and love others with their whole hearts. And even though we will be going our separate ways soon, to quote Winnie the Pooh, “The most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” God placed each of these people in my life at the perfect time, and I can’t begin to express my gratitude for each and every relationship I have because of Beulah. So, if a deep relationship is something of a struggle, I suggest finding your own Beulah best friend because trust me, your life will never be the same!
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17