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   My name is Michaela Yoder, and I have the privilege of serving on the Day Camp team for my first summer on staff at Beulah Beach. And what a privilege it is! 

   Prior to serving on staff at Beulah, I attended overnight camp in 2016 and Wet & Wacky Wednesday for a few years. While I was pretty familiar with the setting, much of the details of summer camp at Beulah were fairly new to me, yet I was excited to jump right in during staff training! As much as I enjoyed my time as a Beulah camper, if you would have told little Michaela that she would be serving as a counselor one day, she probably wouldn’t have believed you. However, in many ways over the past year, the Lord has so graciously challenged me to step outside of the limits of my comfortability and glorify Him in ways that are both new to me and oh so exciting! And applying to spend my summer counseling at Beulah Beach was one of the steps that I felt the Lord prompting me to take. 

   During my first week of camp, I was blessed with a group of six year old girls. Truly, these girls will forever hold a special place in my heart as my first ever counseling group. Each morning, I got to greet each of my girls with the biggest hug, and their smiles as they hopped out of their cars each day reminded me of how beautiful life can be through the eyes of a child. After breakfast, we would head to the Mix to sing, dance, and learn about Jesus, followed by a debrief time to discuss what we learned. This can be a lot for six year olds to digest, but by the end of the week, my girls were asking me wonderful questions about their faith, which demonstrated to me how they had grown throughout the week. The rest of the day consisted of fun activities, games, and free time at the pool and beach – a camper favorite! 

   I truly wouldn’t have my first week as a counselor any other way! However, the week certainly brought challenges and growth as well. The Lord guided me in deepening my understanding of grace and patience, explaining deep faith concepts to sweet young minds, being adaptable in all situations, and loving the girls that He so intentionally placed within my group unconditionally, just as He would. 

     Let me tell you, the Lord is at work at Beulah Beach, and it is an honor to be a vessel for Him here! I can’t help but reflect on the verse that brought me here, Isaiah 6:8 which states, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!’” I will never regret the decision of saying yes to the Lord’s call to serve at Beulah Beach; I know that I am right where he wants me in this season. What a pure joy it is to be apart of this community; God is good all the time!