Hello! My name is Matthew Stemple and I have been so blessed to be serving on Beulah Beach’s Res Team this summer. A few weeks ago we had High School Camp- a week of activities, jet skis and deep conversations. This brought tears of laughter, joy, and sorrow. High schoolers bring so much fun to the group. They are young adults just wanting to have a break from all the burdens they carry outside of camp. It is a time to let go and let God work in their lives. It was my privilege to help them this week. Through the crosswalk, mixes, and counselor debrief time, the conversions ideally brought them closer to Jesus and allowed them a space to have someone listen to them. My group was able to share their stories and talk to each other about the struggles they share, setting up a network of accountability. Even though I was a counselor to these kids, I learned so much from each teen in my group and grew so much because of them and I am so thankful for that. It was one of the most physically, mentally, and spiritually draining weeks of my life but it was such a blessing to be a small piece of these high schoolers’ lives.
Through the exhaustion there is no way that I could have done it without the incredible team I have around me. Without my fellow counselors and leadership I could not get the job done. When you are at your lowest point and have no more energy to keep going, the staff come around you and help you push through. Our team members compliment each other and fill the needs that others have in every way. The encouragement and love that is shared is so special and hard to find between a group of young adults in many other places. I am so thankful for the team that I am surrounded with here. It has provided me with a support system and lifelong friends that I am so excited for.
Even to be a counselor this year has been so special for me. I have been a resident of Beulah for a bit and I would come to camps as a kid. My older siblings were counselors and I would make friends with the counselors from previous summers. I looked up to every single counselor and they helped me grow in my faith. The love for Jesus that they shared is so special. I knew I had to be a counselor at one point and I did not hesitate when I got the opportunity to apply for the job. I am so blessed to be here, it is truly a dream come true and a role that I have looked up to for years. To be that man for other campers is such a privilege!