Allow us to introduce Cody McNulty, who just finished his tenure as intern at Camp Sonshine as a part of his college degree in Youth Ministry at Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. Here is a word from him about his camp experiences:
Hi, my name is Cody McNulty. I have a real passion for camping ministry and I enjoy working with kids and teens, which is why I applied to work as a counselor and an currently working as an intern at Camp Sonshine.
As I came into camp this past summer, I knew I would be placed in all areas of Camp Sonshine as I would interning in the fall. I beyond enjoyed my time here. I have never been at a place where I have felt so welcomed and loved. All of the staff here were so nice and on fire for Christ which was super encouraging to be apart of.
My first week of camp, I got to help lead the Leader In Training program for 7th – 9th grade campers. The rest of the summer, I worked with campers in 3rd grade all the way through high school – at Camp Sonshine Day Camp & Camp Solaris Overnight Camp.
I got the opportunity to see middle school students who were a little immature and goofed off at the beginning of the week grow to become hands on leaders and mentors to campers. I got the opportunity to join and be apart of an amazing experience of leading kids to Christ and helping them grow in their faith. Many, if not all, of my campers came out of camp different people than when they first arrived. I got to help many campers accept Christ or discover Christ in ways they have never seen him before.
This summer experience was an experience of a lifetime and it would not have been possible without the great leadership of our directors, Jeff and Trisha. They pour out all their love and knowledge into the counselors and the rest of the full-time staff. They help us all along the way to make sure our experience helps us grow as individuals and make sure we have the tools we need to be effective counselors to our campers.
I just finished working through the Camp Sonshine internship program and have experienced a welcoming and warm family of full time staff. I say family because that what it feels like here. We not only care about the work we do, but we take time to hold weekly prayer meetings to pray for each other, for campers, for families, for staff (past and future) and for anybody else that may need prayer. I have never been at a job where I have felt so encouraged and loved.
I have been working on summer camp programming and it has helped me discover strengths that I never knew I had. Through our weekly intern meetings, I have learned a lot about good hospitality as an organization, what it looks like financially to run a camp, and working to recruit a team of believers as summer camp counselors. I’ve also really enjoyed being able to keep pouring into past campers through Hang Time, our year round discipleship program for 6th – 12th graders. Through my internship, I have discovered more about myself and my leadership abilities than I ever have before. I have grown so much in my faith seeing the impact of God working through me. Camp Sonshine not only gave me a summer job and an internship, but they gave me an experience that I will hold onto for a lifetime.
Sincerely, Cody McNulty
Allow us to introduce Elaina Callahan, current intern at Camp Sonshine. Elaina was a camper for many years and came back to be part of our 2018 Summer Staff. She has, since, helped in many areas moving forward the mission of “Making Memories Changing Lives!” Here is a word from her about her camp experiences:
Hi! My name is Elaina Callahan!
Isaiah 6:8 states “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” I am so thankful that I decided to follow Him and that it lead me back to Camp Sonshine.
At camp last summer, our theme was “Go for Growth,” and each week we talked about a different fruit of the spirit. During the week we explored the fruit of Joy, I asked my group of girls,who I had at Camp Solaris, if any of them had a time where despite the situation, they were able to see God’s joy. I really feel like God was working on every girl’s heart in that room as they all began to share about different losses and other negative experiences they’ve had.
One girl, after sharing her story, stated that she had never shared it before and that she felt like she was in a safe and comfortable enough space to share it. All of the girls, including me, were able to open up about different situations in our lives and I was so thankful that God had put me in that position to be there for them so that I could tell them about God’s joy. I feel such a deep connection to these girls now, and it’s all thanks to God and His presence working in me at camp.
In my time at Camp Sonshine, I really have enjoyed learning about, expanding, and growing in my leadership skills. I’m excited to see what God has in store for me in the rest of my time as an intern, at for Camp Sonshine next summer. No matter how seemingly small or large it may be, each and every one of you have had a hand in making camp possible, whether it be through donating your money, your time, or sending your children to a place that will have an impact on them for the rest of their lives, like it has for me. I pray that God continues to bless you and your family and that you are in some way experiencing the presence of God in your everyday life.
Loving children in Jesus’ name, Elaina Callahan