Students give back at Young Life camp

Published 9:23 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

ECU student Beth Batchelor is one of five locals who decided to volunteer at a Young Life camp. (Submitted Photo)

Five local students will be giving up some of their summer vacations to volunteer at a Young Life camp.
According to its website, more than 60,000 students attend the Christian-based camps.
Most of the volunteer positions are not glamorous camp counselor or group leader positions. They are the menial tasks that make camp run smoothly.
Seth Correll will work as a volunteer at a Colorado camp, where he will be washing dishes in what is lovingly called, “the Pits.” Tori Edwards, Lee Hodges and Sam Grist will be working in the dining hall.
Tom Johnson, area director of Young Life on the Pamlico, said he was pleased to see so many students willing to pitch in where they could.
Young Life is a Christian ministry that reaches out to middle school, high school and college-aged kids in all 50 of the United States as well as more than 70 countries around the world.
Grist joined Young Life when he was a freshman at Washington High School. He attended weekly “parties with a purpose” and took annual trips to Windy Gap summer camp.
“It was fun, and it was something to do,” said Grist, now a senior.
The summer camps strengthened his friendships with other campers and taught him a lot about Christianity, Grist said.
After several people recommended he volunteer for the work crew, Grist decided to try it. He will spend a week at Windy Gap, and then stay on as a volunteer in the dining hall.
Grist said he was motivated to become a volunteer because it would help more teens go to camp. The volunteer work crew helps to keep down the cost of running the camp. He said the camp experience was something he wanted to share with others because it was the best camp he had ever attended.
“It’ll open your eyes about a lot of things,” Grist said.
Washington native Beth Batchelor served on summer staff at Windy Gap summer camp. Because she is a sophomore at East Carolina University, her volunteer job was a bit more glamorous. She was a ropes-course wrangler in May and June.
“But it’s all glorifying God. At the same time, it’s fun,” Batchelor said. “I see kids transforming as they come in knowing nothing about God, then learn so much.”
Batchelor remembers her first Young Life camp experience. She said it deepened her Christian faith and her relationship with God. She calls it the best week of her life.
“I didn’t want to come home,” she said. “I saw God in ways I had never seen him before.”
Batchelor said the volunteer work helped her grow in her faith.
“My fellowship with other volunteers made me realize, why not take hold of it and start living for Him?” Batchelor said.