Here at Glorieta Adventure Camps, we LOVE our summer staff! These super-fun, spiritually-sound, college-aged leaders come from all walks of life and serve our campers with enthusiasm, day in and day out. It’s not always easy, they say, but the experience is worth it 100 percent!
Today we’re featuring Alli Quinn!
Hey, Alli! Where are you from?
East Texas and Arizona.
What do you do in the off-season?
I work as a preschool teacher.
How many years have you worked at Glorieta? And in which programs?
Two years so far with Day Camp, and I’m coming back for Summer 2019 with them!
How did God bring you to Glorieta?
It was a bit of a ride. The Lord revealed to me that He was calling me to GO and serve instead of stay for the 2017 summer. I had an RA who told me that I should work at camp. When I told the children’s minister at my church about this, she lit up and encouraged me to apply at Glorieta. A few months later, I was ecstatic to join the Day Camp team.
What’s your favorite activity at camp?
My favorite activity at camp is a difficult tie between the waterfront and the foam pit. So many of my deepest bonds with campers have stemmed from those activities.
What’s your favorite meal at camp?
Chicken tenders are the best dinner without competition. However, the breakfast sausage is a strong competitor for overall best meal.
What do you love most about being on summer staff at Glorieta?
The relationships are the best part of camp, both with staff and campers. If I had to pick between the two, it would definitely be the relationship with campers. Nothing beats helping them conquer fears, answering questions about God, laughing over the silliest things, and watching them grow as little people.
What’s one unexpected way that being on summer staff has grown your faith?
My first two summers looked radically different from one another. It’s through the drastic differences that I grew in my faith. The first summer, I rarely felt I wouldn’t have the energy to get through the day. I had plenty of time to foster relationships from home, in addition to the deep friendship with the staff at camp. I was regularly able to just sit with the Lord. The food never really seemed to upset my stomach. Almost every off day was filled with an adventure. I was so blessed with things that tend to energize me: people and exploring God’s creation. However, the second summer God had a different plan. I woke up often feeling less than ready for a full day of camp. I hardly spoke to friends from home. The friendships with staff weren’t anywhere near as deep—that is until camp was nearing its end. Sitting with Lord was difficult, because I was distracted and homesick. Off days were more relaxed and I didn’t spend much of it exploring. To say the least, the things that fill me and keep me going were in very little quantities. Despite all of that, I had energy each day. There were days that ended and I was somehow still full. The Lord showed me His all-sufficient nature. He taught me that I will truly lack nothing as long as I put my trust in Him. When the things of the world fail to do their job, He will step in and keep me going. I may not have gotten sufficient nutrients or sleep, but it didn’t matter because of our God. The Lord reminded me that He can be here without using people as He has most of my life. He is here to push me and keep me accountable; all I must do is sit and listen. God is truly all that we need. Knowing and believing this is a freeing experience and a more joyful and content way to live. I know I can trust Him in and through everything. Whatever He calls me to do, I can do without fear.
Can you tell us about a specific moment or experience that deeply impacted your life, while working at camp?
My first summer, we had “Get Right Night” during staff training. During this experience, we wrote on either side of a piece of cardboard. On the first side, we wrote down what God was calling us to lay down at His feet. On the other side, we wrote what He was asking us to run towards. That night the Lord pushed me to lay down the responsibility I felt towards everyone around me. He revealed that I felt more responsibility to people than I did to Him. I was wrecked and humbled. I knew He was calling me towards intentionality and undistracted devotion to Him, but neither of those were going to be easy. The first thing God showed me was that He no longer wanted me to attend Grand Canyon University. The reasons I wanted to go back were based on feeling responsible to fulfill people’s expectations of me. As I have continued on this journey with our good, good Father, my decisions are based solely on His calling and not on what others think I should be doing. Striving for undistracted devotion to God has most certainly had a deep impact. Putting my responsibility to follow Him over my “responsibilities” to those around me continues to be difficult, but freeing.
Any advice for someone considering applying for summer staff at Glorieta?
The biggest advice I would give to someone applying at Glorieta is to prepare for anything. The job is harder than you think, and it will take more energy than you’d expect. In addition to this, the Lord is going to do some major work within your heart. As you may already know, when the Lord works in your heart it can be painful and hard, but it is always worth it. Let Him do the work and give Him praise through it all. The phrase “the hardest job you’ll ever love” is true on so many levels. Just be prepared. Come with an open heart and open mind. Be flexible and willing!