Welp, our summer staffers have arrived. All ten of ’em got here last Monday June 30th. As we waited (a little impatiently on my part), our first staff Noah Brown gassed it up our treacherously bumpy hill, he made it and was received with a warm embrace. The other eight made there way to us, and we proceeded to all wait for that very last one. The group began to mingle with everyone learning names and faces, where they had traveled from, and little tid bits from their lives. I found it so interesting that there was no awkwardness present, everyone was welcoming and interested in their newly met friends. About an hour passed from the first arriving to the very last, Maddie Wheeler (a.k.a. wheels). She completed the group adding up to the total ten.
Noah Brown– A second year returning staff came all the way from Fort Myers where he as has lived for his entire life. He is most excited to be “meeting and building relationships with new campers, and getting to see the ones I met last year”. His hobbies are “hammocking” (that’s how he spelled it lol), long boarding and music. His favorite food is “Mac n’ Cheese” with a bear being his favorite animal. Last but not least his favorite verse is 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
Alex Davis – A third year returning staff, has lived in Bluffton, SC for the past 7 years. She is thrilled to “build relationships with the campers and to grow closer to God”. Her hobbies consist of drawing, reading and hanging with friends. She loves sky Blue and chicken alfredo. She also loves bears like Noah. Her favorite verse is Philippians 2:5 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus”.
Mady Faulkner – (a.k.a. Mad Dog, I will explain why later on)- You see Mad Dog was recruited by Alex whom she went to college with. She has lived in Fort Lawn, South Carolina for the past 7 years. She is most excited “to be able to connect with many campers and be able to share the gospel.” She is also excited to spend the summer with other college students who are passionate about Christ.” Touching in my opinion. Her favorite color is, and I quote, “sunshine yellow” (but also teal, we mustn’t forget teal). She loves to go horseback riding and reading, and her favorite verse is Psalms 96:3-4: “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods”.
Lukas Richardson – Another one of our wonderful staff is also from Fort Myers, FL (hmmm) he has lived there for is entire life. He is excited about cabin time, which is where some of the best talks happen. A place where you can be vulnerable and let down the walls you have so carefully created. It’s a judgement free space. His favorite color is purple, and his fav food is chicken parmesan, he also loves golf and gaming. His favorite verse is Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ”.
Brad Mitchell – Ol’e Brad has lived in Fort Myers for 5 years (interesting). He is thrilled to meet and make “connections with the new campers.” His hobbies are Baseball, Pickle Ball (whatever the heck that is), and of course Wii sports (the forever timeless video game). He loves the color red, pizza and penguins.
Halle Nygaard – Miss Halle is the most chill person you will ever meet. She has lived in Fort Myers (what is it with these people and Fort Myers?) for the past 11 years. She is most excited “to spend time with campers and hear the Spirit speak; she is also pumped to “be unplugged” (amen, sis). Her hobbies are singing, which she loves, as well as dance. She also has “recently gotten into pickle-ball (again, what the heck is that?). She added another hobby “oh and volley ball”. Her favorite color is “pastel yellow,” she loves sushi (same), and dolphins but also dogs (my inner cat person has passed away). Favorite verse is John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”.
Marcus Kester – Is the oldest of “the ten” coming in at a whopping 23. He is from Winter Park, FL “well, 10 minutes from there”, he clarifies. Kester is most excited “to bring campers an awesome camp experience and help them draw closer to God.” His hobbies are piano and singing and soccer. His favorite food is steak and his fav animal is a polar bear. Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near; do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Faith Dingle – This girlie lives in Waxhaw/Charlotte, NC; she has been there for about 10 years. Faith is most excited about “finding kids that are overlooked or talked over so I can minister to them and show them how loved they are.” (well put) Her hobbies are crochet (I have always wanted to play that), baking, painting, and knitting (would love a scarf, ma’am). Her fav color is yellow (seems to be a popular color), she likes lasagna (and that is pronounced Lah-Zag-Nah, have fun trying to say it correctly now). She loves cats and big birds (natural enemies). Matthew 10:34 is her favorite verse: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Carli Bell – Bells lives in (wait for it) Fort Myers (I can’t); she has lived there for ten years. She is most excited “to go from being a camper to a GIT [Guide In Training], and seeing how God uses me to make disciples.” Her hobbies are painting and spending time with friends. She loves the color blue, tacos, and sloths. Her verse is Psalm 118:5-7, “When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies”.
Maddie Wheeler (a.k.a. Wheels, we had to give her and “Mad Dog” a nickname for the obvious reason). Wheels has lived in Charlotte, NC for 5 years (I was fixing to lose it if she said from Fort Myers, haha). She wants to “grow relationships with us (staff) and the campers, meeting them where they are, and coming along side them,” (what a beautiful thing to say). Her hobbies are hiking and camping (she lucked out with this opportunity), she likes kayaking (she can paddle me around on lake day 😉 ), and musical theater. She likes the color Aquamarine, a dish called Kabsa, and horses. Her favorite verse is Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
These are “the ten.” I ask you to pray that God reaches so many young people in these upcoming months, by using each and every one of our summer staff. Pray they have the wisdom, the strength, the stamina and the energy to continue the Lord’s work, not just for the summer, but for their whole lives… Thanks for reading, God bless.
Author & Photographer | Koda Moody