Summer Camp Changed My Life

by:  Zac Crook, CDH10

Summer Camp 2009 is where it started for me. I was a little 6th grade kid who was loud and thought he was funny (I wasn’t really at all). Between all the tournaments, the river and EPIC, the thing that made an impression on me was the staff. Camp is a blast, but it’s the summer staff that made me wanna come back!

I had a guy named Brian that took time to ask my name, and he remembered it. He took time to invest in me at my worst, that being a punk 6th grader! So I kept coming back every year, building friendships with even more staff and becoming better friends with my youth group and with Jesus. Though I’m not really sure what the last 2 years or so of my life would look like if Brian and the summer staff hadn’t taken time to encourage me and build that initial relationship.

The summer after my junior year of high-school I was accepted into a program for high-schoolers called “junior staff” where I spent all summer being discipled and helped out the summer staff with camp activities. Junior Staff was great, and grew me up a ton before my senior year of high school. It gave me a deeper look into CKM and the people that help run the ministry. Junior Staff was the first time that I saw Jesus as someone who walks through life with me, one who sees my stress and frustration. I saw how much He cared, and wasn’t focused on my perfection, but more so my progress. Junior Staff set me free in a lot of ways, and that was just a glimpse of what was to come! On top of all of that, the relationships that I initiated during that summer sort of acted as a springboard into the season of life I’m in now.

The people that I built a friendships with encouraged me to apply for CKM’s Community Discipleship Home (CDH). I ended up getting accepted into that, so that’s where I’m at now. But even before this year of CDH, there was a super dope summer. So let’s talk about it.

Summer 2015. It’s been a long time since ‘09. I had felt the call to ministry in 2011, I had experienced the death of my grandmother while at camp in 2013, where I finally felt a new depth of community while I cried with summer staff and friends. 2014 was the summer of Junior Staff which helped shape the guy I am today. Then I graduated high school and a week later the circle had come to it’s fullness, where I was the guy who was gonna be on 6th graders hall and crying with the kids who had hell breaking loose back at home.

CRSC15 was the biggest summer of my life, where I met people who have changed who I am for the better, I’ve met kids who have inspired me to persevere and look to Jesus in the barren seasons. The past few weeks I’ve been itching for Summer Camp to roll around, and I think that I’ve boiled it down to one reason. It’s the relationships. The people I’ll meet, the stories I’ll hear and get to be a part of, the things that Jesus will reveal to me… All of that is making me better, and is drawing closer to the heart of God and His desires for me. Summer Camp has been the place that The Lord has taken me into show me what community looks like, and to craft me into the guy that He has created me to be. I’m not sure where I’d be in life right now without Crossroads Summer Camp and the people that are a part of it.  

About the author:  Zac Crook is a current CDH 10 participant, serving as a Communications Intern at CKM. He's a lover of spike ball, Stephen Furtick and all things music - he writes and performs and hopes to live out his dream to move people through notes and beautiful words. Read more from Zac at zacrook.wordpress.com.