Summer Staff Stories

Kevin Taylor
Blue Knob 2022 & Rockport 2019

TEAMeffort is my home away from home! It’s more than just a Christian Camp. TEAMeffort has changed my life as a former summer staff member and camper. Every time I serve with TEAMeffort I always learn something and I see God work in so many ways. As a staff member I have made friendships that will last a lifetime but will also hold me accountable. I even grew deeper in my faith. As a camper I actually experienced God for the first time and gave my life to him at a TEAMeffort camp. TEAMeffort is lead by the love of God and blessing. I wish for everyone to experience it!!!

Megan Weik
Blue Knob 2021 & Panama City 2019

True friends are always hard to find. You know, the friends that stick closer than family, and the ones that know you super well. The ones that pray for you and believe in you when you are struggling. The friends that point you constantly to the Lord and love you through it all. I never experienced true friendship and closeness like this until Summer 2019. I went into my first TEAMeffort summer assuming I would make friends, but I never expected to make the friendships I did. Getting to know my staff was fun but also nerve racking. How was I supposed to live with complete strangers for a month? These 'complete strangers' quickly became the closest friends that I ever had. My favorite moments from the summer with my staff consists of singing to campers as we served them breakfast, spontaneous jam sessions before chapel, and reflecting on how the Lord was working in our lives during a devotional every evening. It was evident that everyone cared so much about each other. There was one day when my director and I went to a homeowners house to tarp the roof after half a workday on Thursday. We got on the roof and a big gust of wind blew the ladder away from the house. My director and I sat on that roof and had amazing conversations with a few calls for 'help' in between until someone came and rescued us. The rest of the staff was at Chick-fil-A waiting for us for like 2 hours. Later, we all laughed about the situation over chicken, sweet tea & fries. I looked around in that moment and remembered praying that God would bring true friends in my life. He did, in His own timing. I am so happy that I have a forever TEAMeffort family now.

Emily Carpenter
Gatlinburg 2022 & Eureka Springs 2021

The TEAMeffort community is filled with people who genuinely reflect God’s love. I have so many amazing memories with the TEAMeffort staff. God used my time with TEAMeffort as a way of growing my reliance on Him. I came into my first summer knowing little about leading a mission site. Because of this I almost didn’t apply, but I had to follow God’s plan. I know that during my second summer with TEAMeffort, I learned a lot about myself. I figured out why I had to work for TEAMeffort. I was relying on myself for so long that I needed to be in a place where I could not. During my TEAMeffort summers, I had to trust God at every corner. I will be honest: I thought I couldn’t go on some nights, but God reminded me “you’re making a difference even if you can’t see it.” We are all called to go and serve. I believe that TEAMeffort is one of the best places for this. You are able to serve alongside people who love God, love others and are willing to commit their lives to carry out the furtherance of the Gospel.

Ani Weitzel
Blue Knob 2021 & Gatlinburg 2019

TEAMeffort Missions has cultivated all of my favorite summers in my life! Getting to meet new people, traveling around a new state, and doing work for the Lord has been the most rewarding thing I have ever gotten to be a part of!  TEAMeffort is such a unique camp and one of the best experiences of my life!

Noah Durbin
Hurricane Ida 2022, Gatlinburg TN 2021, Rockport TX 2019, & Houston TX 2018

When I was on staff at the Houston camp, it was an amazing experience. I learned so much from my director, staff, youth leaders, and the people in the community. One of the lessons I learned is that no matter what you go through, you can always serve people. I learned this by seeing the people we worked for as examples. They lost everything twice in their lives. They first lost everything when many were forced to leave Cambodia during the coup that took over their government. It was no longer safe so they moved to Rosharon, TX and started their lives as farmers. Then they lost everything during Hurricane Harvey. The hurricane not only destroyed their houses but their only source of income since their land and houses were destroyed. But, all of that still did not stop them from serving us. Every Thursday, the community would prepare our TE camp lunches. They wanted to thank us for the work we did each week. They were always happy to see us come to the village, and not because their houses were being rebuilt, but because they loved seeing and talking to people who were willing to help someone in need. I thank God for the opportunity to work in Rosharon, TX and for my staff. It was the best!

Jacob Holloway
Conway, SC 2019, Virginia Beach 2018 & Copperhill Staff 2017

I went into my TEAMeffort summer with absolutely no expectations and came out with one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. It totally removed me from my comfort zone, as I got to spend week after week with kids from all over the country and helping them work together to serve a community in need.  By August, I had eight new best friends that I can count on for anything. It's amazing to be a part of such a close-knit community of believers and to share every moment in fellowship with each other.  I was blessed to work with some of the most amazing kids I've ever met week in and week out, getting to know then was one of the greatest opportunities I've ever had. Copperhill was such an amazing place to be because the camp and the areas around it were just incredibly beautiful.  A TEAMeffort summer is exhausting, sometimes stressful, but altogether one of the best ways you could ever choose to spend a summer.

Kate Bellamy
Blue Knob 2019 & Virginia Beach 2018

A TEAMeffort summer is like no other. Going into this community of people who are from everywhere is a little scary. You know almost no one but when you get there you feel so loved. When you go into a TEAMeffort summer you are surrounded by people who are showing Gods love to everyone and who are working for him. I learned so much about myself and I grew so much. Having people pour into you and being able to pour into others is amazing! Meeting new staff, youth, and homeowners and learning about them and leading them through things spiritually and physically is awesome. The summer does get tough sometimes but having people around you that support you and believe in you show you and remind you why you are there. It is so rewarding to take a step back and look at all you have done as a staff and all the growth you have made and others.

Brandon Beck
Sioux Nation 2019, Blue Knob 2018 & Puerto Rico Staff 2017

This was my first summer with TEAMeffort Missions, and it was honestly the craziest experience of my life. I was never a camper, so I had no idea what to expect out of this situation. And I am glad for that. I had no expectations at all and God drastically changed the course of my life this summer. I was stretched in ways I had never been stretched before, using strengths I didn't know I possessed. I was able to serve the people of Puerto Rico and the students that came down in a way that I had never done before. God truly taught me the meaning of "servant-leadership" this summer, and I am forever grateful for that. If you're thinking you want to apply but don't know if you are equipped enough to handle it, let me tell you this right now; you aren't, but that's ok. God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called!  I had never touched a saw in my life, yet I had to teach students how to use one. I had never preached a full message before, yet I did so every week. And now, because of my openness to whatever He wanted me to learn this summer, I believe He has called me to pursue full-time ministry because of the lessons I learned. The lessons of leaning on God in every situation, trusting Him to work out even the smallest of details, and allowing Him to speak truth into your life even if it isn't something you believe about yourself. If you're reading this now thinking that you might apply and are looking for a sign from God to do so, here it is. You're not prepared enough to do this job, but that's ok. He is! And He will provide you with the strength and peace to do amazing things for His glory this summer.