Summer Staff Stories

Kevin Taylor
Hurricane Ian 2023, 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!

Avery Montemayor
Hurricane Ida 2022, Copperhill TN 2023

One of the things that I love most about team effort is that it challenges you in new ways and every summer you come out of it with new skills and experiences! In my first summer with team effort I was so worried that I wouldn’t know how to run the mission sites, that I wouldn’t be able to lead very well and that I wouldn’t know how to make sure everyone had something to do and was having a good time. But with the awesome summer staff training , some trial and error, help from my director, and a lot of prayer, I was able to run my sites and make it fun and have an awesome time. Then the next summer when I can back to serve in Copperhill, TN. I got to see my new staff grow as they served! I saw some that had never hammered a nail or used a saw lead a work project that even I would struggle with! I saw them go from being worried that they wouldn’t know how to connect with the students to being able to have impactful conversation and relationships. From not looking up at all during their first message in chapel to being able to share their story about their struggles and how God helped them wholeheartedly and earnestly. Being able to see their growth and watch God push them along and encourage them still inspires me daily in my growing relationship with God!