Back in February, I was asked to be the Assistant Camp Director at a week-long teen girl's camp run by our church. For those of you who know my love of working with teens, you'll understand just how excited I am. I myself attended the camp for six years and have great memories of those weeks.
Lately my nerves have started to get the better of me. Of late I have been reminiscing with friends about our teen years, and how long ago they seem to be (8 years since I graduated high school!) Now that I'm to be a teen mentor, 8 years seems like the blink of an eye. Can I really have developed enough wisdom and experience to guide others? The closer we get to the camp (early July), the more I realize just what kind of impact I can have on these girls. The pressure to make each decision correctly is mounting. I know that as teens, much of what I say and do might be in one ear and out the other. But this age is so crucial, and you never know when something might touch one of the girls.
I've also been asked to be a motivational speaker. This entails preparing a talk, probably around 30 minutes, to give as a workshop one afternoon. I have felt everything from ecstatic to sheer fear regarding this assignment. I'm no stranger to being in front of an audience - you don't get through 5 years of theatre and 4 years of film being shy. But interpreting a script is vastly different from preparing your own material. Yesterday I saw a clip about a Youth Speaker named Justin Lookadoo, and saw how engaging he is at telling stories and relaying messages. I lay awake most of last night, trying out my own bits, attempting to judge if I could actually pull this off!
I know I will spend much of my life working with teens - I've always known it. I'm not sure how, or in what capacity, but I do know I have a talent for reaching kids at this age. I think all I can do about this camp is regard it as another step in my learning and take a leap of faith that with the proper preparation, the right frame of mind, and a whole lot of humility, I'll be able to deliver exactly what these girls will need.