Q&A with camp staff
By Holly McCray
The four became friends as teens, when district youth camps brought them together at United Methodist Cross Point Camp beside Lake Texoma. Now young adults, they returned this year to Cross Point— but as summer camp staff rather than campers.
Picture yourself sitting on the dock at Cross Point with these four. Swing your bare feet over sun-sparkled water and ask them why church camp matters.
Q: Tell me favorite camp memories from your childhood.
A: Watching the sun rise at the cross. (John Hiller)
Communion at the cross. Midnight canoes. (Samantha Erickson)
Worship at the cross with the whole camp. Facing my fear of heights on the high ropes course. (Allison Bevers)
I loved being at camp with my little brother; I think that helped our relationship a lot growing up. Everything about my senior year at Ardmore District Camp—midnight rappelling, midnight canoeing, front-row seating at worship. (Jessica Grace)
Q: Tell me highlights this summer.
A: Everything involving Camp Cavett. (Samantha) This specialty camp is for children with debilitating diseases.
Working on the Fourth of July! (Jessica) Samantha and John specifically note shooting fireworks from the dock on the lake.
Giving the morning devotions at the cross for Ardmore District Camp. (John)
Creating and tweeting from the Cross Point Lifeguard Twitter account. (Jessica)
Q: Why did you choose to work at Cross Point this summer? Have you made a difference there? Has working at camp affected you?
A: I felt it was a great opportunity to serve the place that gave me so much. I have learned once again to be a servant, to show others the love of God through service. (Allison)
Every day I try to be a reflection of God’s love to the campers here. (John)
Our jobs require us to do a lot that people don’t see. Working under the radar has shown me that things people don’t see are just as, if not more, important than the things people do notice. It’s hard NOT to grow in every aspect of your life when you wake up at this place every day. (Jessica)
Q: What’s your favorite spot at camp?
The crow’s nest on the ropes course. I get to congratulate people that didn’t think they could finish. (John)
Definitely the cross. It’s such a peaceful place and the perfect place for thinking. (Samantha) Allison agreed.
My favorite places have all been where I’ve had intimate moments with God. At the cross, it’s hard not to see and remember the grace and mercy shown to me despite my imperfection. One night, [we] went kayaking to see the cross on the lake. It’s so easy to feel Christ at Cross Point. (Jessica)
Q: What would you say to others about why Camp is important?
God uses camp as a place to show himself. (Jessica)
It is a place that puts kids out of their comfort zones in all the right ways. (Samantha)
Camp is where kids can enter an entirely new environment and learn from other kids their age about God. It is essential for spiritual growth as a kid. (Allison)
Camp is a place to leave behind the distractions of the world and connect with God and other believers. (John)
Q: What camp did you first attend?
A: Sonshine Camp, for first- and second-graders. (Jessica)
Growin’ in Grace. The first time was in third grade, and I have been here every summer since. (Allison)
Family Camp, as a very young child. (John)
Ardmore District Camp. (Samantha)
John, Allison, and Samantha are religion majors at Oklahoma City University. At Oklahoma State University, Jessica is majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders. Their home churches are: John, Ringling UMC; Jessica, Ringling and Ardmore-First; Allison, Lindsay UMC; and Samantha, Durant-First.