What is one tradition you grew up with and have continued for years?
For Sidney Meriweather, a yearly tradition for her was to spend a week at Daniel Springs each summer for GMA (Girls Missionary Auxiliary) camp, and according to her, she always loved and looked forward to that week every year.
From the summer after her fourth grade year through her senior year in high school, Daniel Springs continued to be an influential force in Sidney’s life. She was a national GMA officer and got to decorate for camp and be involved behind the scenes. She also attended VSM (Volunteer Student Missions) boot camp at Daniel Springs before her short-term mission trip to Romania.
When she entered her college years, Sidney continued to be involved in camp life but as a counselor at a different Christian camp in east Texas. After two summers at that camp, she met Jason Prewitt (Daniel Springs camp director) during the winter of 2016, and they talked about her experiences there. She said, “I loved the camp I had worked at for two summers, but I was excited to hear about the Prewitts’ vision and how they wanted to grow the camp, then basically our discussion turned into sort of a job interview.”
Jason asked Sidney to work as a counselor and take on an administrative role as well, working with the Bible studies and making sure the material was together, along with several other roles.
“I had to get lifeguard certified, I was an emcee sometimes,” she said. “Behind the scenes, I did whatever they wanted me to do. I took on some mini-roles, like creating a schedule. Basically, whatever they needed, and I enjoyed my summer there.”
One of her favorite memories of that summer was the very last week when she got to be the counselor for a group of college students.
“Since they were in college, they were not really considered ‘campers,’ but they were great and I really enjoyed it because I missed being so involved with the campers,” she recounted. “They were at a point in life where they were just seeking how to be different in their new environment. I got to emphasize that choosing Jesus will be the most satisfying thing you’ll ever do. Everything else doesn’t satisfy.”
Sidney explained that Daniel Springs is different from other camps in the best way possible. You’re in close quarters with people from other churches, getting to know new people in the family of God and enjoying the week with them. She also explained how at Daniel Springs distractions fade as your purpose there becomes clear: focusing on the Lord and having fun.
“I would encourage people to go,” said Sidney. “The best memories were getting to know other people outside my church and building relationships with them that will last a lifetime. I have friends from all over that I met because of camp, and they pray for me and keep up with my life. They would do anything for me.”
She concluded by saying that she would encourage everyone to take one summer and be a camp counselor, because she said it would change your life and give you a new perspective.
“You’ll learn leadership skills and be humbled to know that the Lord doesn’t need you, but he chooses to use you,” she explained. “It’s a lot of work. It’s tiring. There’s sweat and tears and you’re drained, but the Lord calls us to empty ourselves, and doing just that will make a life-changing impact on someone.”