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Jun-17-2006 14:17printcomments

Camp Teams Depart for Summer Volunteering

Twenty college students. Eighteen kids camps. One summer.

Some of the Corban students shipping out for the summer
Some of the Corban students shipping out for the summer
Photo Courtesy: Corban College

(SALEM) - For Corban College's five Camp Teams, the whirlwind summer of 2006 has just begun. These four-member teams will spend two months of their summer working at Christian summer camps scattered throughout the Northwest. In rented vehicles, they'll crisscross Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California to counsel at elementary, middle and high school camps.

One team, led by senior Lindsey Coy, even traveled by plane to reach their remote destination. She and her teammates are now working at Tanalian Bible Camp in Port Alsworth, Alaska. On Tuesday, June 20th, they'll fly south, return to campus and pack their van for departure on Saturday, June 24th to summer camps in California.

To join a team, students go through a rigorous screening process. Each year, applications for summer are due the previous fall. Admissions Director Heidi Stowman stays in touch with each of the five team leaders on a weekly basis. She was a Camp Team member as a student and remembers the challenges and rewards of the work.

"You're so stretched and exhausted, but it's a good exhaustion," Stowman said. "You feel spent, but it's a good feeling."

This year, Corban received requests from 60 summer camps asking for college students to help run their programs. Eighteen were packed into the final itineraries of this year's teams. At each camp, they counsel, lead worship, run games, plan events and do much more.

"Everyone wants college students to come to their camps," Stowman said. "They have a level of maturity and are able to take leadership roles."

For their work, Corban students receive a modest scholarship to defray the following year's academic expenses. That's a small reward for late nights, bug bites and travel troubles, but the students say they aren't in it for the money.

They're spending their summer this way because they want to care for kids, Coy said.

"One night last year, I decided to take my campers out under the stars. It was late at night, and we just kind of talked and read stories," she recalled. "One of the girls wrote me and said that was the most memorable thing she did all summer. I don't think I'll ever forget that."

-- Members of Camp Team No. 5 will be on campus and available for photos and interviews between their return from Alaska and their departure to California.


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