In Their Own Words III
Reflections on camp
How did you get involved with Royal Family KIDS?
I got involved with Royal Family KIDS through Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa. I heard an announcement about their camps at a Sunday morning service and it really caught my attention. I decided to apply.
What did you expect from volunteering for camp that week? Did it turn out as you anticipated? What was different?
I tried my best to go into the week without any expectations since it was my first time. I tried not to worry or overthink how I would handle certain situations if they were to occur. But just before camp—and even the first day we got there, I was constantly reassured that I wasn’t going to be alone in it, and this ultimately ended up being true. Everyone looked out for each other, and God really gave all of us the grace and patience we needed in the moments we needed. He worked through every little challenge that occurred throughout the week. It was definitely a busy, emotional, and tiring week, but the time with the campers was so sweet and fun, it ended up being a really awesome time.
What had the most impact on you from that week of camp?
One of the biggest things that stood out for me was the intentional and unconditional love all the staff and counselors poured out on the kids. I’ve never been around so many selfless & genuine people, and it was truly inspiring how broken their hearts were for each child there at camp.
Any special story of a camper that touched your heart?
I was able to share one of my favorite devotionals I had growing up with one of my campers called “His Princess” and after the first time I read it to her, she wanted to read another one, and then the next day … another one. She even wrote a note to one of the other counselors in our cabin saying something like, “You are God’s princess. You didn’t know that, but I did.” It was really exciting that she wanted to keep reading and learning more. Just as important, she was able to understand that she is God’s princess, and then share that good news with someone else.
Another sweet moment occurred on the Wednesday of camp when it rained and we watched a movie in the Shiloh. One of the girls from our cabin was leaning on my shoulder and another girl from our cabin was lying on the ground in front of us. While we were watching the movie, the one girl who was leaning on my shoulder was gently stroking and patting the other little girl’s back, just as a mother would do to her child. It was such a simple act, yet it was one of the most precious moments for me to witness. While these girls may have felt unloved or rejected at one point in time or another in their lives, it was touching to see their display of love and compassion amongst themselves.
Another special moment was on Thursday during the week of camp during what is called “30/30.” Both of my campers would not stay in their beds, and I was starting to get frustrated because all of the other girls were resting while mine were being a little disruptive. I finally got them to sit in their beds and then a few minutes later, they just had a huge giggle fit together. It was the hardest I had seen either of them laugh the entire week. My initial reaction was to separate them, but it actually ended up being a really special moment for the two girls because throughout the week, they didn’t always get along so well. It was really humbling for me because while I was so concerned that they weren’t listening, I believe God was orchestrating a sweet moment for them to share. They even wanted to sit together on the bus ride home, so it was just awesome to see their relationship evolve.
Would you come back to serve again?
Yes, definitely. It was such a blessing to get to know the kids, to love on them, and also being unified and on mission with everyone who volunteers for camp. Serving at Royal Family KIDS was definitely a powerful and life-changing experience.
Brittany Klubnikin, RFK camp volunteer – Rock Harbor Church