“The Sheriffs are in Town” 

Senior High Leadership is a camp program here at Heartland that is very dear to my heart. It is a week that provides space for young people to follow the example of Jesus in order to serve younger campers, staff, one another, and ultimately our Lord. The group of seven this week (which is a wonderfully Biblical number) are exemplifying that calling right now. 

This week our little family jumped feet first into their bond with several of them hopping from the Leap of Faith. The Leap of Faith is such a great way to start off the week together because it requires all parts of the group to participate whether by climbing the 40-foot electrical pole and making the leap themselves, assisting on the belay team, or encouraging from the ground. Hearing the cheers of “you’ve got this!” and “I’m so proud of you!” just mere hours into knowing one another set a firm foundation for the trust, vulnerability, and encouragement that this week would require. 

Over the last few days, we’ve been able to see that God’s timing is so perfect. The days are full and by the time the group can debrief while laughing throughout Trask, it all feels like a blur. In those discussions, these young leaders are able to recognize the Lord’s presence in all things from leading Day Campers in wild games to walk alongside our wranglers up at the corral to creating spur of the moment chants celebrating their group “The Sheriffs.”

Another place that the Lord has been evident is in the intentional conversations between the campers. They’ve been so amazing at breaking down walls that may exist outside of camp, showing vulnerability in Morning Watch and Emmaus Walks, a time that partners can split their conversation between asking questions and answering their partner’s questions.

This summer our theme, “I Am,” is exploring the scripture to see the character of God and who we are as purposeful creations. I, personally, have been able to so evidently see the beauty of creation in each of these campers and cannot wait to see what work Jesus does in their hearts over the next couple of days! But, most importantly, we are praying that this is just one stop in the path to Christian leadership for these seven. I encourage those who love these campers outside of Heartland to walk alongside them as they continue to grow in self-sacrificing service, love, and compassion, and also ask them to teach you a camp song or two! 

Shelby Voigt 

Director of SHL