On the afternoon of June 13, 2009 I made my way to Heavenly Hills Christian Camp in Twain Harte, California. When my mother, sister, nephew, and I drove up to the camp turnoff I thought to myself that I didn’t want to work anymore and I wanted to go home, but I figured I volunteered myself to work in the camp kitchen so I had to get over it. When we finally arrived after two long hours, I was told goodbye by my family and welcomed by my temporary camp family and a long three and a half weeks of work.
My job was washing dishes, putting away dishes, helping to prepare food, and cleaning the kitchen and restrooms. I would work eight hours every day, be awake for fifteen hours, and sleep for nine hours. Being a minor I had a few hour breaks in between meals. That was the hardest thing for me; on my feet for eight hours running back and forth to the outside refridgerator and then back to the kitchen and just being awake for fifteen hours itself was hard. At the end of three and a half weeks I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. At the end of every day my feet would be aching with pains in my back and legs. When it was time for me to go home I was ready to sleep for a couple days straight. I was never home sick, but I did miss my family. I missed birthdays and father’s day that made me sad that I missed. But what did work was the kitchen staff. We all had our own jobs that flowed togehter smoothly. For example, if Joelle, the head cook, was looking for a spatula she would find it clean and in the correct drawer because I made sure it was clean and put into the correct drawer. We all developed a great rapport with one another; the bond one makes by eating, sleeping, and working with others for three and a half weeks is incredible. On the third week we referred to the camp as our home. We all agreed we knew we had been at camp too long when we called camp home.
On my last day, before starting work, I reflected on my three and a half weeks. I learned many safety and health code regulations as well as common sense; you put the new ketchup bottle in the back and the old bottle in front. This experience changed my view towards money. I didn’t want to spend any of my hard earned money because it was mine, I would rather look at it than spend it. I was also stopped by God’s awesome creations: Heavenly Hills Christian Camp, the scenery, the staff, the kids’ faith, and the isolation. I would have to say the greatest lesson I learned was independence. It was only a taste, but it did help me this experience from a different perspective. No one cares if I accidentally slept in, the only thing anybody cared about was the quality of my work. On my last day of summer I was glad that I didn’t turn around at the camp turnoff and go home.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.