Since October of 2009, my summer was set. I was going to spend the month of July in New York City, taking fashion classes at FIT. It was my dream to spend weeks in New York by myself, studying fashion; it could not have been more perfect. My parents were just about to lay down the check in March, when I got a call from my Young Life Area Director. He told me that a work crew position at Malibu Club had opened up. Malibu Club is a Young Life camp in British Columbia, in the Princess Louisa Inlet, and as a work crew member you pay your way to the camp, serve the campers, and get nothing in return except the experience. I had only seen Malibu Club in pictures, but never thought I’d ever be able to go there. The work crew session was only available in July, the same as the FIT classes. I had to choose between a glamorous summer walking the streets of Manhattan, or working twelve hours a day serving food, cleaning cabins, or mowing the lawns. The obvious choice was Manhattan, and that’s what all my friends expected me to do, but they didn’t understand the opportunity at Malibu. Malibu’s beauty can not compare to anything, and the joy you get from serving others with the most amazing friends. You create a bond with the other kids on work crew, and it’s unlike any friendship I’ve ever had. It’s obvious that I chose Malibu, and I haven’t had a single regret.
The journey to Malibu Club is a long and difficult one, especially when coming from Arizona. It required a two hour plane ride, an overnight stay at a church in Washington, a three hour bus ride to the Canadian border, a three hour bus ride to a two hour ferry ride, a four hour bus ride to Egmont, and a two hour water taxi to the camp itself. Malibu is completely isolated from civilization, and when first settling in, I realized how attached I was to my iPhone and my Facebook. But after the first week, home is the last thing on your mind. My job at the camp was a server in the dining hall. When I talk about serving food, I don’t mean buffets with overcooked, overused camp food, I mean serving platters of fresh cinnamon rolls to every table and never-ending plates of steak and salmon. Young Life camps go above and beyond to serve the nicest and freshest foods. When the dining hall crew wasn’t working, we would go layout by the ocean, eat ice cream, kayak, sneak into the 80’s dance parties for campers, and more. Life was amazing, there are no worries, just God, friends, and nature. Once while kayaking, we came within arms reach of a seal, and later that day saw the blowhole of a whale sticking out of the water. During the month we were also given the honor to meet Bob Goff. Bob Goff is the leading General Council of Uganda, with one incredible life story. I encourage you research his story, it’s completely life-changing, it was without a doubt the most significant experience of my life.
As I wrote earlier, the friends I met at Malibu Club are unlike any other, they all share the same faith that I have, and are working on living their life to the fullest. I met some of the craziest people, such as my friend Lauren, who has the most distinct laugh, and can tell jokes like nobody else. There’s also Michael, who works out so much, just so he can grow strong to serve people better. Everyone there was so honest, trustworthy, and loving to each other, I could not ask for a better experience. After the month is over, we all come home completely exhausted and completely changed. I am so lucky and honored to have done work crew at Malibu, and thankful that I got to share it with those amazing people. I can only hope that more teenagers get to have the same amazing experience.
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.