Mid-Semester Update on My Life

life

Guys, it has been a while since I could sit down at my computer and not feel guilty about spending time on my blog.  As much as I love investing in this blog, my schooling comes first.  Let me tell you, my studies require a lot of time and energy!  It’s good to be reminded that it is important to take some time to do things you enjoy.  We shouldn’t be working all the time.

But seeing myself improve within my program has been so rewarding.  The difference between the beginning of this semester and where I am now kind of blows my mind a bit.  I am extremely proud of the progress I have made and it further motivates me to work even harder.

Things have just begun to slow down a little bit for me, and I am looking forward to a time where I can invest in this blog as well as other things in my life that I really enjoy.  Perhaps these kind of updates are super boring to you, but I feel like I need to explain the changes that have happened in my life in order to prepare for the next chapter!

So What Has Happened?

I got into my degree program

Well, I guess the biggest thing that has happened to me in the last couple months is the changing of my degree.  I am happy to announce that I was accepted into my schools Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program!  Right from the beginning, this has been one of the biggest goals in my academic career.  I know every school runs their program a little differently but in the case of my school, being in the BFA program is exactly the kind of edge I wanted to truly be challenged in my education.  I feel completely ready to take on the extra responsibility of being a BFA student.

I got cast in not one, but two musicals this summer

When I decided to major in theatre, I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to actually get into shows.  They kind of take it easy on you in high school I’ve learned.  But in college, simply getting into a show is a big deal.  I haven’t actually been in a musical since my senior year of high school.  You can imagine how excited I am to be in two this summer.  Through my school, I will be playing one of the mersisters in The Little Mermaid.  I get to be a mermaid!  Who doesn’t love that show?

I also attended my first professional cattle-call audition this spring.  It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be.  Through this audition, I was cast in the role of Margot in Legally Blonde the Musical for the summer stock company in my hometown!  I am super excited to return home to do a show!

What’s Next?

As I escape the most stressful parts of the school year, I can feel my mental health becoming more balanced.  I am hoping to have much more time to invest in this blog.  I am already coming up with a lot of ideas I would like to bring to life.  I can’t wait!

One decision I had to make was whether or not I would return to camp this summer.  Getting into these shows were a pretty good incentive to not return.  However, I believe I made this decision quite some time ago.  My summers devoted to camp are over and I am at complete peace about it.  Of course, I will be making plenty of visits to see my friends and my brother who will be working on staff at camp. 🙂

Thank you so much for tuning in to this life update.  There will be much more to come and I can’t wait!

Where Am I This Summer?

 

where am i this summer?

Here’s the warning: Laughs Without Fear is on hiatus for the summer.

I really hate it, but the fact of the matter is that I simply will not have a lot of time to work on the blog this summer.  This makes me pretty sad because blogging is a blast and I will miss so many things about it.  I love interacting with readers and sharing tips with other bloggers.  I LOVE finding new blogs to read.  I am particularly fond of the college blogging community that I have grown to be a part of.  Not to mention, I love seeing my traffic increase, which certainly isn’t going to happen while I’m away.

The good part is that I get to go back to camp!  (Insert happy-dance here!)  For my second summer at camp, I am pretty sure it’s going to be twice the fun!  Camp is amazing, but it is a full-time commitment.  The camp I work at is an overnight camp, so the staff lives on site and we always work on the weekends.  In fact, I may only have the chance to go home one or twice the whole summer.

But the thing is, being at camp is hands-down the most fun way to spend the summer.  Over the course of last summer, I became best friends with my coworkers.  I got to work outside and go to the beach every day.  Most importantly, I got to spend the whole summer talking about God and experiencing him touch the lives of hundreds of people.  Plus, the food is superb.  How could I not be excited to go back?

Living the camp life isn’t always easy, though.  For example, we work some pretty long hours.  When you live in a cabin with your campers, you are basically working 24/7.  There are always projects to work on and places to clean.  It can also be a very emotionally taxing job.  We strive to create an atmosphere where kids are not afraid to talk about their lives and their relationship with God.  Sometimes these kids have been through more than I could ever imagine.  Lack of sleep and emotional roller-coasters make for a pretty tough, but fulfilling job.  If you are thinking about working at camp, here are 10 Reasons Why You Should Be A Camp Counselor.

Here is what a typical day at camp looks like:

7:00am- Staff devotions.  I think it’s so important that we have this time together and with God to prepare for our day at camp.

8:00am- Breakfast with the campers.  Depending on the number of campers, meals can take a long time.

9:00am- Rotations.  The counselors and campers do some activities around camp like boating, hiking, low ropes, etc.  During this time, the kitchen crew cleans up breakfast and the lifeguards do work projects around camp.

10:30am- Chapel.  I love this part!  During morning chapel, we usually hear a staff member give their testimony and from someone about a mission trip that they’ve been on.

12:00pm- Lunchtime!

1:00pm- Afternoon game.  Usually involving face-paint and a lot of running.

2:00pm- Free time until dinner.  Campers can go to the beach, the craft cabin, rock wall, or any other activity around camp.  Staff is usually working at one of these activities or on their break.

6:00pm- Dinnertime.  Before dinner, anybody who has received mail has to embarrass themselves in order to get it.

7:30pm- Evening chapel.  For this chapel session, we get to hear from the amazing speaker that stays the week with us!

9:00pm- Night game! Again with the face-paint and running, except it’s always more exciting in the dark.

10:30pm- Cabin devos.  Counselors are with their campers in their cabins or somewhere around the camp.  Lifeguards, kitchen crew, and other staff usually have some adventure at this time.

11:00pm- Lights out.  Maybe.  Pranks are always a possibility.

So, in case you’re wondering what I’m doing this summer, this is the gist of it.  I couldn’t be more excited to return to camp, but I will miss working on the blog.  I may be posting every now and then, but I will really have to see how things work out.

What are you guys up to this summer?  If you are a blogger, what are you planning to work on?

10 Reasons Why You Should Be a Camp Counselor

10 reasons why you should be a camp counselor

I have had my fair share of summers that are less than spectacular, but now I know the secret to having the best summer ever: camp counseling!  Last summer was my first time working at a camp, and it was truly the best summer of my life.  Even though I was hired on as part of the kitchen staff (which is totally fun and awesome, by the way!) I got to do my fair share of counseling as well as other fun camp activities.

I am happy to say that I have been hired back as a full-time counselor for this summer!  While I’m waiting for the semester to finish I might as well share with you why being a camp counselor is the best way to spend your summer. 🙂

This post is in collaboration with Tori from toriinthousandoaks.com, another college blogger who works at a summer camp.  Camp culture is something you can’t really explain unless you’ve experienced it, so there is an instant bond between camp people!  The two of us are bringing you 10 reasons why YOU should be a camp counselor for the summer!

1. You will definitely get a good tan

Listen, I had never been tan in my life until I worked at a camp.  If I can tan, anybody can!  Especially if you’re a lifeguard, you will be leaving camp at the end of the summer with a bronze glow as a souvenir of all the wonderful times you had outside!  Being outside and running around with your campers is a sure way to soak up some rays.  Just make sure to bring sunscreen and aloe, because you will get burned too. 🙂

2. You get to learn some parenting skills years before you have kids

Most of the time, campers are pretty well-behaved, but you will definitely be working on having patience with kids!  Every now and then there will be a camper who acts out severely, and you will of course have to deal with them in an appropriate way.  But besides that, you will be learning how to keep kids engaged, how to listen to them, how to have fun with them, and how to be instructive.  Maybe your campers will teach you a thing or two as well!

3. Being crazy and outgoing is practically part of the job description

I often find that when I am with campers I am a completely different person than I am outside of camp.  Even though I’m generally more reserved, I completely let loose while I’m counseling.  The excitement and energy from the campers is contagious, and they will love you for being funny and outgoing!  As a counselor, you are responsible for bringing the enthusiasm to your cabin, so go crazy!

4. The food is really good!

Um, yes!  The meals we have at my camp are often one of the highlights of the campers whole time at camp.  Not to mention you will have some great bonding time with your campers over meals while you share funny stories.  Don’t forget the constant s’mores, popcorn, and candy that we snack on all week.  I even sneak some late-night cookie dough into my cabins sometimes!

5. You get to have an impact on young lives

It never ceases to amaze me how close all the campers grow with each other and with their counselors.  In a camp atmosphere, relationships are often hyper-accelerated, so you are sure to meet people that you feel like you’ve known forever.  Not to mention, the campers often feel like they can open up to their counselors easily, so you will surely have a positive impact on their lives!

In actuality there are a million reasons why you should consider being a camp counselor this summer, but I hope this list helped peak you interest.  If you have any questions about camp life or you have a crazy camp story to tell, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I’d love to hear it!

Don’t forget to head on over to Tori’s Blog, Tori in Thousand Oaks, to find out the other 5 reasons why you should be a camp counselor.