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Posted August 10, 2017 by
Tags: Global and Experiential Learning My Wheaton Spiritual Life

My Time at HoneyRock's Summer Leadership School

This summer, I got to partake in the ministry up here at HoneyRock that is Summer Leadership School (SLS) as an Advance Camp Counselor. The leadership program began with five weeks of intensive training. I became certified in water rescue training, First Aid, CPR and many other wilderness skills all while learning what facilitative leadership looks like, how to lead Bible studies, and how to deepen my own personal relationship with God. However, it was when campers arrived that the real training began.

You can attain so much knowledge about how to counsel, but until you are actually in that position of leadership and the application of that knowledge is paired with your experience, can you then begin to really learn. From 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., I had the chance to walk alongside my campers in their physical activities such as climbing or archery, cabin-based activities, and witness their spiritual growth in their acquisition of truth in worship, Bible studies, and cabin reflections. I had the opportunity to celebrate every achievement and triumph with them, but also the opportunity to be present with them amid their deepest struggles and fears.

Practically, the second I began this walk with them, I felt inadequate and stretched in every possible area. I have never thought of myself as someone who listens well, or a person physically suited for all the activities. My biggest struggle was feeling unable to do anything to get my campers to desire God. These frustrations and feelings of inadequacy really brought me to terms with my own weaknesses. It is through this that I have been learning more of what it means to truly live into God’s grace in my leadership. For His grace is sufficient for us, His power is made perfect in our weakness. He has humbled me and taught me time and time again that “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15). As inadequate of a counselor I am, God has reassured me that it is okay, because He says the broken counselor I am is enough. It is when I can't do it on my own strength that I have to remain in him and have him work through me. All He demands of us is faithful obedience and ultimately, it is only He who deepens my campers’ desire for Him. We are just mere partakers in God’s grand scheme of salvation. 

HoneyRock has taught me about the heart of ministry: that HoneyRock’s goal is to make both campers and staff more aware of our God who so deeply desires for us to return to Him despite our brokenness. That once we have tasted the goodness of the Lord, that even when we leave this place, the taste is something we cannot live without.

If you have any questions about SLS, feel free to stop by the HoneyRock office or pull me aside if you see me on campus at any time. I would love to tell you more about how God spoke through my experience there.

Philip Kwong ’20 is a Christian Formation major pursuing certificates in youth ministry and Christian education leadership development who participated in the SLS program at HoneyRock during summer 2017. Photo captions (from top): Philip with Advance Camp students at HoneyRock; Philip with friends at sunset on Long Lake at HoneyRock.

To learn more about HoneyRock's Summer Leadership School (SLS), visit their website. To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.