The First 90 Days of Officership- Lt. Chelsea Fleeman, Week Four

By: Lt. Chelsea Fleeman

Camp Keystone holds many of my treasured childhood memories. At the age of 6 I dedicated my life to Christ in the Conference Center auditorium. When I was 14 I spent four weeks learning about music, and also receiving a crash course on social justice. That summer I realized that God had placed a call on my life to go into full time ministry, and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to follow that call! At 21 I had the amazing opportunity to be the Program Director for the summer, and show the love of God to hundreds of kids. It was the summer before I went to training, and I grew so much mentally, physically, and spiritually while serving on staff. All this to say, I love camp, and I love any opportunity I get to return there.

This summer I had the unique privilege to work with the first year girls at Girl Guard camp. With my co-leader, Lt. Heather Needham, we taught the girls how to work together through team sports, and how to value their environments through Ecology. It was a fun week, and I hope the girls learned a lot. In any case, Lt. Heather and I saw lots of attitudes melt as the girls started engaging and letting their guards down.

I have to say, though, there was one part of the week that stood out above the rest. At the end of the week we had our traditional Indian program and crowned our 2016 Princess A-Khi-Ko-Ka. This is exciting for all the girls, because who doesn’t want to be a princes?? However, it was especially exciting for me because the young lady who won came from my home corps. In fact, I assisted in the Sunbeam Troop and Jr. Soldier class that she attended many years ago. When they called her name, I couldn’t contain my excitement (well, internally. You aren’t allowed to applaud in those kinds of ceremonies)!

I looked around and saw several leaders who had been present in that young lady’s life. I started thinking about all the young ladies in my corps, and the impact that I’m having on them; the impact all our leaders are having on them. As their corps officer, I want them all to succeed! I want them all to be crowned Princess A-Khi-Ko-Ka, but more importantly I want them to realize they are already princesses – daughters of the one true king.

Camp is such an important part of our young people’s lives, but as leaders we can’t forget to invest in them throughout the year. I’ve only known the kids in my corps for a few short weeks, but they already have such a special place in my heart. I want to be sure that I’m giving them the best of me, so that they can become the best they can be. Camp can change lives, but we have to make sure that we regularly care for those precious lives