This past summer I had the privilege of working at the Rocking S Ranch at Solid Rock Bible Camp as an assistant wrangler. The first few weeks I was in Soldotna, however, I spent enduring the stress that came through staff training. Staff training is meant to prepare the summer staff for all of the situations that camp brings about. After staff training ends, the chaos begins, and two sides of the lake emerge. The two groups of people who work on either side are completely opposite of each other. Lakeside is where the main camp buildings are located. This is also where the sports camps as well as the general lakeside camps are held. In comparison to Wagon Train (which I will get to), lakeside feels like luxury. The campers and staff stay in heated rooms, and have full access to showers and actual bathrooms. And if you ask me, they get better food. The teens who work at lakeside also have certain personalities. These are the outgoing, loud, enthusiastic (and sometimes quite annoying) young individuals who work at Solid Rock. They are constantly playing games, music, or some other odd activity, which to any bystander would look out of the ordinary. Oddly enough, barn staff like me hesitated to often socialize with these folks.
Then there is Wagon Train, which is a western inspired camp. Campers and staff on this end of the lake are not accustomed to the luxuries experienced at lakeside. Instead of warm heated rooms, campers stay in unheated covered wagons, and this of course adds to the experience. There are also no bathrooms nor showers, only an outhouse and a wheel equipped with sinks. Before I continue, I must add that the barn staff and the wagon train employees are different groups of people. Wagon train counselors are simply lakeside workers who were assigned to work at wagon train for the week. Barn staff members, spend the entire summer working specifically in and around the barn. Their personalities are also much different. Anyone in the barn can generally be classified as weird or socially awkward. They are the individuals who generally don’t do well in big groups of people. But like the lakeside crew, we fancy certain activities that would be odd to any non-barn related personnel. I specifically remember always trying to get the best of one another, whether it is by getting each other wet, or balancing on the hitching rail, or perfecting the art of spreading manure effectively.
Working in the barn was one of the most challenging experiences, yet it was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding as well. I met so many great people, made so many fantastic memories, and learned so many valuable life lessons. I would definitely go back again if the opportunity presented itself, to brave the exhausting establishment known as Solid Rock Bible Camp.