This summer was my second year as an Artios Outpost Intern. I went into the internship thinking I knew what it was going to be like and what I was going to get out of this year, as I had already been through the ropes one time around. Little did I know God had a much bigger plan. This summer impacted my life in so many ways. Our team became so close, we were so supportive of each other and almost like a family. Every time something would happen that was not planned or unexpected, we would all be able to figure out how to get things done and “flex” in the ways we needed to. Our team work was especially tested on our trip to Colorado, as we had many amazing adventures in the mountains, on the Lane’s ranch, and white water rafting. Many of those moments pushed us in ways that were physically or mentally challenging, and we had to be there for each other, supporting one another and helping each other whenever we could. I have definitely been changed by my fellow interns and I am blessed to have had this summer to work with them.
Now, when it came to the camps themselves, I truly cherished the time I got to invest in each of the students. God has given me a passion for teaching, and seeing these students develop in so many ways this summer just blew my mind. This year, however, our small group time was particular special to me. Having the opportunity to share my heart with such wonderful girls blessed me beyond measure. I loved seeing what God was saying to each of them in our discussion, and getting their feedback…even if I had to pull it out of them sometimes. My favorite moment at each location was when I would ask each of my girls what their favorite flower was, and to be specific when describing it. We would go around in a circle and hear everyone’s choice. Then I would ask them to picture themselves as that beautiful flower, but it had just starting growing. You want God’s word to be the soil that your roots can grow in, a firm and solid foundation. He is the sun, helping you to grow stronger and more beautiful each day. And even though storms may come and you have to close your petals, or you become a little tattered and torn, God will be faithful. And in the end, He will make you even more beautiful than before as long as you trust in Him. I would conclude with this verse, “All beautiful you are my darling, there is no flaw in you.” Song of Songs 4:7. This analogy hit home with so many of my girls, and even with me. It is amazing how much I gained during small group time, when I was the one leading it. God works in funny ways like that I’ve learned. Overall, I am so thankful for this opportunity. For the relationships I’ve made, the leadership skills I’ve gained, and the joy of seeing, time after time, what all God can do in only five short. What a mighty God we serve; to Him be all the glory.
My experience with the Artios Outpost program has been one of the greatest. I applied for the internship in hopes that I would have an adventure, make incredible memories, and share my abilities with others and that’s exactly what I got. The training was fun; the other interns and I spent many hours with the directors, John and Windy Lane, planning, practicing, and laughing. It also required a lot of hard work, creating games, writing scripts, practicing skits, learning songs, etc. But it was a joy to work hard with such great directors like John and Windy, and Mrs. Lori Lane while we were in Colorado. The two-week trip we interns took to the beautiful state of Colorado was the highlight of the internship for me. John’s parents, Mr and Mrs. Lane, invited us to spend a week with them on their ranch in Colorado, and then run an Outpost camp the second week. Those two weeks were packed with everything. We rode horses, milked goats (the girls loved that for some reason), went rafting down the Arkansas River, hiked up a 13,000 ft mountain, went to the Flying W Ranch where we ate a REAL cowboy meal and listed to REAL cowboy music, and so much more. The artios Outpost internship has been one of the best choices I’ve made and I would encourage any Juniors and Seniors out there to give it a try. I cannot thank John and Windy enough for sharing so much with me and giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.
When I first heard about Outpost, I knew it was something I wanted to do but still wasn’t ready to make a commitment right away. After praying about it, I felt like God wanted me to go ahead and apply, and I’m so glad I did! I was able to teach something that I really loved and grew as a leader. The team spent a lot of time together learning, planning, and just having fun. I’ve definitely come out of the summer feeling full.
The students at the camps were absolutely amazing! I enjoyed every minute playing with them during games, listening to what they had to say while in small groups, and teaching them in electives. I found that they were encouraging me as I was able to pour into them. It was definitely different being on the leadership side of things and I have more respect for other teachers and directors now! However, the smiles on the students’ faces and the hard work they invested made every moment worth it.