I know it’s hard to believe, but summer has begun and is in full swing! Even though some may complain about the swarm of flies, the extreme heat or the sudden increase in holiday fares, summer is without a doubt the best time of year!

I view summer as a time of adventure and catching up with all of my nearest and dearest. Additionally, I believe that summer is the ultimate reward for surviving the often difficult Autumn and Winter months. Traditionally, the lead up towards the summer months are extremely hectic, with the many crucial end of year assignments taking place, in addition to the conclusion of many sports competitions (even though my beloved Boston Celtics are not usually involved in the playoff picture by the time summer comes around!).

Personally, the previous couple of months have been frantic, to say the least, as a result of moving house, applying for my masters degree and the laborious tasks that being a trainee teacher entails. Couple this with the preparations of returning to camp as an overseas counselor and budgeting and planning finances as a student,  it would be no exaggeration to say that these last few months have been some of the most challenging of my life!

In the Bible, God makes numerous promises (over 3000) and although He does not promise a trouble free life, He does promise that those who persevere through the inevitable times of suffering will be rewarded (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). This is linked to my personal favourite section of the Bible in Daniel 3:1-30, whereby three men against all odds succeed in a time of great adversity, due to their unwavering faith in God. Whilst my faith may not be as strong the three men in Daniel 3:1-31, I believe that the amount of faith that I did have, as well as the endless support I received from those around me, were integral in me being able to overcome the many challenges that I faced in the not too distant past.

They say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”; therefore I eagerly await the day, whereby I return to camp and enjoy my reward as a new day dawns…

By René Gardner-Leonce

Returning Summer Camp Counselor and Adventure Challenge Instructor