Aaron was a camper, staffer and now director with Impact 2818
*Camp Adventure - *A fifth-year director at Camp Adventure, Aaron Helman has come far from the time when he was a high school camper at Epworth Forest Conference Center. For the past five summers, the youth pastor at Clay United Methodist Church has spent a week at Camp Adventure, pouring into the lives of middle school campers.
The change Aaron sees in the lives of campers each year is more than enough to assure him that the Lord is moving in great ways at camp.
“The cool thing about camp is we’re only here for 6 days,” Aaron said. “And there are weeks where you see more progress and spiritual growth and have just a greater sense of victory in those 6 days than you do in the other 359 days of the entire year.”
As the Spiritual Director, Aaron is in charge of planning the overall vision for the week and delivering the message to campers every evening. The directors of most Impact 2818 camps work in teams of four: a Spiritual Director, Worship Director, Activities Director and Counselor Coordinator plan and facilitate a week of camp.Directing allows Aaron and his partners to tailor the week’s themes and messages to the needs of their own students, as many campers attend camp with their home churches. Aaron believes that ability is one of the most unique and beneficial things about Impact 2818 camps.
“Instead of sending them to a camp that puts together a generic program all summer, I’m able to build something that specifically speaks to what our kids have been going through,” Aaron said. “We’re able to more specifically meet their needs by putting together a week of camp based on what we’ve seen in the last year or so.”
Aaron was interested in youth ministry as a college student and worked on summer staff at Epworth Forest before becoming a full time youth pastor. Because he understands what it was like to be on summer staff, Aaron encourages the Camp Adventure Summer Staff to interact with his campers and minister to them.
“I was interested in youth ministry so I didn’t come to camp just to life guard and clean toilets and then go home at the end of the day. I came because I was interested in helping students meet Christ,” Aaron said. “So I know that’s the heart of a lot of these staffers, and we give them chances to do that and encourage them to interact with our campers.”
For Aaron, directing at Camp Adventure is a calling from the Lord that he takes seriously, and he treats it as a full-time commitment and a great priority. As campers are ministered to by staffers, counselors and directors, Aaron sees the Lord working in many different ways at Camp Adventure. The most unexpected ways are his favorite.
“I’m always praying for God to move. And every year that I’ve been at camp He’s been faithful to that. Every year he moves in unexpected ways,” Aaron said. “That’s probably my favorite thing to see is when God orchestrates unexpected events that are above and beyond what we could ever plan.”