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Lost Canyon Community Crew

By , Pheonix, AZ
"I was wondering if you were interested in work crew" were the first words to something I never knew would change my life. My good friend Kevin, a work crew veteran, thought it would be beneficial if I were to go to Lost Canyon for the weekend and be a volunteer. I thought it was gonna be a camping experience for us to enjoy. With that in mind I brought everything I would need for a great weekend away from home.
It was a good three hour drive up to Lost Canyon in Williamette state. Which is a camp for the religously lost. When we got there we were already late as is so we had to at a perfunctory rate leave our luggage at our cabin and head straight to the dining hall. There I saw were around 50 people all waiting for the supervisor to announce something. In summary what he said was how the weekend is gonna go, how many meals we're preparing, and if we were all ready to work at our stations. As he was speaking was slowly realizing what we were there for. We were basically the crew that cooked, served and cleaned all the dishes for the campers that weekend.

It seemed like I was a confused kid on their first day of school. I was following everyone else and hoping to get through the first night. I ended up being a server. “Alright can all the servers come meet right here, now listen closely we’re going to set up the tables in this order”. When the time was right about the 35 of us had to prepare the tables with dishes, utensils, and napkins. The beverage babes (which in the case happened to be the youngest boys) filled the pitchers with water and juice the servers had to put on of each on every table. And there was about 60 tables. When it was time for the campers to eat dinner we had to be ready with our serving tray and all the food we could carry in one serving and just wait for the signal. I can remember everyone saying “I’m nervous what if i drop all my food” or “this tray is too heavy for me to carry” I said ”just keep the tray close to you serve well and enjoy it” The doors slammed open and we went.

I've never seen so many hungry people at one time. When we walked through the kitchen doors out to the dining area it was a train filled with many goods ready to be delivered. I remember the looks on everyone’s faces when the food arrived to their table. I could almost hear the ding when they all smiled. I was as polite as I could be asking if there was anything else they would like. It was about 10 when the dinner was finally over and the campers left to enjoy the rest of their camping trip. For us however our job had just begun. Our supervisor told the servers to clean all of the tables. I saw the look of dread as everyone heard the new task. I moved my feet towards the nearest table and started by collecting all the silverware.

As the night went on all the workers were exasperated and it was midnight by the time we had finished. We woke up bright and early at six to eat our breakfast and get right to work again. We did the same routine as the night before. The workers and I had to cope with the tasks that followed. Breakfast went well and when lunch arrived it was more difficult to keep up with the tasks. It wasn't until dinner that night that I had finally realized what we were there for in the first place. I was serving my table and one of my fellow workers seemed to have been asked a question. I couldn't overhear the conversation but the group at the table got up at went to a spot in the dining hall away from all the commotion.

They were praying for him. We as the workers were there not for our own gain, but to help make that weekend one of the best for the campers that were there.

I will never forget that image of the whole table crowded around the server praying for him. That night I slept with a smile on my face. The next morning we had to serve our last meal and then we could go home. I worked diligently to make that meal the best one out of the weekend. As we were lined ready to serve I had the greatest of thoughts in my head. As the doors opened I smiled immediately to see the building full of hungry campers. When I was serving seconds to one of my tables they asked how old all of us were, how we ended up going to work crew, and why we were there. I answered that the age range was 12-18, we were from a variety of churches, and we were there for them. They thanked me for all the hard work I had put into the weekend. I replied no problem. Because I know that throughout the weekend the attitudes of the campers had changed. We cleaned the dining hall from top to bottom. Went back to our cabin and cleaned everything in there. Then the workers said goodbye to each other with the feeling of gladness knowing they just made the weekend for those campers amazing. I learned that on the drive back that I aided in changing a number of about three hundred or so lives that weekend. The work, experience, and time I had there was splendid and I can't wait to go back.



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