Csehy Counselors

I wanted to introduce the people I worked with this summer to my blog readers, because it was a really special group in so many different ways. The way God formed and brought this counseling team together, equipped for every need that came up and for working well with each other was incredible. There were some that didn’t think they were going to be able to make it at all, and then God opened the doors wide. I was one of those. Counseling at Csehy was something I had wanted to do since very early on in my years at Csehy. When I was praying about whether or not to enter into a relationship with Ezra, on the forefront of my mind was whether or not I was willing to not be a counselor at Csehy. I came to a point where I was willing to give that up, because I figured time and God would make it clear if I was supposed to marry Ezra, and if I was, that then Csehy wouldn’t be such a big deal. Well, time went on and it was looking more and more like I was going to marry Ezra. But we weren’t engaged when I was planning on sending in my application to Csehy, so I sent it in, with a note about a possible engagement such that I wouldn’t make it to Csehy. By the time I got a reply a month later about an interview, Ezra and I were engaged, and had set a January 2014 wedding date – meaning I could be at Csehy. When Ezra and I started courting, I was not expecting the gift of both marrying Ezra and counseling at Csehy. It still amazes me.Even so, I had to remind myself to be thankful for the time I did get at Csehy and to not think badly of getting married because it would take me away from Csehy.

We counselors wrote a song based off of an anonymous poem and Psalm 107. The chorus went:
“Let us give thanks for His steadfast love
And His wonderful works for men
And let us offer thanksgiving
And sing for joy of His deeds.”

This post is a thanksgiving for His steadfast love shown in this counseling team, and for His wonderful works through us, and the wonderful deeds He did with us during Csehy – in us and through us, and thanks for His gift of each person on the team. We often introduce ourselves in a funny way, as value menu items, sports equipment, board games, or items you forgot to bring to camp – but this is a serious way.

Mr. Haynes isn’t really part of the counseling team, but he’s over all of Csehy and very directly involved with the counselors. He led us through a Bible study of Habakkuk, taking us through hard questions and helping us see God even more. He pours himself out for all of Csehy, working tirelessly without much thanks – thanks he has most certainly earned.

Mrs. Hayes is head counselor. She’s our glue, our mom away from home (or one of multiples, since Mrs. Rawleigh is also like that for me), the one who cares for all the counselors as we care for all our campers. She really pours herself into every one of us, with meetings one-on-one that are sometimes hours long and are always times of encouragement, wisdom, and prayer. She’s a servant leader that is more friend than boss and cares so much for our spiritual and physical well-being (think how-to-nap-most-efficiently lessons).

Lauren is lead counselor. She also works tirelessly, without complaining, though she has an even greater load than the rest of us, with campers of her own and many other campers going to her and overseeing all of us. She keeps us on track in a gentle and understanding way, organizing and helping us get done what needs to be done, but also giving us rest and not making life miserable for us (like working out certain people having days off together, keeping us focused so we could go to the lake, etc.). She’s also a ton of fun and great to talk to about anything and everything (and she’s a very skilled photo-bomber, so watch out!).

Alex has a great raptor imitation, can throat sing, and plays the bass. This was the first year I really started seeing a deeper side of him as we had meetings and Bible studies and prayer time together. He’s dedicated to truth and rightness, and loves to make all of us think through things with discussion, and seeks after the wisdom of people who are ahead or have studied these things more. He also can identify probably any bug you’ll ever come across.

Nancy was a camper with me in the same hall one year, my counselor last year, and then this year we were “wing buddies,” sharing the same side and floor of the dorm. We have opposite personalities and some opposite tastes, but have always gotten along really well because of being united in Christ. She’s got solid, biblical perspectives, well thought-through and sure in her own mind. She’s not bound by cultural norms, of either conservative, liberal, Christian, or secular, but by truth. She also sings tenor and sometimes people think there’s a guy on the girls floors because Nancy was singing.

Aimee is full of life and sparkles and pink – but not sarcasm. She’s deeply devoted to those she loves and carries their burdens with them. I didn’t get to know her as well as some of the others, but on my last day off just she and I went to Moss Lake and made it all the way around the trail before sitting on the bridge quietly for a while. It was an enjoyable time of fellowship and also learning from experiences the other had had. She plays harp and saxophone. She’s incredibly fun to be around… but check under the couch before you sit down because she may reach out and grab your ankles.

Sarah is our photographer, shooting people all day long. 😉 She is very skilled at what she does (I think all of these photos except the last one get her credit!), both on a photography level and a people level. She has a motherly, sweet, quiet and gentle spirit that I have loved to be around ever since I met her. She also has a lot of wisdom and is very active in seeking wisdom and utilizing the insights of the people around her. We had three days off together and enjoyed some wonderful hikes as nature-lovers. She loves quietly but deeply… and has the best lap in the world for napping on.

Hannah I could write a ton about, because I know her so well. It was neat to see her at Csehy, and I especially enjoyed watching her come out of her shell and be more and more herself as the weeks went by. She’s wonderful with people, in going deeper in conversation and winning hearts quickly. She’s full of joy and laughter, and may take a while to warm up to you but when she does and even while she’s doing it, she’s always willing to serve.

Timothy was a counselor I had been a camper with and so it was neat to see it on the other side for the first time together as new counselors. He gets people laughing and excited quickly and is one of our few who will quickly and willingly take the lead – but he’ll also step aside to give others a chance. But for all his talk and fun, he feels things deeply and never gives up on people, laboring until God works – and this particular time, God did work and gave Tim the joy of seeing the fruit of that firsthand. And he plays violin incredibly, on a violin that is full of Csehy history.

Brian will pick your nose if you don’t watch out. He’ll also shoot you with a Nerf gun, poke you with his oboe or cleaning swab, and maybe cook popcorn or stir fry for you (and save the garlic all for me). He makes puns right and left but underneath the funniness there’s often a layer of deeper understanding to his puns, especially about people. He’s dedicated to the word of God and can get a group of teenage guys excited about being the bride of Christ, and preaches really well. And he’s my fellow oboist who is the most hilarious stand partner ever – from pulling out cards during tacet variations or asking for chocolate for hard pieces.

Jonathan is the quietest one of us. He doesn’t talk a whole lot, but when he does everyone listens (or should listen), because it’s thought out, wise, and usually by the time he talks, opinionated and solid – but he’s willing to let his opinions go for others. He’s not as much of a leader by nature as some of the other guys, but leads when he needs to and does a very good job of it. He puts character above winning (even when our Frisbee team was 5-0 for the tournament and then we lost the final), seeks to do things right, and likes things to remain constant. And in that quietness, he’s often worshiping God and looking at stars and clouds. He never forgets things he can tease you about, could play with children for hours, and is also very ticklish. And he plays euphonium, so he gets my obsession with brushing teeth and tonguing as I walk. We were often both hungry, and along with Hannah and one of my campers would get distracted by the clouds in the middle of Frisbee or times when we were supposed to be doing other things. And he’s my big brother,  and he and Ezra have a lot of similarities.

Angela is loud, crazy, colorful, and so much fun… but sometimes you have to look at those around you and just say “what?” Like Alex, her brother, she’s a thinker, discerner, and discusser. She loves deeply but doesn’t always show it – just like the depth of thought she has doesn’t always show beneath her goofiness. But when it does, it’ll be completely worth the wait for it.

Heidi is hardworking, giving, warm, and loving. She always has something good to say about everyone, has a positive outlook, and I never heard her complain, even when she was the most sick and tired of all of us. She’s been through a lot but you’d never know it by her joy. She sings so beautifully, too, and always looks so beautiful and classy, even on Field Day.

{he was up to something…}
Andrew was, like Sarah, totally new to Csehy this year. But unlike Sarah, none of us counselors had known him before Csehy. So at first we thought he was calm, quiet, and reserved… which is completely not true. He’s crazy and teasing and teaseable under the surface, and fit right in to Csehy craziness. He was great to work with – another very giving person in many ways. I got to work with him for the composition recital; he was the accompanist for me for an oboe piece a friend wrote. He had clear thoughts and followed well. He also really poured into one of the faculty kids, relieving our child care counselor and giving serious and firm but gentle help to child.

Daniel is a ticklish, expressive, outgoing person, plays the piano and saxophone. He speaks well in front of people, and like Tim, his “twin” can get people excited and involved in anything. He gets excited about his guys knowing God more, and about the ways God works in big and little ways. And he loves and cares for his younger sister so much. She was on my hall, so that opened up other ways for us to interact and work together, and allowed me to get to know her even more.

Rachel is a good friend from previous years, and along with Tim, Dan, Hannah, and I was a first-year counselor that I had been a camper with. I had seen this before but it was highlighted even more as I watched Rachel, whose main job was childcare, work with children of staff and faculty with love, patience, and joy. Her servant heart never stopped giving, even when she was tired and worn out.

Being a counselor wasn’t easy. There were times it felt like being a mom – giving hair cuts, doing laundry, putting campers to bed and waking them up, making sure they were eating their greens, calming tears, etc. We had lots of responsibilities, whether giving announcements, working in the office, overseeing the dorm, field, or music building, leading devotions, and spending wonderful time with campers. I had to learn how to speak loudly and raise my voice to be heard giving 5-minute warnings in the dorm or making announcements.

Our strengths and weaknesses were all different, in such a way that our team was complete, and fully equipped for everything we faced, physical and spiritual. To all who were praying for us – there was a lot of spiritual warfare going on, but God was greater and saw us through powerfully.
Words can’t do this group of people justice. The work we did brought us so close together in a way I never expected. It was a sad day when we parted ways, the dandelion having grown and changed and it being time to “blow” and scatter through the world. It was especially hard leaving Csehy this year after being a part of this wonderful team, not knowing if or when I’ll ever see some of these people again. Heaven will be a sweet reunion. And even though it means leaving each other, there’s so much joy in this group in all of us going on to where we’re meant to be – whether it’s Dubai, Hong Kong, east coast, west coast, the Midwest, or someday maybe many more places. We came together for great work, and now we’re off to spread that even further.
God is good, and faithful, the same at Csehy and away from Csehy, and He never, ever changes.

And yes… you just may have to be a bit crazy to be a counselor at Csehy. Just a bit. 😉

{this, campers, is how we take pictures on bridges…}


2 thoughts on “Csehy Counselors

  1. homeschooledlady says:

    Thank you for writing more about Csehy! The last picture is really funny. 🙂 I believe I recognize Mr. Haynes’ face when he had a booth for Csehy at a homeschool convention in NJ a few years back.


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