Editors Note: Throughout the spring, Brittany– one of our amazing Servant Leadership Missionaries – will be blogging about her experience serving at Camp Gray. Enjoy!
By: Brittany Davis
Four years ago, at SEEK2015 (a huge Catholic conference for college students) my world was wrecked and my life was completely changed by fully realizing the truth that Jesus loves me. At this same conference, Sarah Swafford (one of the speakers) told the ladies to find our group of women to run to Christ with – to find our “posse”. We listened and a group of freshman sorority girls came together to follow Christ. For the next few years of college, we went to mass together, we celebrated birthdays together, and we lived daily life together. We were a posse.
And that is where this story begins.
Now skip ahead 3.5 years, and everyone in the posse has graduated except me. It was this past Labor Day weekend when one of the girls sent me a course-altering text.
“Hey Britz! Do you know what you’re doing after graduation?”
Well….nope. Does anyone? At the time, I was 3 months away from graduating with my civil engineering degree from Oklahoma State University and I had been thinking about what I’d do before attending graduate school the following fall. For the spring semester of 2019, I wanted to do something adventurous, out of the ordinary, and ideally something that would strengthen my relationship with God.
Karoline was still waiting for a response so I texted back, “Nope, sure don’t. Do you have any ideas?” As soon as I read her next texts about the SaLT missionaries at Camp Gray, I felt a great sense of peace wash over me. Karoline explained that this team helps lead retreats, including Confirmation, Team Building, and Environmental Stewardship Programs – all things that I loved greatly. I immediately knew this was what God had planned for me. I only had to get over the randomness of moving somewhere like… *cue the northern accent* …Wisconsin.
Graduation came before I knew it and soon I was packing up 4 months of clothes in my little Toyota Camry, saying my goodbyes to my momma, and driving 13 hours to Reedsburg, Wisconsin.
The time has come. I’m going to Camp Gray.
The nervous butterflies peaked as I drove through the opening Camp Gray archway. Settled by an unexpected sense of peace, I drove up to Peter-Paul to
unpack, but soon got out of my car and ran into a big hug from my dear old friend, Karoline. I held her face in my hands as we screamed about how excited we were to be back together. With my arms around her, I kept looking around, stunned.
“I can’t believe I’m here.”
The rest of the SaLT crew then welcomed me with open arms and quickly initiated me into the habit of making obscure bets (i.e. “What are the odds you’ll take a big bite out of this onion?” Plot twist, we all ended up taking a bite of the onion.)
Upon brushing my teeth multiple times, I went to bed with a smile as I thought, “This is already better (and weirder) than I expected.”
Two weeks later, with each step outside, I still cannot believe I am here at Camp Gray. The rush of cold air enlivens my lungs, bringing about a piercing realization that I’m living fully alive. Sunrise peeking through white pines induce a warm smile as if embracing a close friend. The vast snow captivates my heart and ignites my wonder.
Lord, I am awed by your sheer beauty here, and I am awed by you.
Little did I know that the feeling I had when driving to camp wasn’t solely the same nerves one gets at a new beginning. Now, I see that the unidentifiable sense of peace was actually my Heavenly Father’s way of saying, “Welcome to Camp Gray.”