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June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26 (Session 4, Day 1)

Sunday, June 26 (Session 4, Day 1)

The first Sunday of Session 4 was very much like the start of the past three sessions of my experience being on the Summit staff. After a little spiritual preparation and alone time with the Lord, I donned my khakis and Summit staff t-shirt and headed down to the lobby to greet students. A few had already checked in, so I mingled in the lobby a little and introduced myself to a few of them, trying very hard to retain their names. It wasn’t too long before it was time for lunch, so I headed up with one of the students I had just met, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed back to my post. Finally, the moment came; the one we had all been waiting for. The sound of a diesel engine began to fill the air, and within seconds, the school bus full of students mounted the hill and stopped in front of the hotel, accompanied by the excited, welcoming shouts from staffers on the porch. The students are directed to the desk where they can check in, and their luggage is unloaded by an assembly line of male staff members. As the students checked in, I introduced myself to a few of them, then waited for any girls who needed a hand trucking their massive bags to the fourth floor. There’s nothing like carrying heavy burdens for females to make a guy feel manly.


This pattern continued for most of the day: waiting for the bus, introducing myself to new students, carrying luggage for girls, showing guys to their rooms, and of course, the way to the dining room. After a highly anticipated and hyped-up dinner of lasagna, the students meet for orientation in the classroom. There they are informed of the rules of the Summit, and introduced to the staff members. After the meeting, they are sent off with their small group leaders for the first meeting. Throughout the two-week session, they will meet with their assigned staff member with three or four other students to discuss the topics they’re learning here at Summit, to share testimonies, and just to have some time to unwind after a day of lectures. The first small group meeting usually consists of introductions and sharing random personal facts (i.e. I have a cat named Sam). After the small group meetings are over, the students are sent to gender-specific hall meetings, where they learn the more intricate details of the rules of Summit life, such as clothing standards and classroom etiquette. After a fire drill, the students are lulled to sleep by the sultry sound of the voices of the night watch guys gently telling them to “shut up and go to sleep!”


Not too long after, I go to bed, filled with a sense anticipation, but also inadequacy. My responsibility to my small group guys is great enough to scare anyone to death, but God’s grace is always greater.


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