I’ve never written a blog before, but when I was approached to write something about my experience as a volunteer in Base Camp, I was excited to try something new! So, here it goes…
I grew up in a small church and along the way made some lasting memories. I attended youth group there, sung in several choirs, and volunteered in the infant nursery. I was married within those four beautiful sanctuary walls and had my babies baptized there. As my children grew, I became more involved as a Sunday School teacher and with the various programs designed for the kids in our congregation. What I didn’t realize then was that I was slowly becoming burnt out.
I was one of just a handful of volunteers that worked tirelessly to ensure that the children who came to us knew that they were special to God and that they were never too young to make a difference in God’s kingdom. After about ten years of consistent work with no time off, I realized that things were never going to change and I hit my breaking point. I prayed about it and cried boatloads of tears, but came to the conclusion that my family needed to find a new church home. One that fostered the same convictions that were important to me regarding the care of the children in the church family, but also had a large volunteer base to draw from that could share that awesome responsibility. After many months of searching, we found Summit and were hooked!
I have to admit, I took a back seat for awhile— taking my kids to Base Camp, then just soaking up God’s word in the main services. It was what I needed at the time. Then something wonderful happened! My younger son was “graduating” out of Base Camp and asked if he could start volunteering in the children’s nursery. I looked into it and discovered that Base Camp welcomes Junior Volunteers with open arms. Nathaniel has been a consistent worker ever since and set the example I needed to get back into the game!
A couple of years ago, I decided to become a volunteer for Team Summer. I really liked the idea of giving the regular school-year workers a break. My past experiences had taught me how important it is for even volunteers to recharge their batteries. Team Summer is such an important part of the Base Camp ministry because it prevents volunteers from running into that feeling of exhaustion you get when you work hard at something and never get a break.
It has been my pleasure to serve Base Camp in any way I can. I truly do enjoy those summer months with the babes of our church family and am so thankful to be part of a church that knows the importance of sharing God’s word, even with the littlest ones!
Team Summer is an incredibly important part of the Base Camp ministry at Summit! We are praying for over 100 volunteers across Summit campuses to come alongside us this summer to teach kids how much they matter to Jesus. Join the team here!
Rochelle Peterson and her family have been attending Summit since 2009. Rochelle and her husband of 23 years have two sons, Matthew and Nathaniel, who have been involved with Summit Student Ministries as well as volunteering in Base Camp. Rochelle enjoys reading, gardening, singing, and— as we all do— a touch of watching Netflix.