I met Kristen Camp, now Raven, 17 years ago in what was Kevin Mayne’s youth group at First United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi, TX. My first memory with living gem is a walk we took at our youth group’s fall retreat in Wimberley, TX. I’m not sure if it was our pre-existing LLYC connection that initially paired us up, but once we were matched, it stuck. Kristen and I started actually reading our Bibles and responding to those written words around the same time. I remember we would get so excited to share what we’d been reading and what God was teaching us. It was like the world finally started to make sense and God had ordained this precious friendship to encourage us in a dry land. And here we are, years later, still meeting almost weekly, only now our sons crawl all over us as we meet to swim together in the things of God. In short, I could not be more excited to interview anyone, ever!
How many summers did you spend at LLYC?
What was it like to work at camp after college and marriage?
I loved it! After marriage, it was awesome because it took away the whole element of distraction – pretty much everything that distracted me was gone once I came back with Barrett – and I just got to do what I love to do and not worry about who I had a crush on or who might have a crush on me or who I shouldn’t be thinking about or how other people were in relationships and I wasn’t or how I was not popular. All of that faded away and became really irrelevant.
Last year was your final summer out at camp, but last fall you started blogging for LLYC’s The Beat. What has that experience been like for you?
It’s been good. It’s been funny to contrast my blogs with Tex’s blogs this summer and to realize that I had a really different place than he did. I’m not writing from a perspective of how things are at camp right now, but more from the perspective of a parent and just looking back. So, that’s been very new. And it’s bittersweet to move on. I love knowing what’s going on with camp and having first-hand accounts and being part of that team. It’s really an exciting time.
What does your life look like today?
I’m married to a teacher and I’m a mother to an almost two-year-old and almost newborn. And you would think we would be really out of the camp world at this point, but we live really close to the UT campus, so we have a lot of camp people coming through our house, which has been really cool. It’s been like a built-in ministry time that I didn’t really anticipate when we moved in to our house. Barrett has a discipleship group that meets weekly and we also have a lot of camp girls who come through too.
How does camp still impact your life today?
I would say that 90% of my friends right now are somehow connected with camp. Other than that, I think I have a much bigger idea of what it is to have a community than I ever would have had if I’d stopped going to camp as a 16-year-old. It seems really normal for me to spend time with five or six people a week who are believers and to have non-believers also a part of that time. And I don’t think that would be the case if I hadn’t seen the fruit of that at camp for so long.
What is one of your sweetest memories from the Canyon?
I was baptized in the river by two close friends who are still in my life today, Kayti Brosnan (now Duffie) and Sarah Lodowski (now Kitchen). It’s so cool just knowing that all of us experienced crazy life change there and that we got to proclaim it in that place.
Favorite Sno Cone Flavor: Snobeach Wedding Cake
Update: Wyatt Martin joined the Ravens on Sunday, October 7, 2012.