After almost 11 weeks of Eagle Quest, I can say without hesitation that I would work for Camp Eagle again. If this is the first EQ Wilderness blog you’re reading, the experience and growth might be similar to others but the perspective of head cook will no doubt be different. Before I started, if someone would’ve told me how much I would learn and grow in just a few months of working here, I would have shied away from the opportunity. Before being interviewed for the cook position, I set my mind on the idea that I was going to be a wilderness guide (which is enough growth and responsibility in itself). But after learning that there was a need for someone to fill the position in the kitchen, I realized what an awesome opportunity it would be to work behind the scenes and see how this camp runs.
I’m sure there are many other blogs that explain how packed and awesome days are on trail, but days at base camp are spent a little differently. They consist of building relationships with the people who are available to work with you at the time (so you get to know everyone), learning how to manage time and how to plan meals for as little as 5 to as much as 80 people, running down to the waterfront for mandatory swim breaks, learning that everywhere is now a great place to take a nap, coffee is a gift from heaven and so is the Gator. Getting odd jobs is not ever out the questions, like moving 500 pound boulders, raking rocks, grabbing a hatchet and saw to make a new trail, or dropping off an apple pie to a camp site. On top of all that responsibility, work, and good times, when people come back off trail after a week of being gone, the mini reunion that ensues wouldn’t be missed for the world. A regular day here might sound crazy and daunting, and working anywhere else, I truly believe it would be. However, working here, alongside people who have become fast, close friends, who are in the same boat, makes you never want to leave. Camp Eagle uses a metaphor of a bell curve (I’m sure you heard of one if you’ve ever cared about your grades…at any point). The bottom of the curve is the easiest point, you’re not being pushed out of any comfort zones. As you go up the bell curve, it gets more out of your comfort zone and the highest point is the sweet spot where you’re out of your comfort zone but you can still do it. And after that point you are way too uncomfortable, verging on upset. I explain all of this only to give you a picture of where Camp Eagle keeps you. They strive to keep you at that high point of the bell curve because thats the point where you grow exponentially and learn what you’re made of (or what God has made you to be). Working here has been the scariest, most rewarding experience and I know the Lord would never let me get to those high points on the bell curve without supplying me with all the resources, community, and knowledge of Him that I need to be able to succeed at my job and fulfill the reasons that He had for bringing me here. Just when you feel like you’ve got everything down, you realize you only have 2 weeks left.
Written by Ashley Norrholm