Our staff is often asked, “What kind of student are you looking for?” I think the answer is really quite straightforward. It’s a matter of the heart.

We don’t ask that you come with a long résumé of experience working with children or having attended summer camp every single year of your childhood. Although these things may come in handy on KDSM, they say nothing about what counts.

Where is your heart? We are simply looking for students who want to grow closer to their Savior.

The Lord is not as concerned with you being a superstar counselor as He is with you knowing Him intimately. The desire to come pour yourself out as a camp counselor is a good motivation, but I don’t think it’s an ultimate motivation. I often struggle with feeling like I always need to be doing something for the Lord or I need to figure out exactly the right way to be serving Him. The reality is that God is concerned only with me knowing Him intimately.

I love how clearly this idea is captured in the book of Jeremiah. The Lord delights in nothing more than a heart seeking after Him.

Thus says the Lord, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts, boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24)

By now, I’m sure some of you have read everything on this site and are thinking, “This sounds awesome! Bring it on.” That’s great! Go ahead and apply as soon as possible! This, however, was not my experience.

I was incredibly anxious about applying for KDSM. I tried to disqualify myself in every possible way. “I’m too quiet. I can’t share my faith. I can’t make new friends.”

Here are just a few “disqualifiers” I would like to address.

I am only a freshman.

I did not go on KDSM after my freshman year because I thought I still had plenty of summers left in college to do that kind of thing. While this was indeed true, I regret not going on a summer mission as soon as possible. The things I learned at KDSM radically deepened my walk with the Lord. Take advantage of the opportunity now!

I am going to graduate soon.

You don’t have three years left to go back and share your faith on campus? At KDSM, we want to prepare you for a lifetime of ministry far beyond your college years.

I am terrified.

The Lord says that His grace is sufficient for you. His power is made perfect in your weakness.

​I​ am unequipped.

I’ve hit this one hard. See above paragraphs.

What do you say? Do you long for a more intimate relationship with the Lord? Are you willing to trust Him to meet you this summer?

Who should apply, you ask?

You should.


Apply starting November 1! Until then, read about how past students decided to go on KDSM.


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