There is an unseen force that makes Laity Lodge Youth Camp operate as successfully as it does—an always-reliable army of high school juniors who get things done behind the scenes. Each February, directors hire around 75 guys (Program Crew) and girls (Work Crew) for the job. It’s gross, thankless, and exhausting, and they love every minute of it.
They serve campers and staff with selfless devotion. The all-girl Work Crew does those nasty dishes. The all-boy Program Crew sets up activities and cleans up the mess afterward.
It is exhausting work—physically, mentally, and spiritually. They receive little-to-no thanks and little-to-no sleep. When crew members are not actively working their shift, they study the Bible, learn from mentors, and pick up any other work that needs doing.
The job is so exhausting, most Crew grab a quick siesta in the hot afternoon before heading back to the kitchen to clean or back to the Ranch House to set up the late-night activity.
Why sign up for five weeks of grueling work? The reward of intense service is deep community. Crew friendships last long after the summer ends. When the LLYC diaspora spreads across the country, from California to New York, from Colorado to Texas A&M, these friendships endure. There is no trust quite like the one that forged alongside a dumpster or industrial dishwasher.