St. Olaf CollegeLilly Program for Lives of Worth and ServiceSt. Olaf College

Lilly Grant Program
Lilly Events and Deadlines
Opportunities for Students
Opportunities for Faculty and Staff
Connections with Alumni and the Community
Call for Proposals and Applications

About the Lilly Grant Program


Lilly Grant Program for Lives of Worth and Service
Bruce Dalgaard, Program Director
Old Main Annex 3
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057

507-646-3268
507-646-3626 Fax
dalgaard@stolaf.edu

Jacob Leibold

Ever since my senior year in high school I knew that I wanted to get an Economics degree and work in the business field. But as the past three years have gone by, more ideas have been opened to me. I became a Math and Economics double major, still with the intentions of becoming some successful businessman when I grow up. Though this is still an option, working at Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp opened up huge doors for me.

I had never worked as a camp counselor before. I didn't know what to expect at Camp Wapo and for the first week of staff training I felt like I was going to be a horrible counselor and not be able to teach the campers through bible studies and devotionals. However, it was amazing to see that many other people there were having their doubts too. Through our struggles, we bonded through games and worships God really worked through all of us during those two weeks. As I started counseling, everything went great. I found myself taking charge of bible studies and devotions during the very first week, which surprised me, since a week before I thought I'd never be able to do them. God truly helped me out that week, and continued to throughout the rest of the summer.

As the weeks progressed, there were always new challenges. Sometimes the campers would wear me down, but I never lost my enjoyment in working with them. I found that through all my experiences with the campers that I really enjoy spending time with kids. Whether they were 4 th graders or senior high students, they always brought new ideas and new experiences into my life. One of my favorite memories is one week in the summer when I was counseling alone with a group of nine 4 th graders and two T.I.M. (Teens in Mission) Team senior high students. Normally we have co-counselors and 14 campers and maybe one or two T.I.M. Teamers between the two of us. But this week, I had 9 campers to myself. I thought, oh man, this week is going to be horribly hard. But as soon as I starting hanging out with my campers, I realized I had the best, most well behaved group of 4 th graders ever. My favorite part of the week came one night when I opened up devotions to a question and answer session. It was amazing. For almost two hours I talked with the campers about creation vs. evolution. I couldn't believe these 4 th graders had so many awesome ideas. I had a few experiences like that over the summer that just amazed me.

During the summer, every week I'd recite Romans 12:4-8 to my campers. It talks about no matter what gifts God has given us, we should use them to glorify him. I believe this is the true manner in living a life of service. You don't have to be a missionary or a pastor to spread the love of God, you can do it in everything you do, no matter what your job is. This has been my true clarification. Working at camp has encouraged me to work with kids and possibly become a teacher after I graduate, but God might have something else in store for me. Maybe he'll show me something in the business field that I just love or he could throw me a curve-ball and I could turn out to be a Cook or something else. No matter what I end up settling on, as long as I always remember to glorify God through my works, I believe that is all that is needed to live a life of service. Working at Camp Wapo has given me new options that I had never thought of before. Maybe that is God telling me something. But I have also been pulled to continue to study Economics and travel abroad to learn more. That could also be God telling me something. There are so many options open to me; so many paths that I can take. Working at camp this summer has opened my mind to different possibilities, all that is left is to see where God is going to take me.