Danita McClure, 18, of Cohocton, is a third-generation summer staffer who shares in a legacy of service at LeTourneau. Now serving full-time within the maintenance department, Danita shared the following at the 80th Anniversary celebration of LeTourneau’s ministry: 
Danita cropCamp is a legacy for me. Prior to my employment here, my grandmother, several of my uncles and aunts, my parents and one of my cousins worked at LeTourneau. Once I became eligible for working papers, Camp intrigued me a lot, between personal memories from Kids camp and events my family participated in and the stories shared by those who worked here previously, it sounded like a good opportunity.

To top that, it was also here that my parents met, as have a multitude of couples. My dad worked here for 10 years doing a plethora of jobs in most all areas, while my mom only worked one official summer before they [met and ] got married. Coming to Camp for my interview weekend, I immediately felt welcomed and loved on by the staff who connected with me from the start. The summer was filled with a sense of community. Having been the oldest growing up in my family, living with people a little older than me seemed to provide good support. My first summer, I was the youngest on summer staff and it was exhilarating to have people relatively close to my age that I could talk to and that could share their gained wisdom with me. The sense of community was a large part of what continued to bring me back.

Of the five summers I spent on summer staff, the first two were in the Dining Hall. One of my  favorite parts of that job was when the groups met in the Dining Hall. Yes, during meals there was interaction with groups, but when they [held meetings], I got to observe their services and their styles of worship. Sometimes worship can become a controversial topic based on different peoples’ comfort levels but recognizing God reads into the heart of your actions, then watching someone pouring out their heart to such a wonderful Father as our own is a beautiful sight. The various denominations, cultures and backgrounds from the groups that come through here really can open a person’s eyes to that.
Jobs at LeTourneau have a way of working someone into responsibility. As a newbie, you work alongside people with a little more seniority who, as well as your full-time staff supervisors, can help answer questions and at times, instruct you. As a person with more experience, you are asked to help guide the new people and may even be asked to be in charge on the supervisor’s day off.

Some great aspects about Camp are the experience gained: throughout summers and weekends I’ve learned the ropes in hospitality, food service, housekeeping, lifeguard and maintenance. And on a few rainy days, I’ve even gotten to participate in some office work. I appreciate the flexibility allowing me to be able to fill in when needed and being able to know enough to actually be the help, not the hindrance. In addition, these are all base skills to pretty much any other job I may continue on to.

But most of all, Camp is a ministry, and it is spectacular to work alongside other Christians and be able to turn to them and yet to know you are doing what you can to serve others who come here so they can connect to God! I believe that is why it is so serene to observe the groups worshipping God, or to hear loud worship music spread throughout Camp, because those people can focus on their time with God. They don’t need to worry about picking up after a meal or even preparing a meal and most all their needs are provided.


Danita during a restful moment at the summer staff cabin, 2013.

This legacy has already continued in our family as one of my sisters has worked three years and the other has come for weekends since she recently turned 14. During my third summer, I got lifeguard-certified and a fun part was that my dad got certified alongside me and got to check off one of the positions he always told us he hadn’t done: lifeguard and WSI director. Over the past years as summer nears and bags are getting packed, my mom has stated, “I wanna be able to go back to camp and work again!” I hope that Camp can continue to be a legacy to our families and a setting that many people can come to reconnect with God or to escape with Him away from everyday lives.