With Ignite counselor application season approaching, we were curious: why is being an Ignite counselor so stinkin’ cool? So we went around and asked a bunch of previous staff members why they love Ignite so much, and here’s what they told us:
1. You can be silly…
…and you won’t be judged! In fact, silliness is encouraged. (Thank goodness, right?)
One of our first events is Camp Reveal, a wildly memorable adventure that places recently chosen counselors into their camps (if you don’t know what those are, don’t worry—we’ll get to that in a bit). Now imagine getting a call from a member of Ignite leadership who tells you to show up in a certain building on a certain day at a certain time because you’ve officially been chosen to be an Ignite counselor. When you do show up at that building on that day at that time, we could very well sit you and your 120 soon-to-be closest friends down in an auditorium and list off your names to separate you into these smaller camp groups—but would that be fun? Absolutely not! (You might even miss your own name because you fell asleep around the forty-second person.) No, instead, when you’re called, you’re also assigned a unique uniform, ranging from an eighty-year-old woman on her way to a birthday party to a Lego.
From there, chaos ensues until you’ve officially been sorted into your camp for the year. (And by chaos, we really do mean chaos. Catherine Valadez, a former counselor, said of her experience, “I was really confused for it all, but it was fun! I just didn’t know what was happening.”) And good news: the craziness doesn’t end with Reveal—the fun times permeate throughout Ignite like joy on Christmas morning.
2. You will meet your new best friends
Remember that group of people you were just sorted into? That’s your camp! With a crazy name that fits into the larger Ignite theme for the year (hint: last year’s was fast food restaurants) and your four leadership members (aka your Core Four) to guide you, you’re all set to start building some sick friendships. But before you skip over to the next reason because you’re thinking, “Oh, yeah—community—duh,” hear this: the community that you will gain with Ignite will go deeper and farther than you could even imagine. A few months down the road, you’ll stop for a moment and reflect on your time with these fellow students who are pursuing Jesus with you and think, “Wow. These people were once strangers to me and now look at how Lord has used them to impact my life.” And let me tell you: it’s those kind of moments that will get real sappy, real fast.
3. We’re uniting the Body of Christ at UT
“The vision of Ignite is to work towards uniting the Body of Christ together as we seek to glorify the Lord on the UT campus.” As formal as that vision statement may sound, there is a lot of truth behind those words. Ignite is a increasingly diverse student organization in that we seek to incorporate members from every other Christian student organization on campus so that we can give our campers a truly representative picture of the Christian community at UT.
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”
We work not towards a uniformity in which each member of our organization is exactly like the next, washing out any sense of individuality, but towards a unity in which each unique individual brings their gifts to form one stinkin’ cool coalition that strives in one spirit and one mind for a common purpose to ultimately glorify God.
PSA: that common purpose is our campers! We aspire to glorify the Lord by serving incoming students as we show them their first glimpse of the Body of Christ at the University of Texas. As counselors, you become a huge part of your campers lives as they transition into their new college adventure, continuing their relationship with the Lord. Lauren Peters, a member of our 2018 leadership, said, “I remember being a camper and struggling with some really tough issues my freshman year. I returned as a counselor, and literally one year later, I was able to help my campers through some of the same issues that I dealt with a year before.” The really cool thing is that Lauren’s story was a common theme among conversations with other previous counselors that we talked to. We as an organization get to pour into these new students in the most servant-hearted way that models the love of Christ—and counselors are on the front end of that overflow. How cool is that?!
Bonus Reason: Quali-T-Shirts (Haha, get it?)
Ask anyone who has been on staff before: you will receive at least three quality tees to sport around your daily life as a walking advertisement for Ignite—and, more importantly, for Christ! What more could you ask for?
In all seriousness, though, Ignite Leadership has been fervently praying for this year’s counselors for months now, and we absolutely can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for Ignite 2018. That being said, we’re searching for awesome counselors who are wanting to serve and love freshmen in their small groups in August and…