Top 4 Reasons to Apply to be an Ignite Counselor

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.

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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.

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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.”

Philippians 1:27

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.

4. Campers!!!

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?!

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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…

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WE WANT YOU TO APPLY!!!

Apply here by Friday, January 19th at 11:59pm. If you have any questions, please feel free contact Matt Stone at director@ignitetexas.org.

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7 Easy Steps for Smart Online Shopping

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Attention all holiday shoppers: the holiday shopping season is upon us! There is only one month (I repeat: ONE MONTH!!!) until Christmas day, and the pressure of getting the perfect presents to give all your loved ones is starting to set in.

To reduce the stress that is known to accompany this season, we’re here with a few pro-tips to make your online shopping a more valuable experience for everyone involved.

1. Open your web browser

Safari or Chrome, mobile or laptop—take your pick!

2. Visit AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

3. Sign into your Amazon account

Yes, you can use the same account on Amazon Smile as you do at Amazon.com. Everything is the same—your shopping cart, WishList, wedding or baby registry will all conveniently connect with no extra steps!

4. Select Ignite Texas

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Now, you can choose from nearly one million organizations to support. We know that’s a lot of possibilities, so we’ve made it easy by narrowing down your options. Search for and select Ignite Texas, and proceeds from your purchase will go towards making Ignite Texas 2018 the best yet and it’s NO EXTRA COST!

5. Go about your normal online shopping

Once you’ve completed steps 1-4, you’re ready to start shopping even smarter than you already were! YAY! (You’re welcome.)

6. Bookmark AmazonSmile on your computer or mobile device

Go ahead and add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com on your web browser to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. Remember, this link is accessible all year round, and we would appreciate your donations on future non-holiday purchases, too!

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7. Spread the word

So now that you have all this knowledge on how to shop online with intelligence, you’ve gotta ask yourself, “Should I hoard this information, keeping it only to myself?” Hint: ABSOLUTELY NOT! Tell your friends, roommates, siblings, classmates, co-workers, pets, extended relatives—but most importantly, don’t forget to tell your mom. (She’s your biggest supporter, you know.) And if you’re not sure exactly how to spread the news, just start singing loud for all to hear! (Although, sharing this post on Facebook would probably be more effective.)

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If you’ve made it this far, let me be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS! You did it!!!

We’re so thankful for you and your financial support. If you have any questions about finances, please contact Erica Wheatley at financial@ignitetexas.org. In the meantime, here’s a bonus step.

Bonus step: Pray for us!

While you support us financially, don’t forget to spend time in prayer over our 2018 staff—that we would unite the Body of Christ and serve the incoming freshman class as we seek to glorify the Lord on the UT campus—and the campers—that He would prepare their hearts for the Christian community set before them as they transition into college next fall.

Finally, from our Ignite Texas family to you, we wish you a very merry Christmas season that celebrates the birth of our Savior above all else.

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Don’t Take Our Word—Take Theirs

A little over a month ago, we gave you the Top 4 Reasons to Apply to be an Ignite Counselor. In case you missed it, the application closes this Friday, and with the deadline so quickly approaching, you may still be wondering: why is being an Ignite counselor so stinkin’ cool? Well, you’re in luck because we recently went insta-snooping on the Ignite Community to read about their #ignitetexas2017 experience. Here’s what they said:

Hannah & Kylie: “Blessed”

 

“How blessed am I that God gave me a camp that was so lit that you can see the tots flaming from across the world!!!!! God has moved in such obvious ways this week alone in these beautiful humans and I can’t wait to see what He does in their freshman year. #ignitetexas2017 #campsonic” –@h_ongg

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“I have never loved a group of people more in my life. And I can honestly say that love comes from the love of Christ. He has blessed me with the most amazing camp & the best girls for my small group. God answered so many prayers this week by putting y’all in my life and building relationships over the last week that I didn’t think would be possible. #Royalty #BurgerKing #IgniteTexas2017” –@kylie_joe22

Melanie: “I’d like to thank not only God but Jesus”

“I’d like to thank not only God but Jesus (and Ignite) for putting these galpals into my life!!! they radiate Christ’s love and they always point me back to Jesus – what more could a girl ask for? so glad we have the rest of eternity together :’) #actualeternity #becauseofJesus” –@melanie_looper

 

“y’all. these are my girls. they are such an answered prayer. what a blessing it was to lead them in this small group. Ignite, thanks for being incredible and letting me see a glimpse of Christ’s love through these two sweet girls!!! (ft. me modeling the 1 hour and 20 mins of sleep look) #IgniteTexas2017” –@melanie_looper

Jared: MIND BLOWN

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“Update: THEY SURPASSED ALL EXPECTATIONS AND THEY BLOW MY MIND AT HOW INCREDIBLE THEY ARE.” –@jared_standefear_me

Michael: “WOW”

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“WOW what an incredible week. Just as I thought camp Jack in the Box was as tight as it could possibly be, our campers showed up and showed us there’s no limit. Loved getting to spend the week with these incredible people and see God answer all 5,000 of my prayers this week. Lord you are so good. SIGN UP FOR IGNITE #rushbox #jackjackturnup #jitb #thatsthecampyouwannabe #cheddarcheeseallonmyface” –@michael.h.m

Bethany: “T H E S E. P E O P L E.”

 

“T H E S E . P E O P L E .
words cheapen the things that were done at Ignite this year. how many times did I fall apart and these people picked me up? how many times did our campers blow us away with their faith? a simple answer: countless. our hashtag local brand of a camp is beyond ready to do life together this fall in the name of Jesus” –@bethany_goad

Laney: God is GOOD

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“I cannot stress how GOOD my God is!!! Still amazed that he picked me to serve our new freshmen alongside these wonderful people!!” –@cone_cones

Jacob: “It was a privilege”

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“WE ARE CAMP WHATA!!! I’m a tad late, but I had a great last week with an amazing staff, campers, and an even more amazing God. It was a privilege to come serve you guys! Thanks for all the fun and laughs! #TRICHITILIDIE #IgniteTexas” –@jacobgarza3

Morgan: “What a joy”

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“God’s faithfulness and love never cease to amaze me! What a joy it has been to be surrounded by such amazing followers of Christ.” –@morgan_mill

Kate: “PTL 4 IGNITE AMIRITE??”

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“these people guys!!!! they allow me to rest in who I am and whose I am, always. whether I’m being spunky & crazy kate & ~lovingly~ bossing everyone around or sharing the depths & hurts of my heart, this group ALWAYS shows me that I am not “too much” & that I am enough!!! you are all gems!!! PTL 4 IGNITE AMIRITE??” –@sippin_on_k8terade

You’re so right, Kate: Praise the Lord for Ignite because He has faithfully used this ministry for His glory through our staff time after time. He has continually done far more abundantly than we could ever imagine—any past staff member will attest to that with stories that will blow your mind and relationships that cannot be described in words.

Make one of the best decisions with your time at UT and APPLY TO BE A COUNSELOR!!! We cross our hearts you won’t regret it.

Applications are live through this Friday, January 19th at 11:59pm. If you have any questions, please feel free contact Matt Stone at director@ignitetexas.org.

P.S. Want to see more sick posts about Ignite? Search our hashtags: #Applyforignite #IgniteTexas #IgniteTexas2018