My name is Ellen Banta and I am a BWAB summer intern. I am from central Ohio and heard about BWAB (Boy with a Ball), through mutual friends. I have grown up going to a Covenant Church in Columbus, OH. Many of the people from my church knew about, and had connections with the Covenant Life Church here in Atlanta where Jamie and Kathy have attended on and off for the past few decades. Through these connections, I was encouraged toward and took an internship with Boy with a Ball.
The first summer camp we did was for the Covenant Life Church children as well as children in the community. The week was full of fun, games, teams activities, and chapel time. The love, fun, and peace created a wonderful atmosphere that caused kids to want to come back. I was relatively comfortable with the position of team leader at this camp. I have participated in several kids camps in the past and have loved it. Even though I didn’t know what was going to happen, I was excited. The camp was great! Everyone had a great time, and it was really fun to watch the kids get to know each other and care for one another.
At the conclusion of that camp, we went into planning the Sarah Court Camp for the following week. Sarah Court is an apartment community where BWAB has been doing Saturday walkthroughs. This camp was totally different then the CLC camp. The BWAB team decided to bring in Velocity students to be team leaders; velocity is a mentoring program where high-school students mentor middle-school students. The BWAB team recruited high school students from Berkmar high school in January and has been training the high schoolers the past few months to prepare them to be mentors this coming school year. Even though these teens had been trained, many had never had a chance to to practice the lessons they had learned. As you can imagine, being told you are going to help train a leader in the process of them actually leading is rather intimidating. Now don’t get me wrong. I was really excited but also nervous because this was going to be hard. It was….and I loved it. I grew throughout this camp. I had gotten to the point that I was comfortable with leading kids but now God gave me the opportunity to grow me more by leading teens. This opportunity gave me a way to love by pushing people to be more confident. The two students I was put with were extremely talented. They were in the process of becoming excellent leaders but need a bit of a confidence boost. Through the week, I was given the gift of mentoring them and watching them grow. Honestly, I don’t know how much I helped them but I do know that some of my words challenged them to be more confident. One of the coolest parts of this camp was learning how to lead a leader.