We are all called to volunteer for different reasons – maybe we simply are drawn to help a specific cause or organization. Maybe we want to give back to our church or our community. Maybe we do it for the social aspect or to be part of a group. Maybe volunteering is required for confirmation, or your mom makes you do it. No matter the reason, when you volunteer, you will find that volunteering can directly impact another person’s life. And when you impact someone else’s life, inevitably, you will impact your own.
Royce Lund felt the impact of volunteering at an early age. He enjoyed attending VBS as a camper and after 5th grade was excited to become a Junior Counselor. It was then that he became acquainted with a boisterous group of first graders that included upwards of twenty boys and only two or three girls. The gang was full of enthusiasm and energy, but luckily, Royce has a laid-back style that turned out to be perfect for dealing with the spirited pack.
Every day of camp week brought new adventures and lots of excitement. Royce continued to serve as a VBS counselor every year, first as a Junior Counselor, and then as a Lead Counselor when he was a Junior and Senior, traveling up the line towards fifth grade with the lively gang he met when they were first graders. His favorite part of volunteering was working with the kids, and seeing how much fun they had in VBS. Every day, they showed up so excited to find out what
adventures were in store, and there was one little guy in the class that developed a special connection with Royce. The six-year-old even approached Royce’s mom one day after VBS to ask if Royce could come over to his house some time for a playdate.
Through the years, Royce’s little buddy remained a special friend, and sort of honorary little brother. Royce attended his peewee hockey games, and when Royce graduated from high school, his buddy was at his grad party. Just last month the young friend’s brother played hockey in Bemidji, where Royce goes to college, and the two were able to spend time together at the games, where the younger boy was proud to sport the Bemidji State Hockey shirt Royce gave him. Over the years the relationship has grown from VBS student and Counselor into a real friendship.
The class of 2025 has completed 5th grade and moved onto middle school themselves now, and Royce said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them become VBS Counselors.” He is hoping to come back to VBS to lead activities this summer, and maybe he’ll end up working alongside some of the kids he counseled through the years.
Thanks to our many Mount Calvary volunteers! And by the way, if any youth are interested in serving as counselors for ROAR, our 2019 VBS, Brenda and Andrea would be happy to hear from you.