A Look Inside the Mini-Yo-We Internship

Spencer TammingBlog

Risa van Lenthe has been a Mini-Yo-We camper, LIT and staff member—and she’s returning to Camp again this summer as our Rocks & Ropes Head! She also participated in the 2022-23 MYW Internship. We asked her to share her insider’s perspective on the program.

What were some internship highlights?

When I ponder the internship, I think about the relationships I made, the fun times we had together, and the spiritual growth I experienced. I am so happy I chose to do the internship and made such great friendships. You would be surprised how close a group can get when put in the same house for a year. I loved spending our days off goofing around and being together. I think what made work so much fun was the people I got to work with. We all knew how important music and singing during cleaning were, and we would joke and mess around to make the dish pit such a fun place. 

Another highlight is when we went to sleep on the island. It was a bit of a rush to get there before the sunset, but we had such a great time around the fire talking and joking. The next morning, we made the best scrambled eggs ever. I highly recommend cooking eggs over a fire and eating from the same pan as everyone else—truly it is an experience like no other. 

Next, I remember workdays. They were great because it was a day of working with our hands renovating bunkies or carrying wood. We could blast the intern playlist and sing as loud as we wanted. 

Finally, a huge highlight for me was the pranks we pulled. There was always a chance of someone hiding behind a door to scare someone else or a late-night gameshow out of the blue.

How did you grow as an intern?

During the internship, I grew a lot in my faith. It was good to have a Christian community to wrestle through questions about God and faith. We had the opportunity to sit and talk and learn from each other. Something that really pushed me was the morning devotionals. I was always nervous about speaking in front of people about the Bible. I didn’t think I had anything worth saying. However, I found that running the devotional increased my comfort level with talking to others about my faith and what I am learning about the Bible. 

Another thing I learned about myself is just how much I cared about how others thought of me. I started the internship off trying to say all the right things and do all the right things, not wanting to mess up and be judged. During the internship, I learned how much less stressed I can be if I just do my best. If I mess up, it’s a good story to tell and have a good laugh about. I was never really bad at laughing at myself, but I got so much better over the past year.

How have you used what you learned?

I have had the opportunity to volunteer with my church as a junior youth leader. I found that I am drawing on last year to think of games and fun things to do. I have more experience working with teens after a year of running leadership activities and hanging out with them. 

I have also been able to use my epic fire-building skills from the winter to make an amazing fire for roasting marshmallows! If I am ever in the forest and stuck, I know I have that ability in my back pocket. 

Finally, I learned a lot about time management. There were often times when we had to focus on one task, like cleaning the cabins or doing the dishes, and we had to get it done in time for the next group to come or to go run activities. I learned the importance of doing small tasks the day before to make the next day easier. This kind of thinking has been super useful in university because I think of what I can do today to make tomorrow easier.

Applications for the 2024-25 MYW Internship are open!

Do you know a young adult who would benefit from serving in intentional community at Mini-Yo-We like Risa did? Our Year-Round Program Director, Jez Bell, would love to book an online chat or take potential interns on a tour of the property this spring. Connect with him by email at jez@miniyowe.com or complete the online interest form on the Year-Round Internship webpage.