Sharri-Lynne Frauenfelder (AKA: Shaz, Mini Frauen)
"I've been coming to Summer Camps as a camper since I was 10," says Sharri-Lynne, who now works as a staff member at every Summer Camp she can make it to. "So this is my 12 year of Summer Camps. I was almost going to miss this week and I was really devastated!" she says of working at Teen 1.
Shaz has worked for six years as a staff member. "I came as a camper and then I had to come as staff — I couldn't stay away," she says. "I had friends who were doing it, so I was like, 'Yeah, cool. I will too.'" This year, Shaz worked as a surf instructor for Teen 1. "It's fun to go in the water and hang out."
Her favourite thing about Summer Camps is the way it feels like family. "I came down from Queensland and didn't know anyone and was crazy-shy," she says. "But it became like a family for me. There were staff who'd come here year after year, and they knew my name and included me. And when I came here as a staff member, I got to be part of the family! It was cool to be able to be a staffer for the kids like the staff I had. There are kids I've seen go through Junior Camps and now through the Teen Camps."
She also likes how everyone who comes is able to hang out with each other in the same way they did the year before. "You can be stupid together or have more serious conversations," Shaz says. "From my experience, it's probably the safest place to come however you are and just be accepted. I didn't get that a lot in churches, and that's why Summer Camp was so important for me. Although it's a beautiful thing that camp doesn't need me to run. If I'm not here, it's still going to be an awesome camp. But it's also really special to be here. I need camp more than it needs me."
As a camper, Shaz's favourite thing about the week at Summer Camp was the staff and the dorm experience. She also enjoyed the night programs, even though she wasn't a night owl.
On the spiritual side of things, she says, "One of the big things when I was a camper was seeing the staff have each other's backs and have time for us was really important. There will always be issues. But for me, when I was younger, I was all over the place, and I had a few years where I really struggled at home and at church. It's not that I didn't believe in God — it's that this was a place I came to and God was real again. It's not that I didn't think He was before, but you come to Summer Camps and it's amazing."