Olympic National Park, WA, 2011

How did you grow this summer?

A big way I grew this summer was by being on my own away from both my home and my school. It was a fresh start with a new job and a new place to live, so I feel that it has helped me be able to grow more independent and learn how to take care of myself.

How were you impacted by your coworkers in Olympic last summer?

Getting to know my co-workers has been an interesting experience. [They] know I am a Christian and they are cool with it; it just sets me apart. I have gotten to know people through work and hanging out in the commons and stuff though. I brought some board games with me, so I have played those with some of the guys and we have had fun with that. I have given people rides to places as well so that is a good way to spend some time with people. My two best friends here have been two international students. I would really encourage anyone working at a park to get to know the international workers. In my experience, they are very friendly and curious about America and willing to talk. My roommate is from the Philippines and she has been great to get to know.

What advice can you give to future teams in Olympic?

Bring a car if you can. Get to know an international worker/student if you can. Look for things you have in common with the people who live and work with you and latch onto those things as a way to get to know people (i.e. hiking, music, games, similar taste in movies, etc.) Take advantage of the time here to explore and spend time in nature. This will probably be the only time in your life when you get to live in a national park, so enjoy it!

"Coming into this program, I did not realize the need for Christian missionaries within the U.S. This opinion quickly changed upon learning that there are no Christian churches in the area, and we were the closest option for Christian community within about a 45 minute drive."
– Christopher, Zion 2010

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