It isn’t too often that our Summer Staffers switch camp locations — let alone countries — between summers, but for Carson Bruce, the decision to serve with WinShape Camps International was one led by God.
- Hometown: Pell City, Alabama
- University: Jacksonville State University
- Degree: Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in music
- Year in school: Junior
- Favorite camp song/cheer: Faco Melhor
- Favorite word in Portuguese: independentemente
- Favorite Bible Verse/Life verse: Jeremiah 9:23-24
- Favorite dance move: the worm
Carson began his journey with WinShape in the summer of 2016 at WinShape Camps for Boys at Cleveland after hearing about camp from a Campus Rep at his University.
“After researching, praying, and talking to my Chick-fil-A operator, I was convinced WinShape is where God was leading me. I have been so grateful!”
This journey, however, didn’t just stay in Georgia. Carson explains that he felt a call from God to serve as a team member for the International Project in Brazil for summer 2017. His experience serving abroad was one that grew him in his relationship with the Lord in many ways. From meeting believers in other hemispheres to seeing God work through the lives of children in other countries, Carson left summer 2017 with a new perspective of who God is.
“I cannot thank God enough for the opportunity I had to spend in Brazil. Spending time in Brazil this past summer has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. The quality friendships that were made with my American team and Brazilian team are ones that will last a lifetime. Any chances we get to expand our perspectives are ones we should always consider.”
As an aspiring musician, Carson didn’t let these impactful experiences merely stay memories — he turned them into music.
“As a songwriter, I am amazed at the grace God has given me to write about my experiences through both summers of camp. The main songwriting theme of my first summer of working camp was ‘Hope is not lost. Every person has their own unique story, and the power of that testimony has the power to break chains.’”
“The main theme from this past summer was ‘God is a global God. He takes us on adventures, and He is our everyday treasure.’ The friendships and songs that were birthed from camp will forever have a growing impact on my whole life.”
While Carson has used his experiences with WinShape as inspiration for his songwriting, he also admits that WinShape has done so much to write his own personal story.
“WinShape has given me the best group of friends that I could want. From living with the guys at Cleveland to living in an even closer environment with my Brazil team this past summer, I am beyond blessed to have such a close bond.”
Carson has also seen the fruit of his labors during his time at camp. He recalls an incredible moment with a camper who made a life-changing decision while he was at Cleveland:
“My absolute favorite memory goes back to the summer of 2016 on week 8 of Boys Camp in the beautiful mountains of Cleveland, Georgia. I was a counselor for Blaze Squad all summer, and this particular week I had four awesome campers who were all nine-ten years old. During the first few days of camp I had one camper who had trouble sleeping during the night. Every morning on the way to breakfast he would complain about the beds and how he could not sleep very well. On Wednesday night I talked with him one-on-one in the hallway. This dude loved science. He loved science so much that he explained to me that there was no God (gods). He went into great detail. I sat and listened to him share about his family and past life experiences. This guy was truly smart and mature for his age. To be honest I was surprised to hear what he had to say. He asked me why I believed there was a God. At that point I shared my testimony. I told him of how God has spoken to me in tangible ways through visions and words given during my time spent in my prayer closet. He was very curious about my experiences and asked very detailed questions. I finished our conversation with prayer and I told him that if he wanted to truly discover the realness of God then he would need to just ask for himself. He will always be faithful to answer from a diligent seeker. Fortunately, the story does not end there. The next morning as we were walking to breakfast I asked how everyone slept. He said, “I slept great. And you know why? I was going to sleep and I asked God that if he was real then help me go to sleep. And he told me to go to sleep and I didn’t wake up at all last night. Now I know God is real!” I was so excited. He accepted Christ into his heart that day. This simple story is a reminder that God is alive and active. Following Jesus is more than just a belief or a decision; rather, it is a devotional lifestyle of every day pursuit rooted in having an intimate relationship with our Father. If God can speak to my camper in the stillness of the night, he can speak to you today.”
Encounters like these are not just momentary conversations, but are decisions that hold eternal significance. It is truly the work of God through Carson that makes him such an outstanding staffer, and we couldn’t be more grateful for how well he has served alongside us these past two summers.
We at WinShape Camps are so blessed to have incredible staffers like Carson share their hearts for the Lord and their passions for His Children with us each summer. Whether we are in Cleveland, Georgia or Brazil, we know that our God is a Global God and where He leads us is Holy Ground.