Getting to Know You: Meet Emily

This entry was posted on Sep 13 2012, by Tina and is filed under Family Camp, The Family Camp Blog


In this month’s newsletter we introduced you to the newest member of our Family Camp staff, Emily Ballbach. We thought you might want to get to know our Program Director a little better, so we caught up with Emily to chat with her.

Hi, Emily! Will you tell us a little bit about yourself!
I loved growing up in a suburb just north of Seattle. Most of my childhood was spent there with my one older sister, Sarah, and parents, Dave and Becky. I grew up in a Christian home knowing at a very young age that God loved me, and felt called to ministry in my early teens. Consequently, I went to Biola University, a small Christian liberal arts university in Southern California. I knew I would be well-equipped there to go out into ministry upon graduation. Following my undergrad education, I went to seminary to further my understanding of Scripture and to learn how to more effectively minister to others. I earned a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Arts in Religion at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in the Boston area. Right after seminary I began work in a Methodist church in Orlando where I ministered to college students, which continued to encourage my passion for ministering to that age group. About a year ago I was in need of employment and Angela Aadahl, a friend from seminary and one of the LLYC directors, mentioned that Family Camp was looking for some help. I moved to Texas at that point and have loved it ever since! It is also an added bonus that my sister, her husband, and their new baby girl live in Austin.

Tell us about your role at Family Camp . . . what do you do?
Hmm…how much time do you have?! One thing I love is that my job is incredibly varied. I was hired as the Director of Programming which basically entails creating, developing, and coordinating program activities for weekend and week-long camps. In order to make the program happen, I also recruit, coordinate, and minister to our high school and college-aged staff.

What made you want to join the Family Camp staff?
Family camp is a unique ministry in that we have the privilege of ministering to the whole family, not just parents or kids at one time. I believe that our families are one of the greatest influences in who we are — for better or worse — and Family Camp has the opportunity to strengthen relationships in the family unit through our program. I get excited about supporting families in being or becoming more healthy and strong in the Lord. I also love our college staff and believe that they can grow tremendously and serve in wonderful ways while they are a part of the Family Camp community.

What’s your vision for programming at Family Camp?
My vision is really still growing as we plan to shift gears into a new season of Family Camp with the opening of the new facility, Headwaters. Overall, I envision a program that strengthens relationships in the family by helping people play, intentionally focus on the Lord and one another away from the distractions at home. I hope to support families in their connection to God and what it means to have a family dedicated to him. In terms of our college staff, I desire for them to see what it looks like for a family to seek the Lord, especially if they did not grow up in a home that fostered spiritual growth. I would love family camp to be a safe place for these students to ask questions, be mentored in their faith, and enter into intentional community with one another and families who come to camp.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen John Hill do? ha ha, just kidding. Share a funny memory from Family Camp.
This is a hard question because I find myself spending a great deal of time laughing at Family Camp. Some of the funniest things happen during Round Up. We play silly games and watch funny skits. Many times moms and dads get involved and it is pretty funny to watch a dad try to fit as many Dum Dums in his mouth as possible while still being able to say “Mmm, I love them Dum Dums,” or watching a mom try to get an Oreo down her face and into her mouth without using her hands. Just this past weekend, we had a dad get 15 Dum Dums in his mouth, and he was still able to mumble out that funny phrase!

Thanks, Emily! We look forward to spending time with you down in the Canyon!

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