Choosing to Step Aside

We all have a comfort zone. It’s that place where we feel confident and safe. Where we know that we can succeed and maybe even excel. We like our comfort zones. They are… comfortable. But they are not where real growth takes place. When we chose to step outside that zone of confidence and comfort we are pushed and stretched. It may hurt, it may be awkward and scary. But it’s in that place of discomfort that we find out who God is and who we are. It’s in that place that we grow. At Alberta Pioneer we are all about “stepping outside” our comfort zones into that place where we can grow and learn to see God in new and fuller ways. This month’s story features another one of our L.E.A.D. interns, Leticia Zimmerman and her own personal journey when she chose to step outside. 

How Pioneer Camp Alberta has shaped my life:


– by Leticia Zimmerman

My experience in coming to Pioneer Camp Alberta is the most that I have had to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I grew up going to church and to the occasional summer camp. After I graduated, I spent most of my next two summers cabin leading. In those times I was pushed because I am an introvert and being in a constant social setting was at times uncomfortable for me. Despite that, camp was and is always an amazing place to be. Pioneer has pushed me far beyond that and as a result I have had to stretch myself, and I am so grateful for that.


The first time that I ventured into a community where I did not know anyone, was the summer of 2017. I signed up to be a volunteer wrangler, because I wanted to gain experience working with horses. If I’m being completely honest, when I fully realized what I had signed up for, I was terrified. I instantly thought “am I going to fit in?” and “will I be any good at wrangling?”. Looking back at it now, that was unnecessary because what I was doing was something God had said I should do.  

After the first full week as a volunteer wrangler, I fell in love with camp! Not only did I fit in, but I loved working with the kids and horses at the same time. I spend the next two weeks, thinking of ways in which I could stay at camp and heard about the L.E.A.D program. Once I talked to the Barns Manager Jolene, and talked to the Executive Director Ruth Lewis (when I talked to Ruth it doubled as my interview for the program) It was clear that God was directing me to do L.E.A.D. I started L.E.A.D in early September 2017.  

Throughout L.E.A.D, I have been pushed and stretched to build relationships, step up and lead groups in multiple ways, and grow in my faith. I have been so fortunate to be involved in a community that is willing to support me and help me strive to be my best self while here and in the future. The 8 months that I have spent at Pioneer have been full of blessings, friendship building, spiritual growth, immense learning, and eye-opening experiences and conversations. It has allowed me to enjoy being outside my comfort zone. I feel so blessed to have been able to share this experience with my fellow L.E.A.D participants, and all the Pioneer Camp Alberta Staff. L.E.A.D is something I would recommend to everyone who is wanting to develop their faith further and wants to push themselves to be the best that they can be! I will forever be grateful for the time I spent at camp, everything I learned and continue to learn. 

Everything that I have learned here will guide me in all my endeavors, and the friendships I’ve built will last a life time. I am forever grateful that I came to Pioneer! 


About the Author: 

Leticia started volunteering in the summer of 2017 as a wrangler at Pioneer Camp Alberta at the Lodge location. She needed volunteer hours to get into the Equine Science Program at Old’s College. Little did she know that taking that first step would lead to her applying and participating in the L.E.A.D program for the 2017/18 year. 

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