CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern sophomore Brooke Monssen went to California this past summer for a 10-week internship with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Volleyball.
Monssen, an outside hitter for the Bucs, learned a lot about herself as well as what it takes to be a leader on and off the court. The camp in Huntington Beach ran from May 26 – July 31 and included a total of 16 girls, all of whom play collegiate volleyball.
The daily schedule included working out Monday-Friday every single day and playing volleyball Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Every morning the campers got up at 6 a.m. and had quiet time until 7 a.m. Depending on the day, they had practice or worked out. They also shared the gospel and worked camps during the summer.
"FCA volleyball's mission is to make healthy leaders and players in order to share the gospel," Monssen said. "So, equipping us to do that on our teams and back at school was a lot of what the teachings were about."
The first half of the internship was beach volleyball, while the second half was indoor volleyball. Monssen thought that playing beach volleyball was beneficial because she gained so many more skills that she could use in the indoor sport. She also learned a lot about her relationship with God and how that leads her in daily life.
"The best part for me was learning my identity in who I was as a daughter of Christ first," Monssen said. "I feel like understanding that and also understanding the love that God provides is so big. I don't know how I walked my life without knowing that. Also, growing in my relationship with God was really great."
Monssen believes that she grew as a leader in ways that she hadn't expected. She thinks the lessons she learned at the FCA camp will help transition onto the court this season at Charleston Southern.
"Walking into the summer my idea of leadership was really skewed," Monssen said. "Walking out has been super cool. Not leading with all the wins and acting like I have everything under control and I'm this this perfect leader because I'm not. Leading with my wounds instead of my wins more."
If given the opportunity to return to California and work the FCA camp again, Monssen said it's a no-brainer. She is even trying to recruit some of her teammates to join the cause.
"I would absolutely love to go back," Monssen said. "The community that they have there is amazing and I would definitely want to go back. It was so fun. I have been trying to talk with my teammates about thinking about going into the internship because it is life-changing."