Church camp…and all its fine pleasures

Written by: Ms. O

There are some common facts that truly can’t be disputed about summer camp. I have come to expect them…even anticipate them…just to keep ahead of the game. I come prepared….ready to combat what I know I will find.

Van pic_lakeview camp

First off, the beds are less than ideal. I have been in every cabin at Lakeview…new and old…and the beds are not fit for long-term usage. Perhaps it is the lack of a box spring…maybe it is because they are “less expensive”…aka cheap….mattresses so they do not have the capability of being…comfy. Maybe that is what causes us to not sleep in…it is best to get off that bed of rocks or your body will not be able to move after 7:00 AM.

Showering is not meant to be luxurious. It is more like…get ‘er done….quickly. The privacy is just not there…again, you are not going to take a shower that lasts longer than it should…because there are others…as in large numbers…of people waiting right behind you. There is no singing in the shower….unless you want to share your talent…..or lack of…with the rest of your cabin mates…along with a lot of other “things” …if you don’t make sure the shower curtain is as closed as it can be.

The food…wow…it is in a category all it’s own….as it should be. I don’t understand how anyone can disguise the taste of chicken like they do in the cafeteria. I have had the displeasure of having to play the game…you know the one…guess what we are eating. I am not talking to you…asking you to answer…that is the name of the game…cause we play it a lot at camp. They ask what you want…I ask them what my choices are…they look down at the food warmers…as if that helps me recognize what my selections are. I think it would be easier to guess the age of God than to figure out what is being served up as breakfast….lunch…or dinner.

The weather…oh the weather….is as predictable as anything can be in that category…but there are some guarantees. It will not only be hot…it will be hotter than anything you have felt…in some time. Some of that has to do with the fact that you walk wherever you go…to and from meals…I use that term loosely…worship…activities…etc. If there is a chance of rain….plan on it happening….and then the heat will return with a vengeance…so that you will appreciate the dry heat the next day.

All of these things are what I have come to expect…with my years of camp going…it comes with the territory. I have learned to bring a pillow topper for my bed to combat the firmness. I have a fan to blow in my face to achieve some white noise as to block out unfamiliar sounds. I always pack an extra towel since it is inevitable that I will drop mine when I am juggling my shower routine. It is a must to pack snacks to stave off hunger…and bring back the taste buds that have been neutralized on my tongue after each meal.

Cross pic_lakeview_1

But I have come to figure out something else that happens at camp. Over the week, God does His best work….in us.

The weather?? There is not much that can be done about that…it is what it is…I roll with it. When the weather was terrible….you would never know it by our kids. They went with the flow…making the most of the situation…even enjoying the excitement of when things had to be switched around. Every church van/mini bus/people mover that was brought to Lakeview was used to transport our youth to meals…fyi, I have figured out that I can add shuttle service driver to my resume…and there was much chatter…and even more laughter…that filled our van. And they said thank you…as they jumped out of the vehicle to get to their next spot…without an adult reminding them to do so.

There is not a lot that can be done about the food…but the occupants of the cafeteria made meal time a joy filled three-times-a-day happening. Youth from the same church but that were in different camps greeted each other…the older ones checking on the younger ones….the younger ones excited to share what they were doing. Along the path we waved at each other…shouted back and forth…reminding each other of our “home church families”…and that we watch out for each other…make sure that we are “okay”…each time we saw one another. At Lakeview we became one big family…but our home roots bind us together.

In the still morning hours…as I laid on my cot….taking in unfamiliar sounds…as much as it is something you have to get used to if you want to get sleep…there is an odd comfort in knowing that we share space. I was up way before everyone at camp…big shocker I know…and I had the blessing of watching the camp wake up. People wandering in…adults looking for coffee…youth looking for their friends…preparing ourselves for morning devotion. I could not think of a better way to start each day…together…joined in the body of Christ…welcoming the new day…whatever it may hold.

Paul tells us in Colossians 3:14:

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

I will put it another way…and I think God will be okay with this….only because when we define love…we state…GOD IS LOVE.

Lakeview_Linda

Each morning…above all and before anything…we put on God. It bound us together…allowing Him to do wondrous things through us. I know God did not sleep on the less than ideal bunks at Lakeview…God does not sleep…He did not eat the food…and I truly believe He can take the heat much better than any of us…but I will say this about what God witnessed during our week at camp. He saw Himself…in us. What my hope and desire is…as I am sure it is even more true for God …that we brought it home with us…to share with others….as it was meant to be.

See you next summer Lakeview…along with better bedding…and a bigger supply of snacks…just saying. Ms. O

Cross pic_lakeview camp