I am no longer a camp virgin! I returned from Disciples’ Crossing yesterday morning after six days of Chi Rho camp for the Trinity-Brazos Area. Before this time I had not been to any type of Church Camp setting since I, well I can’t remember but you can ask my parents!
Overall I would say that it was a successful baptism by fire for me, though I could have lived without the sleeping in non-airconditioned cabins in the 100+ degree heat. I enjoyed my chance to get to meet and get to know the counselors, all persons save the fabulous Megan Ammann were people that I had not previously met, on Sunday. It was on Monday that the campers started showing up. While I hope I didn’t show it, I was a little scared that I was going to be the one to mess up their camp experiences because of my relative, alright complete, lack of experience in being a camp counselor. But alas, I don’t think I screwed up too many kids.
For the sake of not going into detail about every day, I’ll do what the campers and counselors did in my cabin, talk about the high and the low for the week, low first to end on a high note. The low of my week had to be just the oppressive heat that permeating everything. It really was almost overwhelming at times. Every day we had a period called “horizontal” after lunch. It was a period where the kids, and even maybe the counselors too, were supposed to take a nap (lay horizontal). The nap was nearly impossible because our cabin had to be upwards of 110 degrees b/c of the lack of wind in the pine forest and the bodies in the cabin. I would fall asleep for maybe five minutes and then wake up in a pool of sweat…not fun. The only saving grace was that it did cool off for most of the nights.
The high of the week was the kids. The kids seemed to have a firm grasp of what the keynoter and thus the curriculum were actually trying to teach. Each day had two themes, save Monday b/c there was only one keynote session. Many of the themes were not difficult to understand, but difficult to enact such as forgiveness and self-control. Many people in all ages have difficulty enacting these themes, let alone 12 and 13 year olds. In my small group we were able to, at times, have a real discussion where the kids would open up and talk to one another. I say at times because they were still middle schoolers and thus had short attention spans, I know I did. But the kids surprised me and grasped the concepts. It was refreshing.
I can safely say that I loved my camp experience, especially singing “these eyes are crying…” every five minutes. That’s an inside joke. I digress, I truly believe that I saw the work of God in those kids this past week. It gave me hope, a theme which we even discussed! I plan on going back if I ever get asked.
I’ll be in town more often now, so expect more posts as well.