Church camp. What a flood of memories. Not all of them are good, but the vast majority are. There was one year where I had some MAJOR separation anxiety--I am sure my mama remembers more about it than I do.
What stands out in my mind though, is the feeling
of acceptance that came at camp. I went for several years, grades 3-6
maybe. Longer? I don't really remember. I do remember the many
campfires, morning chapel in the woods overlooking the Pacific Ocean,
the giant cross that marked the trail back to camp from the beach, the
cabins, the shower rooms, the old rec hall, the people. Oh the people.
As a kid you have no idea how much planning, preparation, and prayer
cover a week like that. As an adult you know it is a tremendous work of
love and energy. I am so very grateful for those people who poured
their efforts into us and covered us with prayer. Church camp for me
was a place that felt familiar and safe. I don't remember my first time
being scary--my mom had attended some event there at some point and
that allayed my fears. Adolescence is a tricky time--figuring out who
you are, friend drama, becoming more independent, etc. Church camp for
me was the antidote for all of that. For one week each year there was
none of that. Just friends, laughter, and fun.
As I was preparing to write this, I checked out the website for the camp of my youth. It's still going strong, Ocean Park Camp and Retreat Center.
The logo is the same too--I had a baby blue t-shirt with that logo on
it! Although it has grown and added lots of things (an indoor
recreation center! a zipline!) the good old cabins, rec hall, etc. are
still there. Makes me want to go back...
and I dropped our girls off at their first overnight camp on Sunday
night. When I was a kid I don't remember there being "day camp" and
"overnight camp". I lived in a rural area, so there wasn't a Boys and
Girls club or any of those organizations. As a parent I have come to
learn that day camp is a very common option! I digress...the girls have
wanted to go to camp for a couple of summers but the desire increased
exponentially last summer. The trouble was that the scheduling didn't
work out. This year, we signed up for camp in the early spring and
planned our summer trips and visitors around it.
We narrowed our choices down to two that we had heard good things about, Solid Rock Bible Camp and Birchwood. In the end, Solid Rock won because they have horses and we have little girls. ;-)
girls wanted separate experiences, so they chose different camps.
Since they are close in age, their camps were at the same time. Kelsey
is at 'Lakeside with Horses' and Stacy is at the 'Wagon Train' camp.
went very well--the girls were so excited they could barely stay in
their seats! We helped them get their stuff to their cabins, meet their
counselors, then they hugged us and said, "See you next week!" It was
Meanwhile...Scott and I are working on a
surprise bedroom re-working while they are gone. They've really been
wanting loft beds, so we are working on that this week. I'll share pics
when we're done!