Church camp, growing up, was a blast. First of all, it was on an island, so how cool was that?! They’d put the fourth and fifth graders together, and we’d head up to northern Minnesota by bus on a two-hour ride for this week-long adventure. Once we’d arrive we’d take a pontoon to the island.
I remember it all like it happened only yesterday . . .
- how gorgeous the island was all covered with trees
- how the cabins were lined up along a dirt path . . . cabins one through four for the girls, five through eight for the boys
- how we’d all claim our bunkbeds, who had the top and who had the bottom . . . I was a sleepwalker growing up so guess what I chose!
- how our incredibly fun pastor would wake us in the morning, banging on the cabin, yelling into his megaphone
- how we’d spruce up our cabin before breakfast, even with a vase of flowers, in hopes of winning the ‘neatest cabin’ award
- how we’d congregate for meals, wondering whose names would be drawn for KP
- how we’d have devotions with our counselor after breakfast . . . It made us feel so close
- how I loved morning chapel and daily lessons about God
- how at lunchtime the pastor would pass out mail, cracking jokes, as he’d fling it across the tables
- how my mom would always send letters and a care package with cookies
- how there were always cool activities in the afternoon and evenings . . . games and tug of wars and funny skits
- how we’d take the annual hike around the island keeping watch for “Red Eye,’ the monster, who lived on the other side
- how there was always fun stuff going on . . . I’ll never forget this mischievious kid we called ‘Twinkletoes’ . . . he was a tiny kid, sweet and funny, and had a great smile and laugh . . . you could always hear him laughing as he’d be up to something . . . So he was finally given some of his own medicine when someone tied him to a tree and sprayed him all over with silly soap (the very cool thing back then) . . . you’d think that would have quieted him down, but he still laughed the whole time
- how I’d always have heartthrobs for some cute boy, wondering if he even noticed me
- how the nightly campfires were so special as we’d sing about God’s love
- how on the bus ride home when we’d all be tired, we weren’t allowed to nod off or else we’d get poked
- how it always felt good to be heading home, but I’d leave feeling closer to God
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
I love pondering on memories of summer camp . . . learning more about God . . . how amidst those super fun times it always drew me closer to Him.