Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday morning at Advance

The week is almost over. I leave today and return home to prepare a sermon and go back into the rest of my life. I wake up earlyvto savor the blessing of this week.

It was over 25 years ago that I first heard of Camp Christian. I was a member of Northwest Christian Church and beards my ministers talk so about this place that was like heaven on earth. That really was the way they described it! And the 1st time I counseled there - for Chi Rho camp, grades6 to 8 - I wondered. At that time the cabins were old and literally covered with the names of campers from floor to wall to ceiling! But as that first week progressed I saw the beauty and holiness of this place. And this is what happened that week: I saw lives changed. I watched kids at the most trying, vulnerable age change from sel absorbed to a real caring community. It was a community that was bathed in prayer but in a way that was not obvious...but literally from morning to night. That may have been part of it. The counselors came and gave of themselves. It was a beautiful setting away from "the world.". I don't know how the change happened within us, but it did.

I have been back to camp every summer for the rest of my life for at least one week and frequently two. I counseled at chi Rho camp for about 15 years, the high school camp for 1 year and advance conference for at least 12 years. And for the past 4 years I have co led GrandparentsCamp. I have been at camp with all of my daughters and 4 grandchildren, and 3 nieces and nephews. I guess you could say that it has been important to my life.

So I Right now lie on my bunk writing this on my I Pad. Audrey is sleeping beside me. We are almost finished this week on faculty at advance. We have each done a keynote address which took hours of preparation, we led a small group together which met twice a day.
Camp has greatly changed over these years...a beautiful lodge, an air conditioned dining hall, and modern cabins.

But it remains a place where people come and are accepted. We give time and space for deep spiritual reflection, we have more fun and laughter than I can describe and lives are changed.

I am tired this morning, but so blessed to have experienced one more week here at this holy place.

No comments: