Summer camp experience

Carolyn N. Roy, Plank Chapel United Methodist Church
Aug. 19, 2013 @ 10:10 AM

  

     

This summer I went to camp.  It was not my first summer camp, but it was a new camp for me.  I volunteered at Kerr Lake Ministries Day Camp.

I spent the hottest week of this summer at the Glass House at Satterwhite Point.  The children came each morning to hear Bible stories, sing praise songs to God, paddle canoes, swim, create great works of art, and learn how God loves them.  They left each afternoon with the promise to be back tomorrow. 

Surrounding these children were middle school and high school youth who assisted the adult leaders throughout their day.  I discovered these youth and some of the young adult leaders were graduates from Kerr Lake Ministries Day Camp.  The adult leaders created such an impact on these young people that they return every year without any pay to share with new children the Gospel message of love. 

Returning campers in the fifth and sixth grade shared how they will be camp helpers in the coming years. 
These adult volunteers come from various churches and denominations with one purpose, to share the love of Jesus.  Each one had a different child who touched their heart and taught them about loving as Christ loves, unconditionally.  Their words brought to my heart Jesus’ words when His disciples were seeking to learn about the kingdom of heaven, “He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’” (Matthew 18:1-5 NSRV). How true that was at the Glass House. 

Kerr Lake Ministries is just one of many set apart times we call summer camp.  Summer is filled with camps of various shapes, sizes, and specializations. Each summer, thousands step away from the world for a brief period of time and live and breathe, work and play together as God intended. I am filled with gratitude for the volunteers, young and old who give their summer, set apart their time, for the children of the world.

Set apart times are important for our growth as disciples. Jesus models this for us.  Disciples do not always get it right, we see that in scripture. Sometimes we are more concerned about who will be the greatest.  Sometimes summer camp is not fun.  Yet year after year, we train, we prepare, we gather new staff and try again to provide a sanctuary where we can see Jesus in the eyes of a child and that child is welcomed in in Jesus’ name.  What is important is that we continue to work towards perfecting how to live in community, returning to those set apart times to learn again, learn anew.  In my summer experience at Kerr Lake Ministries Day Camp, I witnessed how Christians can come together with a unity of purpose and lives are transformed.