Here are four things that I am most looking forward to this summer:
1. Jesus Day. I get to be one of the speakers for our Level One LTD program and during the week we talk about the great story of God. Wednesday is always Jesus day and on Jesus day we go for a walk around the campus and each student and leader takes a turn telling their story of when they first encountered Jesus. We do this as we walk the dusty road with the person telling their story walking backwards out in front of the group. By the end we are covered in the dust of each person’s story.
2. The perfect moment. Every year during Sr. Teens there is a perfect moment. It usually happens on day four or five because it takes a few days for everyone to settle in and get comfortable with each other, themselves and the routine of camp. The perfect moment is when every camper has split off during an unscheduled time in the day and are in groups as small as two and as big as 20. The sun is shining, campers are talking on the trampoline, lazing in the grass, playing Frisbee behind the cabins, and the feeling is perfect contentment. Our goal at camp is to create a space where campers can connect with Christ and with each other. The perfect moment happens when everyone feels comfortable just being themselves – that is when connections happen. It is a beautiful experience.
3. The first time. There is a look in a camper’s eye that when you see it you know something special just happened. It is part disbelief, part pride, and complete joy. When I see that look I make sure to ask how their week is going. It is a question usually answered with, “AWESOME! I just…” And then they go on to tell me that they just climbed the hard wall for the first time, or just went wakeboarding for the first time, or just got a bull’s eye for the first time, or just heard God for the first time, and how this is the “BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!”
4. Something New. This will be my fifth summer as director and my 12th summer in some capacity here. Every summer I learn something new about who God is. Sometimes this is revealed to me from a speaker, sometimes in a conversation with a friend, sometimes it comes during my prayer times, sometimes it is the beautifully innocent observation of a camper, and sometimes is comes from a time of study. But without a doubt, this summer I will be drawn closer to Christ and I will experience Him in a newer, deeper and more profound way. This is what I am most excited for; this is why I work here. Selfishly, because I want this for myself; unselfishly because I want to offer this to 1000 campers and 100 staff and volunteers.
Four weeks to go. Can’t wait!