When I was young, I went to camps. Church camp, YMCA camp, Youth Haven Ranch, etc. I loved it. Every week away to a new destination, another group of people to meet, and another chance to establish an identity that was closer to the me I felt like I was than the one I was able to live out in school. Does that make sense? Also enjoyed the Spiritual “shot in the arm” type benefit that came from many of the experiences.
Late in High School, that transformed a bit, when I was able to work at a camp for the whole summer. No longer was I bound by the camper code, but I was released into the freedom, joys, and responsibilities of a camp worker. It also meant new relationships that lasted an entire summer, instead of the weekly drama of camper-cycles.
In college, the world changed once more as I became part of a group that traveled to about 8 camps over summer, leading worship and ministering to the youth. On stage in front of hundreds of teens, ministering in a variety of settings, traveling all over the midwest…I gained experiences that have helped me become much of who I am today.
And today, the camping world transformed once more, as I took another step. Speaking at a Free Methodist Camp for Junior High students. Only one service under my belt…but I loved it. Definitely feeling the pressure of wanting to present the most faithful words from God possible for the lives present….praying that God takes what I offer and makes it His.
And oh yes….I brought my family this time. A whole new dynamic to the camp experience. Forces me to slow down. To quiet my “self”. To be okay missing out on some things, in order to experience the full week as a family as much as possible. I am a blessed man. 🙂
ps. Shout out to Mr. Jeremiah Bolich. I gotta be honest, traveling all over and seeing TONS of camp pastors in action…I learned a lot from that guy. About being a man after Christ, and a man who loves others….and speaks at camps. 🙂 Thanks Bolich.