I have not been to youth camp for a while. For a number of years, like 25 or 30, Sherry and I have been a part of the church camping programs wherever we have lived. We have done High School, Weekend, Junior High, Family, Mission, you name it, we have probably been part of it. This will be the first year in over a dozen that I have not worked Week of Missions. The rub to all this is that I guess I like camp. And I cannot every remember working a First Chance camp, second and third graders ever. I did that for a couple of days this week. I came away with a few observations.
- I kind of like a short camp. Sunday evening to Tuesday morning, pretty nice. Thirty kids and a dozen or so adults and not time to learn all the names. I tried, but didn't cross paths often enough.
- I like kids. These kids were the ages of some of my younger grandchildren. It was fun spending time with them. It is kind of crazy the way the 'adopt' total strangers. We had a young girl named Grace. She was a hoot! She changed her clothes something like 6 times on Tuesday alone. In the pool she came close so I could pick her up and throw her across the pool. On our hike she managed to find me and walk with me, finally taking my hand. And there was Colin, who also couldn't get enough air across the pool,
- I love the interaction with these kids. They are young enough to still listen (most of the time, and most of them). When the bell rang, they came running. Time to go to sleep, well that was a little more challenging but still not the challenge of older kids. Listen in class, yup. Ask a question and you get hands not blank stares. I confess that Deb and I tired of the, "are we there yet?" but other than that, fun, fun, fun.
The whole adventure reminded me again of the words of Jesus. "Unless you become as one of these little ones, you shall not see the kingdom of Heaven." It is a few days with these little ones that help me remember simple faith, honest relationship, and big smiles. Oh, the big smiles.
And thank you Carter, Tyler, and Roman who went with Debbie and me. Thanks Deb for the invite and Patti and Nancy (whom I cannot remember not knowing) for letting me come. Grace, Brody, Levi, Colin, Allie and Zach thanks for a great three days.