After a great week in Arkansas, reaffirmed that I was on the correct path, I headed across the country to The Community of the Great Commission camp, outside of the little town of Foresthill, California. This little northern camp was quite literally, a breath of fresh air! I was instantly engulfed in the mountain life! The dry air, the gentle breeze, the smell of pines and campfire, and mosquitos… So. Many. Mosquitos.
The students that came to this camp were equally fresh; their forward thinks ideals, ability to adapt to uncomfortable situations, and the challenging questions they had to answer proved that they were open, accepting, and willing to try new things. Many activities that the Keynoter, Rev. Michael Hamm, presented to us was uncomfortable at first but challenged us in so many ways to be more open. One such activity consisted of everyone standing in two circles facing each other, and staring into the person’s across from us’ eyes. For 45 seconds! At first time seemed to drag on and it was weird to stare at people, but once we got used to the activity, we learned to see God in the people we were looking at.
We were challenged to label ourselves, then to strip those labels off so that we could start fresh and be open to learning more about ourselves. This activity required us to think deeply about ourselves. At the end of the week, we labeled ourselves again to see how we had changed. It was incredible to see how people saw themselves differently at the end of the week and it was equally exciting to see the people who were new to camp grow and open up to the group in just one short week.
I did a presentation on the Disciples Peace Fellowship and what my purpose was at their camp, and I was welcomed in with open arms. The campers asked great questions and many told me that being a DPF Intern is something they would be interested in when they get older! This was highly encouraging and I received a lot of praise for what I was doing from the directors, staff, and the campers. I am humbled by these affirmations and once again feel confident that this is what I am supposed to be doing.
My workshops were received well and the campers that attended were involved, interested, and excited to learn about the issues that plague the world. During my second workshop, we discussed issues that the campers wanted too. This was much less formal and it gave us the opportunity to discuss our thoughts on many problems.
The Community of the Great Commission is a home to many, from all walks of life, and I was so blessed to be a part of such a great family. I met amazing people and couldn’t have asked for a more refreshing camp to visit. Thank you so very much to the wonderful directors Jesse and Rachelle for welcoming me with open arms and to the staff for being so supportive and kind to me. I never felt like an outsider and am excited to see where these campers go in life, and hopefully share the DPF bond with some in the future!