After spending two weeks at camps with over 90 campers each, I got the chance to slow down a little at Barbee Christian Camp (pronounced Bar-Bee) in Northern Indiana. CYF at Camp Barbee had 12 campers. Due to the uniquely small size of the community, community building became the central focus of nearly each and every element of camp. While there are downsides to having such a small camp, it fostered an element of creativity unlike I have ever seen. This creativity was particularly refreshing with regard to worship and spiritual disciplines.
Everyday we took an hour to explore a new spiritual discipline. Different counselors each had the opportunity to teach and practice varying styles of prayer, reflection, and meditation. During the course of the week we covered labyrinths, lexio divina, journaling, prayer beads, praying in color, and meditation in silence. After learning about and practicing each of these disciplines the campers would plan that evening’s vespers service around the spiritual practice of the day. This allowed for unique worship experiences that would likely not be possible outside of a small camp setting. One of my personal favorites for the week involved using the concepts of praying in color and finger paint during vespers to create a series of images and prayers of and about the holy spirit.