Community is Key

This past week I was in the mountains of Northern California surrounded by a forest of pines working with High School campers. The camp was called the Community of the Great Commission and that name could not be closer to the truth. Every single second that I spent there I felt part of the community. Everyone was really open to one another and it really felt like a family, ready to welcome anyone into their arms.

I had a cabin of eight girls and they kept me on my toes but they were great. Each of the girls had their own shining personality that they let come through at camp. My cabin was never boring with the singing going on till lights out or me trying to catch a moth to take it back outside so no one would freak out. we had a great time and they were very good about lights out. The girls knew how many camps I have been to so they were more concerned with me getting sleep then them staying up talking. That just shows how sweet they were.

My family group was amazing. We were able to have deep discussions about what it means to be a neighbor. These kids really tackled the issues that are gong on in the world and what it means to them. We also talked a lot about self care and that to be a good neighbor, you also need to take care of yourself too. We weren’t serious all the time though. I have no idea the amount of werewolf games we played this week. It kind of became our groups thing to just howl sometimes like a wolf. There were a lot of people in the family group that told me this was the best family group they have ever been in. Hearing that made me smile and tear up so much.

During free time I would sit down with some of the campers and play a game called Baldur’s Gate. It was a lot of fun being able to geek out with the kids as we followed different plots that the game could take. I feel like I was able to get to know some of the kids that were not in my cabin or family group quite well by doing this. Another thing that was quite a lot of fun was the talent show. There were so many goofy acts that I could not help but smile.

This week I did two workshops. I did my LGBTQ+ one like I do every week. I also did the poverty workshop as well. The discussions that were produced by both workshops were amazing. The campers really thought deeply about the issues that I was presenting in front of them. There were a few of the campers that said that these workshops were their favorite thing that they signed up for. I feel like they really listened and got a lot out of what we were doing.

We had a campfire every night. At the campfire we would sing songs and have worship. Every single night as we sat around the fire I would get up and teach the campers a new silly song. I have to say this was probably one of my favorite things. I love teaching and leading camp songs but I haven’t gotten the chance to do it a lot this summer. It was so much fun sharing what I have learned from years of going to camp with these campers through song and hear them all week going around singing them. I would be sitting in the dining hall and all of a sudden hear ” I just want to be a sheep, ba ba ba ba.” It made me smile so much that they were enjoying what I was sharing.

On the last night as part of the senior worship we were able to stargaze. As we were stargazing I was able to share what I know about the night sky with the campers. I feel like they really enjoyed seeing the beauty of the night and gain some understanding of what it is. So many of the campers came up to me and asked if I could come back next year and that I made their week at camp. I feel like I have made such an impact at this camp and it is something I will never forget. This east coast girl would not mind going back to the west coast to attend this camp again.

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