I never went to an official “summer camp” growing up. We did VBS, youth group mission trips, softball tournaments, and a lot of time with grandmothers on the Allegheny River in NW PA and on the beach in Queens, NY. And truly most people in my neighborhood didn’t go to summer camp (with the exception of Girl Scout/Boy Scout Camp) because well, we just couldn’t afford it. Our summers were still amazing – endless night games of hide-n-seek in our court, curb-ball, baseball, Friday late night at the neighborhood pool, etc…
So it wasn’t until I was in college that summer camp appeared on my horizon. I was studying to be a teacher and a lot of folks were applying to be camp counselors and I thought, “Well that will be more fun than my usual cashier at McDonald’s gig” so I applied and worked for one summer at a Lutheran Camp in central PA and two summers at a Lutheran camp in Northern VA. These three summers were pivotal in my formation and my faith.
As I prepare to head off to serve as chaplain (alongside my husband) at Week 2 of Family Camp at Camp Calumet (an ELCA camp here in NH) I am pondering why those three summers were so transformative for me. Yeah, there was a work ethic instilled – you just pull together to get the job done and done well. But there was more. There was a foundation of community, a fertilizing of seeds of faith planted earlier in my life, and there was a new sense that God was much, much bigger than I ever imagined. My time at camp changed my life and I believe changed the direction of my life.
Which brings me to ask…have you been to camp? What are your experiences from your time at camp? If you haven’t been, have you ever thought about it? How can we as a community help you to experience camp and what God can stir in the midst of your experience there?
During the next week please hold me and my family in prayer, along with the whole staff and community that is Calumet Lutheran Camp and Conference Center; and watch CtK’s Facebook page for pictures and reflections from the week, or check out Calumet’s Facebook page for pictures and updates from camp itself! I am thankful for this community’s openness and connection with Calumet that enables me to live this fuller call in the church at camp!
OH, and why not check out the schedule and see if there is something coming up for you, your kids, or your family?! There are things happening all year long…take a peek, you won’t be disappointed…and indeed you may be changed for life!