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Kids and Camp

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Jul 11 in Musings
camp 5
 
It is anything but easy to send our children to summer camp each year. It means socking away money, reworking family vacation time, spending hours gathering gear and filling out forms. It means endless prayers for their safety and happiness. It’s not easy, but it is important. It is important that they have the freedom to run around with their friends, to try new things, to stretch themselves. It is important that they create bonds apart from us in our larger church family, that other adults speak truth into their lives.
 
It’s not easy as a church, either. Volunteers and staff set aside other responsibilities and comforts to spend a week away.  We offer scholarships when we can. There’s a lot to organize and communicate. But year after year we send our students to Forest Home in the San Bernardino Mountains. Last week (June 23 – 28) was just such a week, with five middle school students going to Creekside and thirteen high school students going to Lakeview, along with our Student Ministries assistant, Natalie Moreno, and volunteers, Dean Choi and Avrielle Corti.
 
camp 2
There were crazy fun times. Students swam in the lake and splashed around in the pool. They raced through the forest playing laser tag and flew through the air on the zip line. They played gaga ball, ate gallons of ice cream, and attempted to stay up all night.

camp photo 
There on the mountain they were surrounded by the beauty of creation, God’s handiwork on full display. The air was fragrant with pine. The trees and the rocks and the creek pointed to God’s glory. The stars amazed everyone who looked up. It was crazy gorgeous.
camp 4
During group teaching times, speakers explored questions like, “What lies are you believing?” and “How can you know God’s truth?”  Looking at the book of John, they were reminded that Christ alone is the Way, the Truth and the Light. They were encouraged to dig deep during quiet, solo  time. Perhaps the most impactful moments happened when each day was done and campers gathered in the cabins. Adult leaders facilitated discussions to process and further explore the teaching of the day. A lot of really good listening went on. Students got to know each other in new ways, to see how God is working in their peers’ lives. They got to ask questions. They had time to reflect.

camp 6 
When my kids got home on Friday, they didn’t want it to end. They wanted to see their dog, and sleep for about twenty-four hours straight, but they still wanted to be with their friends. They wanted to relive their adventures with funny stories. Hopefully, they will continue to see God’s handiwork everywhere, in the nature that persists in the city, in quiet moments in scripture, and in the love of those that went to camp with them and those that sent them.
 camp 3
Special thanks to everyone that made the week possible, including Eric Myers, who drove the van and trailer. Our prayers are with the second grade through sixth graders and their leaders that will be going from July 14 – 19.
 
 

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