As the sun inches closer and close to the west on this Friday, we are warming up and drying off. It seems that regardless of whether there has been snow or not, it’s been marshy outside. There’s no sense in sweeping the floors–you will bring something in the very next time. Your shoes are always wet and your socks moist. Up until the past two days, the sun has been in hiding. On our most recent snow (which, for my money, has been the prettiest yet) I was walking home and the sky looked like polished silver against the white backdrop of trees and hills. But the sun came out to melt the snow and dry the ground. You’ve got a shot not having cold feet now.
It’s been another slow week at camp, but it is all about to pick up for us. We have weekend groups pretty steady all the way up to summer camp. The floors of the Conference Center have been buffed to where they seem to shine even when the lights are off. The camp is waiting for life to return just like the woods surrounding us. This weekend will deliver that to us–and I’m not just referring to the sunshine and higher temperatures. Our Summer Staff and Counselors from 2010 will be in for a reunion. We’ll have a chance to catch up and reminisce.
I remember the feeling of reunion, when I was in college. It had been 5 months since we had finished the summer, and many things had happened in all of our lives. We had had high and low times. Some of those summer couples hadn’t made it, and some were still going strong. Haircuts had changed for some, majors had changed for others. Some would come back next summer, while others were moving on to something new. It was cold at camp and the trees were leafless. There was things very different about the camp than when we left. Instead of having tans or sunburns with shorts and flip flops, we were bundled up. But, we all longed to be back, however we could get it. Things were not the same in the outside world for any of us. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was different. And, we missed what we had had at the Shore. We wanted to get back to that place with the people we knew understood it the same way we did. If we could have that–even just a weekend of it–it might carry us through a few more months of winter and spring classes.
I hear so many people talking about that feeling you get, driving down Highway 191, finishing the home stretch of the trip. The way you perk up, you heart rate picks up, maybe even tingles rush through. I know some people who have a specific song they always play as they near camp. It is a homecoming for so many. There will be many with those feelings this weekend, coming back to the place where things seem to make more sense, where they feel a little truer to who they want to be. We will turn on the heat and the lights in the buildings and strike up a fire when they get there. We’ll put a slide show of 2010 photos on the projector, and we’ll load as many people onto those library couches as we can fit, just like we did on the weekends of the summer.
We’ll remember a lot of the things that happened a few months ago, when we worked together to help 2000 campers find God out in the woods. But, there’ll be a little more going on than just remembering the past. We’ll write our next chapter of our time at this place. There’ll be some time behind us, ahead of us, and look around at what is right here, right now. The smiling faces of our friends, the water lapping of the shore, the trees reaching up to the sky all around us–it’ll be there for us again to enjoy.
This week we have our Summer Staff/Volunteer reunion and the Aldersgate UMC Youth Group. We’re excited to be hosting groups again after this winter freeze. Keep us in your prayers and we’ll do the same. Next week, the Lakeshore staff will be at a Camp Leader’s Conference, so this week at camp will return February 11.