To begin, let me apologize for standing you readers up last week. Due to a last minute elbow dislocation, we had to shuffle leaders for our backpacking camp, and I ended up being the one to lead it. Blog writing becomes more complicated when on your typical writing day, you are deep in the woods. But, I have returned to civilization (relatively speaking), and we welcomed Senior High and our first Fishing Camp, along with Treehouse and Camp Peace.
In yet another strange turn in our weather, this week has actually been pretty mild by late June standards. In the evenings, the wind will pick up, and you will even notice temperatures dipping into the 60s if you are paying close enough attention. This is the summer we longed for over the past few years. So, I always feel that we are a touch spoiled when people come in during this week complaining about the heat. Sure, you break a sweat out there, but don’t you remember last year? You couldn’t breathe.
Senior High campers are full of contradictions in this way. Among them are some of the most athletic, outdoorsy campers we will see all summer. There are campers here that have the ability to beat us in just about every sport. Yet, when these campers decide they want to be indoors, hanging out, there is no convincing them otherwise. And, in all the things they have learned to do better, complaining is something they have taken to the next level. You know that immediate reaction to something they don’t wish to do. It could be the greatest thing you’ve ever planned. Some new adventure that has the potential to change lives. You are excited about this, but it requires going outside, possibly a little vulnerability. You pitch the idea, then the reaction comes. Groans that are somehow under the breath enough that you can’t connect them back to the groaner. The eyes get wide so that when they roll them, it will be more pronounce. Then you watch them lean over, as inaudible whispers begin, and you can only imagine the amount of complaining that is going on in front of your face.
We hope that these moments are in the minority compared to the ones where we are all on the same page, eager to try new things, open ourselves up, and even sweat a little. The Fishing Camp seems to be off to a good start. On the first morning alone, they caught 25 fish. I am allergic to fish, so I’ve never really been much of a fisherman. I definitely enjoy the process–sitting out near the water, casting your line, hoping something will bite, then you make your move, and the wrestling match begins. There are fish all around us in Kentucky Lake. I have heard of river catfish so big that you can’t fit the whole fish in your boat. There are fish so tiny, you can barely see them. They sneak up to your ankle and nibble. You feel a tickle that startles you a bit–it doesn’t hurt, but you wonder what it means. Is it about to bite you? Is it smoking of parasite, that you thought only existed in the Amazon, just about to latch on and drain your plasma?
There is much to ponder in a week of camp. There are fish, teenagers, rain, and sometimes they all become one big question. Why aren’t they listening? Why aren’t they biting? Why did it rain right when I planned to do my nature hike that was going to be so good? The answer will never be very clear. Sometimes these are just fill-in questions for the question we’re not yet ready to ask ourselves. The fish don’t know you’re there. The teenagers aren’t really that different from anyone else. So, what is it you really need to know?
Keep all our camps in your prayers. We’re moving right along.