On Monday morning of this week, there was quiet. Many of us were recovering from Senior High Camp with its late nights and high energy. The temperature was pretty mild for the end of June. We awaited the next camp peacefully and tentatively. Then, in the distance, there was a soft rumble. Our eyes and ears perked a bit. We looked around and, seeing nothing, returned to what we had been thinking. Then the rumble increased. Leaves began to fall in greater quantity. The squirrels looked up from acorn gathering, and ran to a place of safety. The rumbles became louder, and the ground began to vibrate. What we were hearing was the sound of over 250 campers closing in on the property.
Lakeshore has been filled this week, with lots and lots of camper, in particular elementary aged campers. We are also running a Youth Arts Camp, a Watersports Camp, and Camp Grace for victims of sexual abuse. This week has been loud. Attention spans have been lacking, a round of homesickness got passed among a few, and we’ve also had a surplus of scraped knees.
We hit the midway point of summer camp this week. It always blows the minds of our staff that we are in the middle already, but, sure enough, Wednesday marked the exact center. When I inform my staff of this, many react by putting their hands on their ears or telling me not to say that. They can’t believe time is moving by so fast. They don’t want time to move so quickly, even if they are worn out by 12 elementary campers constantly asking when the next swim time is. I use this point as motivation, to help them realize that it goes quickly, and there is no time to waste. I’m hoping it will be inspirational to help them challenge themselves now rather than later. It usually does more though to remind them how time is slipping away.
This week has really messed with the Watersports camp. For the first time I can remember, we received a call Wednesday morning from Flatwoods Canoe Base telling us the camp should not canoe the Buffalo, because the waters were too high. We have skipped the Buffalo River trip due to storms and even taken a shorter trip for many reasons, but it is rare that the river is too high to paddle–especially at the end of June. Normally, we are more worried about there being enough water to keep the canoes from scraping the bottom. So Watersports improvised their own canoe trip, paddling on Kentucky Lake to Eva Beach.
There has been a steady, light breeze rustling through the hills and trees this week. It has been hot, for sure, but when you sit out on hillside, it’s no problem. You stare out over that river that is such a pretty dark blue these days and feel that breeze in your face. You can hear air shuffling the leaves over one another. There are sounds of kids playing in the distance. You might even catch a full conversation if you listen well enough. For sure, there is much going on this week, and it can be a bit overwhelming to try to take it all in if you aren’t ready. But, if you sit still for a minute, take several deep breaths, then open your eyes and ears, you’re bound to encounter something worth checking out.
I’ve spent enough time in the office this week, that my body tells me it doesn’t want to get out. There’s just too much going on out there. Too many kids, too much noise, and too many names to learn. If you take it all at once, you probably won’t manage. Don’t be afraid, though. Set out into that wilderness of children. You’re liable to a grove you want sit in for a while. I’m glad I got out enough this week to explore that vast wilderness.
Be in prayer for all our camps this week. We’re over half way, believe it or not.