As I look out the windows of my office, I see a light drizzle out of the one facing west and blue skies from the one facing north. During these summer months, perspective can make a big difference in what you see. We are currently in our last week of summer camp. Today is that last full day that summer campers’ laughs and silly songs will be heard when you walk the grounds. I went to Wilderness breakfast today, as I love to do on Fridays. The entree, as always, was BLTs. This Wilderness group was dragging when the wake-up call was sounded. It is a younger group, and a week of hiking, canoeing, and spending so much time in the heat has certainly slowed them down a little bit. They also got to go to the dance last night.
When I walked into the dance, I felt something a little strange–cool air. Normally the dance is a giant sweat box, and you find yourself going outside into the muggy, July air to cool yourself off. Imagine walking out into a 91 degree night and thinking, “what a relief.” Last night, though, the air in that front room felt pretty inviting. We have a combined Elementary and Junior High week, and so this Junior High camp is a little smaller than the Junior Highs that typically attend the dance. There is more room to show off that dance move you’ve been working on in front of the mirror, become involved in the line dance you just learned, or just breathe like a normal human being. There are many options the night of the dance. There are the obvious ones: to dance or stand on the wall hoping for some kind of break-through. When you have been to hundreds of Lakeshore dances in your life, it’s easy to forget all the feelings that might be going through any given junior high camper’s mind. I loved to dance, and it was generally a surprise to people when a quiet kid like me would get out and do the M.C. Hammer when the first beat dropped. However, as soon as a slow song started, and all the young Casanovas started jockeying for the cutest of the junior high girls, all my confidence dwindled, and I made haste to the wall. Funny how even the tempo of a song can change your perspective.
And, here very soon, our staff will see the perspective of the campers they have told goodbye each Saturday for the past 10 or so weeks. They will also begin to come to grips with the idea of leaving this place and what that means to them. There is of course sadness about missing friends, about this great experience drawing to a close. There are the questions that can get a little scary. What will I do with myself now? Will I continue to find God as I have here? Then, there are also the exciting thoughts. All the new adventures. The rest that will finally come in the evening when you are only responsible for yourself at bedtime. There is the chance to take these lessons out into the world. So much tied in with perspective. And, as I look out my windows now, I see sunshine from both directions.
Pray for all our campers, our staff, and our upcoming retreat season.