I have been a camp counsellor, a sports & games and media programmer, a camp administrator, and a volunteer coordinator. I have been alice the camel, a dustbuster, Luigi and the Funisher. I have changed numerous diapers, wiped countless bottoms, filled up Bowel Movement charts, cleaned up vomit in the dark, gotten soaked when trying to shower campers, responded to seizures, led multiple camp fires, and tried to convince a naked, hungry, autistic boy to go to sleep at 12am while counting moths. I have chased an electric wheelchair down a hill, gotten my toes run over by countless wheelchairs, and been the first to be told about a bed bug infestation. I have painted the counsellor, and forgotten if there were periods or quarters in wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey. I have ran along side a horse, failed at steering a canoe, and seen the chicken count dwindle. I did my share of banquets and theme days, water regattas and sponsored BBQs. I have strung and restrung many recurve bows, broken my fair share of compound bows, and watch a staff member almost shoot his toe off with a crossbow. I have seen christmas in July, watched Disney come to life and greeted the campers as oompa loompas as they entered the chocolate factory. I have seen campers and staff brave the stage with songs, acts, jokes and dances. I have played late night banagrams, cribbage, scrabotage and campfires. I have seen campers cry because they do not want to go home, and friendships that surpass the barrier of ability, communication and age. I have seen, lived, and done camp. This is camp – and I miss it everyday.
But this is different. This isn’t camp – because this isn’t about me or about a lifestyle. This is an act of service & obedience, a privilege and a form of my worship. It is about THEM and its about HIM. This is better – this is harder.
Its about THEM. Kids & Staff.
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep, we might live with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
Kids: I want them to know and love the word of God. I want them to know who Jesus is, and about the love, grace and mercy of our Lord. I want them to question and to inquire about who this God is – who can be fully man and fully God at the same time. I want them to be freed from their sin, to grow in their faith, and to love and worship my God who has saved me and who has redeemed me. I want God to use me directly or indirectly to plant these seeds and to help them grow. This is my prayer for these kids.
Staff: I want them to know what it is like to be used by God. I want them to be able to worship and praise the Lord always. I want them to be able to see the fruit and use the talents and the leadership that our Lord has given them. I want them to be able to strengthen their weaknesses, be challenged and be so broken that they have no one to turn to but Christ. I want to encourage and support them by equipping them with skills and tools to lead. I want to them to love the word and to depend on prayer. I want them to love these kids like Christ loves us, and I want them to intentionally serve God with a never ending joy because we are doing His work and God is working through us. I want them to be in constant awe of our God and of the Gospel. This is my prayer for the staff and for myself.
Its about HIM
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.
– 1 Corinthians 10:31
God: I have forgotten about God in past summers, forgotten about my motivation and about my salvation. I am finding myself slowly transforming into that same mindset – where my mind becomes nothing but a checklist of things that I need to do to get through the day. Even though this is a ministry and even though this camp is fully centred around Christ, I still manage to forget about Him. I know that He is working – He was so in my face a week ago, and He probably still is, but I have forgotten to look. I need to check my heart at the door, I need to devote the day to prayer & worship. I need to reassess my intentions, my mind and my priorities – because sometimes I feel like I am doing God’s Work, but yet I am failing to work for God. In every other way, the first week of camp has been extremely successful, but when it comes to my heart & my mind – I could have done better. Lots better – this summer is different, it’s all for Him.
I walked into the room on Wacky Wednesday, and all of the kids had a bible open as they followed along to the word. One camper wasn’t paying attention, and another was intently following through the wacky mask on his face. Terry pointed down to the floor, and that’s when I saw this – she was engrossed in The Word, underneath the table – alone, yet content. This is how I know this summer is different.