By Pastor Paula Burchill
Just over a week ago, we had our annual weekend of family camp at Olympic Lutherhaven. We had about 40 attend and it was a low-key weekend of letting the kids play outside with no electronics, getting dirty, exploring the woods, building forts and figuring out how to get along with kids they may not have played with before.
For the adults, it was a lot of doing dishes, building campfires, and hanging out and getting to know each other. There was a talent show, we had worship in the sunshine, ate a lot of s’mores and banana boats, made beautiful crafts, kayaked around the lake and then cleaned up the camp and headed back to our busy lives.
So why would one take a weekend out of an already busy summer to come to camp? Especially a “do it yourself camp” like ours is [meaning we cooked and cleaned up after ourselves].
To me, camp is one of the best ways to practice being a community in Christ. First of all, you hang out with people you might not get to otherwise. It might be someone you aren’t too sure about, but when you share a bathroom, or you watch your kids claim a tree root as their “amazing fort,” you find that you have a lot in common. And you learn to appreciate each other.
Camp also slows you down—while also increasing your steps [I hit close to 20,000 every day!]. When you can’t check your computer, or your kids aren’t watching the latest YouTube sensation you tend to stop and look at the banana slugs and hear the wind in the pines, and smell the campfire on your sweatshirt. And you appreciate what God has made and how we are blessed to live in this world.
Camp isn’t perfect. It is a lot of work to set up a tent or to stay in a cabin that might smell a bit musty. But when you sit around a campfire and sing songs about calling upon the Lord, it might just be that it teaches you that we are all in this together, that it is good to slow down and see what God has made, and that when we call upon the Lord, the Lord will bless us.
Thanks for another great family camp. I already am looking forward to next year!