Still Going to Camp

When people ask what I'm doing for the Summer, I always say I'm going to camp. And then they ask, with a look of mild curiosity, "oh really? Still?" Yes after 9 summers as a staff member, I can't imagine a better way to spend my summer than at camp. And what most people don't understand is that MY camp isn't just "camp".

To me, camp is sacred. No matter what religious ideas are spinning around in my head 9 months out of the year, the dust seems to settle at camp and my spirit is rejuvenated. The legalistic nature of a girl fresh out of conservative boarding academy was ruffled just enough to allow some grace to pierce through. The agnostic notions of a questioning college student were answered by a Presence that is more alive and real than the Salmon River rapids. The cynicism and discontentment of a returned Student missionary, jaded from experiencing a year of seemingly empty, melodramatic religion, was calmed in comforting friendships with humble, passionate, and joyfully real staff that, like me, return year after year to this place we call home.

And it is home. I know the click of the main lodge doors shutting at night, and also their slam when a rookie leaves at midnight. Here, I learned to jet ski, knit, rake the forest, wake surf, and drive the bob cat. I have my favorite showers in the bathhouse, and I know the angle at which cabin 11's floor slants, and that this angle increases every year. I know the thrill (and fear) of cub camp Sunday, and the exhaustion (and bittersweetness) of teen camp Sunday. During 9 years that consisted of multiple colleges, countries, moves, and dramas of the heart, camp has always been my refuge and adopted family that pick up the pieces of a chaotic life and welcome me home with open arms and a place at the table.

Whether we're playing card games, climbing boulders, serving snow cones, printing labels, or memorizing the theme song lyrics right before going on stage, the people I am privileged to work with every day in the summer (and sometimes on winter weekends) inspire me with their selflessness, enthusiasm, creativity, and "diesel fuel". For having spent even just one week here with these people, I am richly blessed.

Posted on: 07/03/2012