There are two sides to every coin. Every beauty is paired with a difficulty and hardship, yes even hardship has its advantages.
I was reminded of this yesterday during our family’s “Screen Time”.
Now, there are a few difficulties associated with living and working up at camp. Before the new power system was put in, we would occasionally lose power for…oh two months or so while waiting for a part for the generator. Pulling stuck cars out of the ditch is a regular part of life. And joyful teenagers who want to talk will occasionally drive up to our house at 1:00am in the hopes that someone is still awake and eager for conversation. Luckily, Scruffy usually is because I am always in bed by then.
But the perks, camp perks are the absolute best.
It was my youngest boy’s pick for screen time yesterday. He really wanted to play Lego Indiana Jones. And so I let him…the only problem. His brothers wanted to play a different game with Choco downstairs. My little guy was all by himself without anyone to play with. He was really sad and I had a particularly complicated dinner to prepare. I was able to spare 15 minutes to play with him, but had to get back to the kitchen after that. Then a gift of God wandered through the door of the staff house. Sméagol was up to work in the kitchen. I inquired about his interest in Lego Indiana Jones. After he rushed off and checked in at the kitchen, Sméagol came up to our house and played Lego Indiana Jones with my little guy. He was ecstatic. One of our cool, fun counselors all to himself. This was little boy heaven. And I was reminded of the beautiful perks of living and working at Camas Meadows. So I would like to remind you, dear counselor, of a few of those camp perks. In case you get discouraged, because yes, it is going to be hard. But hang in there, much blessing will come as well.
If you chose to become a camp counselor this summer, there will come a moment (probably more than one) where you find yourself overwhelmed and discouraged. Yes, we prepared you for this job in Staff Training. But somehow it all seems much more difficult when it is your camper who ran around the lodge 10 times on a dare right after the ice cream eating contest.
Camp holds vast quantities of fun and is a whole lot of hard work to make happen. So for those hard days, I wanted to remind you of some of the camp perks that you can expect along with mopping the kitchen at midnight and having to be the donkey in your cabin skit because no one else wants to and your hair is the shaggiest.
Camp is in the forest. Not a park or a little patch of woods outside of town, we are situated in the actual forest. There are deer and elk, bear and cougar, chipmunks and porcupines and owls. How often do you get to look up at the night sky without any light pollution? How often are you able to walk back to your cabin without a flashlight because the full moon is so bright that it causes actual shadows to stretch out under the trees? We are smack dab in the middle of God’s creation and camp is a beautiful place to be.
Camp is busy. Bored? Not if you are at camp. There is always something going on. Paintball, horseback riding, hike to The Stone Face, campfire, Meadow Games, Lake Day, midnight walk to Inspiration Point, Night Games, Skit Night…One is never bored at camp. Exhausted, but never bored.
Your friends are at camp. What? You don’t know anyone at camp? That doesn’t matter. Friendships are forged through the fire of accomplishing a worthy task together. Facing difficulty for the sake of others. Striving and sacrificing so that the kids can have an awesome time, has a unique perk of its own. You meet other people who are willing to give, work hard, and stretch themselves to the limit for the sake of the Lord. They make the very best kinds of friends and you get to keep them after the summer is over.
So there you have it. Hard work does have its own rewards, but it is nice to know that you gain more than personal improvement. Yes, you will learn and grow, gain skills and toughen your resolve to follow your Lord. But you will also gain so much more. The Lord is generous in His gifts. I have found this time and again. This week I got to see God’s overwhelming generosity to our family. God is good. He brings us beauty among the ashes of our hurting and joy to garnish the frustrations of life.