This year Camas Meadows has experienced and unexpected blessing. For the first time ever, we have the honor of hosting a couple from Hard Hats For Christ. Larry and Dee (and Bootsie too) will be staying up at the camp for two whole months to help us out with all of those improvement projects that really need to get done but never seem to be finished because there is always something more pressing. This is their fourth year with Hard Hats for Christ and we are the fifth camp that they have helped out. Larry and Dee started searching for a way to serve the Lord in their “retirement” and after investigating several different organizations everything just fell together miraculously for them to work for Hard Hats. Their paperwork was rushed through in record time and then someone traded in a beautiful RV at Larry’s workplace that was offered to them for a wonderful price. Bim Bam Boom and they were on their way. Larry is starting out the summer working on railings for the bunk beds in the cabins and counters and shelving for our camp work shop so that we can actually organize our tools and find them again. So there you have it. Meet Larry and Dee, a surprise blessing this summer and a part of our summer camp crew.
I was walking along the path between the camp and my brother’s house. My brother and I made this trail when we were children, wanting a quick way to Grandma’s on Saturday morning for cartoons. It is thin and twisty and scattered with broken pine needles. As it snakes through the forest, the path brought me near these beauties.
As I was snapping photos, it occurred to me that this was but a small sampling of the wildflowers that carpeted our forest. I had the privileged of viewing these particular flowers, because they happened to be growing near a path. But what of all the others? Were the unseen blossoms any less marvelous because they bloomed in the dark recesses of the woods, far from the tromp of human feet? Of course not. Just the knowledge that they exist, scattered all through the pine-scented woods thrilled my heart.
Isn’t God like this? We see a bit of Him, because the path we are on happens to brush up against some of His glory. But the thrilling thing is knowing that there is so much more of Him. Glory upon glory upon glory, that we have yet to encounter. Like wildflowers that carpet the wilderness, alone and unsung, but all the more lovely for their quiet splendor.
The forest shows me something of God, every time I step out, breathe deep, and pause long enough to actually see. This is what we hope for the campers who will rush through our doors this summer. That they will be granted a moment to bump up against God. Maybe it will be in chapel time, or while reading the Bible with their counselor, during game time, midnight hike, or simply as they walk the path from their cabin down to the dinning hall.
God is here, but we must pause and take Him in. We must let go and let Him take charge of us and do His mighty works. God is vast and God is quiet, like wildflowers hidden in the wilderness.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
When I read that quote, I couldn’t help but think of camp. Did you know that a week in the wilderness, away from all electric lights, will even reset the human body’s internal clock? There is more than one way to unplug. Unplugging from man-made light will restore the body’s natural ability to sleep and awaken. Unplugging from a tense or dramatic situation can give one the clarity to deal with it in wisdom. Unplugging from our own goals and desires can give us the freedom to hear God. Unplugging from the pressures around us can give us a moment to reach for our Lord and heal.
At camp, we seek to give campers time to unplug. Are things looking jagged at home? Or perhaps going so well that the pressure is high and the pace of life is furious? Camp is a place to slow, and listen. A place to rest in the glory of God’s creation, to breath in the flower-scented air of the forest and remember who made us. At camp we confiscate cell phones and ipods and strive to give kids something different than what they are used to. Something real and tangible, something that lives beyond cyberspace and lasts longer than a tweet.
We hope to give campers the time to seek and be heard, to listen and to wonder, to grow and to become something new.
Even if you are not attending a week of camp this year, you can still unplug. Drive to the forest and take a walk, go on a picnic with your children, swim at a lake, read your Bible in the quiet of a park, or build a castle in the sand. Take time away to seek God, to listen with silent lips and a still heart. God does not disappoint, He has been waiting for you all along.
Deuteronomy 4:29–“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”