An Accidental Encouragement

I had to give up the other day. Yep, failure thy name is Boo Boo…again. Not only did I wake up late for blogging (6:00am), only to find that my computer was mysteriously missing (Scruff loaned it to a youth pastor over at the camp), but I had nothing for the blog. Nothing for you, no words, no wisdom, not stories, no jokes, just three sugar-stuffed children running around my house who needed to go outside, and no more time to blog. So I posted a sentence to that effect on The Campfire and admitted defeat.

The Lord and I had words over that. I had been telling other people that they should do a camp blog for years and no one took up the torch. “Why don’t you do it?” Scruffy asked me. And I would give him the obvious reasons. I was already blogging six days a week and had no time. Besides, what would I say? What if I started the blog and then ran out of words. Of course He called me then, in the middle of a writer’s conference during prayer and worship. “Write the Blog Boo Boo”. I mean, what do you say to that? So I did and now look at me. Out of time, out of words, letting everyone down. The Lord and I definitely had words that day. But that evening something amazing happened.

I had just wrangled our three boys into bed and was breathing that end of the day sigh of relief when Scruffy came home from camp. He had been talking with the youth pastor who was with that’s week’s rental group who had told him this story.

I can’t believe I’ve never told you this, the youth pastor had said before jumping into his tale. When the church hired me, the current youth leader was walking me through the ministry giving me an idea of everything that she was doing and how they had done it in the past. After we had been through everything, she turned to me and told me that I could change anything that I wanted to about the ministry, except for one thing. I was to take the kids up to this tiny camp in the middle of nowhere called Camas Meadows. Just go at least once, she told me. It’s a special place and they take good care of you. And so I brought our kids up here and we have been coming ever since. We love this place, and you’ve taken good care of us. I mean we came here without an important bit of worship equipment and you just brought me over a laptop to use. Thank you.

I realized a couple of things after Scruffy told me this story. 1) God had things to say and I could trust Him to give me words when I had nothing. 2) Camp is smack in the middle of all sorts of ministry that we don’t even know about. We have been a vital part of this church’s ministry and we didn’t realize. To be the one thing that departing youth pastor didn’t want changed is an incredible honor. 3) Not only did God bring me to tears, giving me some much needed encouragement with this youth pastor’s story. I had also been an accidental encouragement to him. My missing laptop had blessed his camp. And yes, I was upset with my husband for not getting it back on my desk by 6:00am, but despite my ire I had helped someone else out and not even known it.

God is doing things. Things that we never hear about. Things that are little to us and huge to someone else. Dear Lord, help us to do a good job with the little things. For they might not be little at all.


Boo Boo

Camper Art

Once in awhile campers will give us things as they hop in their cars to leave. Paintings of Shamu (our dog), drawings of the camp lodge, pieces of writing. Camper art is precious to us, behind the oil pastels and hastily scratched out words is something amazing. They give us their art, because they felt loved. Which means that God has been here. Despite our continuous bumbling, God has seen fit to work His wonders among us and reveal for just a moment His Glory. Right here, to us.

A number of years ago I had the privilege of being a counselor once again. One of my campers gave me this poem and this morning she gave me permission to share it here with you. And so I present to you: Camper Art, Piece #1.


by Jennifer A Hart

Throughout the school year, I thought that my God left. He wasn’t there when I was tiny as an ant or when the sharks were ready to chomp.

At Last! Summer was almost here which meant: water fights, sleeping in, staying up late and last, Home! I was going home, where the sharks were gone.

Home was a place where you felt safe, loved, you could be you. And last, felt like a child of God, where you feel God’s presence!

Home was like being free from prison. Sentenced to life in prison, proven innocent, God had come to claim you.

Camas Meadows, feels like Heaven, You know God is loving you and wrapping you in His arms.

Camas Counselors, Crazy, fun, loving, brothers and sisters in Christ, pure and sweet.

Camas Campers, Wild, confused, special, little children of God, Holy and wonderful.


To My brothers and sisters: Choco, Scruffy, Fiona, Marshwiggle, Abbu, Splinter, Farquat, Adam, Luigi, Livewire, Shinobi, Mocha, Gus-Gus, Wolverine, Donkey Kong, Shoe and everyone else! I love you.

I asked Jen why she wrote this poem and left it at camp with us. This is what she said: “This camp was more than a summer camp to me, it was my home. A place I knew I could cry and someone would be right beside me, to hold me. A place where someone knew my trashed past, but still loved me for the daughter of Christ I was….each time, I came “home”, I could let all that go, and let God take over my body, my soul and my spirit. God was always with me. Never realized it, till I went up to camp every year. That is what camp means to me.”

So I want to thank you Jen. For sharing your art and for showing us God. God in all His fierce and tender glory, right here after all.



I’m sorry you guys. I don’t have anything for you this week. Check back next Saturday or better yet call me at 509-548-6553 with a memorable camp moment.