It is the last day of camp. Saturday morning. I am sitting on the back porch at the lodge. The worn wood of the deck is smooth under my bare feet and the sunlight slants down through the trees with that bright airiness that seems particular to mornings. My three boys and one of the cook’s grandsons are digging in the volleyball court. They have a running hose and a labyrinth of rivers and lakes crisscrossing across the sand. The campers are singing. I’ll Fly Away and Lean on Me and Blessed Be Your Name. The gentle tones of an acoustic guitar and children’s voices touch the forest this morning. I find myself weeping as I type and listen. For no reason at all.
I didn’t know what to Blog about this morning. I am weary with a terrible cold and void of writerly brilliance. But here I am, somehow finding a corner of camp to share with you.
This is the last Camas-run camp of the summer. We have rental groups through the rest of August. It has been amazing. This week, at least three children re-dedicated their lives to Christ, and one little girl decided to follow Him for the first time. But even more than this has occurred. Camp is like the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. It takes you away. It is a place that is different then the every day. The forest is bright and clean around you. Wild life thrive nearby. Camp can be incredibly noisy (Have you ever heard 60 kids singing “Pharoah Pharoah” or “Jesus Got Heaps of Lambs”), it is rowdier than the classroom or lunchroom at school. But it also holds a deep kind of quiet that speaks to the soul. At night, when the power is turned off and the dark and the stars surround you, black and bright in the heavens, the woods feel solemn and huge. Quiet, in ways we have forgotten. And the staff, they are here just for you. To love you and teach you and help you grow just a little bit more like Jesus. They are here to chase you in the water fight, urge you to snag the glowstick in capture the flag, and to slurp up gummy worms out of a tub of gravy when no one else from your cabin volunteered.
Things are coming to a close for the summer, but Camas Camps will be back. Much has occurred, kids have been loved, God has been glimpsed. I wish I had words to explain. But sometimes just a peek is enough. And that I can share with you.