As many of you know, it’s been quiet around my house this summer because both of my teenage daughters have spent a large portion of the summer working at the church camp here in Washington State that they grew up attending every summer. I can hardly complain about it, because I myself spent five summers at my church camp (the wonderful Mission Meadows, in New York on Chautauqua Lake) in high school and college–why would I deny them the same kind of fun?
My youngest daughter recently came home after a month at camp. There are a lot of other ways she could have spent the summer. Her best friend from school has an internship at Boeing, where I’m sure she’s learning a lot, and other kids teach at sport camps or attend cheer camp or basketball camp or science camp–the opportunities seem endless for kids. They’re all “good stuff.”
I just want to say, though, that something special happens at church camp. Both of my girls have found friends that are rooted deep in their hearts; both of them have come home asking for a study Bible; both of them have clarified where they want to go to college and why they want to go there, including identifying actual and potential roommates. A special shout-out to Seattle Pacific University applies here! Those kids actually miss school terribly while at camp, and that simple fact spoke volumes to my oldest daughter when she was choosing a school. After all, how could anything be more awesome than camp? Now that she’s had one year of SPU under her belt, she understands what they were talking about. The community there is very special.
You also know something is going right when your 16-year-old daughter writes home–once–during the month she’s gone and explains that she would have written more except that all of her free time is spent in napping under trees and “impromptu Bible studies” with her friends.
So, thank you, Cascades Camp. Thank you, Mission Meadows. Thank you, Almighty God, who works in wonderful ways out under the stars, in cabins, amongst friends sitting around a fire with other kids who are seeking you and finding that you are with them–and loving them–every step of the way.