Shout-out to Summer Camping (Reprise)

Back in the ol' stompin' grounds

Back in the ol’ stompin’ grounds at Mission Meadows

I just got back from about ten days in the Midwest, visiting my favorite childhood bookstore (this time as a published author, signing copies of Sophie’s Quest!), going to Twins’ Days  and twin book signings with my twin sister (Lost Crown of Apollo!), and doing a story and craft time together at Mission Meadows, the church camp where I grew up. It was all great stuff, and fodder for future blog posts!. However, there’s not a lot of time left for writing a new blog post this week, so my Interviews with Talking Animals will resume soon (Wilbur and Templeton from Charlotte’s Web) and all the rest will have to wait.

In the meantime, here’s a post I wrote last summer about the blessings of summer camp. It’s just as true this summer as last, only this time both daughters were gone ALL summer, and both are heading to SPU in the fall. Both grow by leaps and bounds every time they are at camp. Thanks again, Mission Meadows and Cascades Camp, and all the other great camps out there, and here’s the post from last year. Enjoy!

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.

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and picture books for children, and occasionally an article or short story for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
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2 Responses to Shout-out to Summer Camping (Reprise)

  1. Johanna Wooldredge says:

    Terrific Sonja! I am thankful for church camp too and the powerful influence it has had on my life and the lives of my family. A special shout out to the nine old men who had the vision for Mission Meadows!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cinda lium says:

    This being my first year of going to Cascades for family camp, can totally understand what you mean! As a child I also went to Camp Pilchuk and others and the memories are all good ones!!

    Liked by 1 person

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