July 30, 2012 at 3:49 am

My Favorite Week At Camp Timberledge

Every year our family volunteers a week of our time.  We pack up our family of six and head off into the woods of northeast Pennsylvania.  Daddy D and I prepare for months and for that one week our vision of a week of camp for eighth and ninth graders comes into focus.

This year was incredibly special to us.  We referred to it as young teen camp alumni edition.  Almost every single member of our staff were at one time our camper.  All grown up and paying it forward.  Giving of themselves as those before them gave to make their time at camp unforgettable.

What I did not anticipate was how emotional the entire week was.  I was so proud.  I watched as the teens I once knew, and occasionally had in my office for a talking to, blossomed into the most amazing team I have ever had.  My crew of entirely first time female counselors knocked it out of the park.  My recreation directors blew me away.  We lost our head cook on Monday, and my team stepped up in a major way helping to cook every meal for the remainder of the week.

And when I thought I couldn’t have been more impressed with my motley crew, Tuesday they started speaking up in meetings.  Figuring out ways to better reach our teens spiritually.  Starting the day with staff prayer in the boathouse.  Having someone in the office praying for each camper and member of the staff by name during chapel.  It was amazing.

They went before God and asked that each person at camp get closer to Him.  God provided in a BIG way.  I watched as the campers opened up more.  I watched as Pastor Ken taught them to pray.  I watched as the worship team led by example and got an entire room of self conscious teenagers to open up and sing praises to our Lord.

On Friday night at the last chapel of the week I was armed with our video camera.  I had been working on getting footage throughout the week for a new promotional video for the camp.  The band started the last song of the night.  Their favorite.  One hand picked by my worship leader Andrew to teach them this year.

As the name of the song came up on the screen the most amazing thing happened.  The chairs cleared.  The entire camp assembled in the front of the chapel.  Without instruction from any of the staff.  On their own volition.  And they sang.  With voices hoarse from a weeks worth of worship songs.  With tired bodies they danced.  They worshipped.  They sang their manifesto.  Loudly.  Passionately. Beautifully.

I stood on a chair, camera in hand.  I tried to stay as steady as possible as the tears streamed down my face.  I was in awe of all that God had done.  I was privledged to be a witness to such a beautiful moment.

I have been a part of this camp for my entire life.  In my 34 years of life, I have missed only 6 summers.  Four of those I was working at another camp.  Christian camping is an essential part of my life.  I have worked with hundreds of kids and staff.  This week has been my favorite. Ever.

Thank you to all of my staff.  Thank you for giving of yourself.  Thank you for all that you did to further The Kingdom.

Thank you to all of my campers.  Thank you for pushing yourselves.  For doing all that you could to learn and get closer to God.

I have been blessed this week.  In a huge way.  I am in awe of what I have witnessed.  I am so proud to have been a part of it.  Thank you Heavenly Father for all that you have given us.  I am so very grateful.

And all of the people of God sang along….Amen!


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