As the summer is coming to an end, and kids are chomping at the bits to get back to school (ha!), I wanted to take a moment to share my camp experience from the summer. I had the awesome opportunity to work at Jenness Park out in Cold Springs, California as the Assistant Director for CentriKid there. I know you’re probably thinking, “well of course it was awesome, you got to work in Cali”. While yes, that was a huge plus, that is not at all why it was a great week of camp. The days leading up to camp were rough and full of anxiety, but God was there. And that was enough.
Let me give you a behind the scenes image of the days leading up to camp for our team. I arrived with 5 other teammates the Friday before camp. I initially planned on our freight shipment of equipment arriving that same day and a quick unload either that night or the next morning. Upon arrival, we learned that our shipment had not arrived, but sometimes they make Saturday morning deliveries. This was fine. We were tired anyways from the full day of travel, so we made a trip to Walmart to get some blankets and jackets to warm us for the unexpectedly cold nights. Saturday morning: We were up and at ‘em to greet the truck and some other teammates! Saturday night: we had 5 more teammates, still no truck and were supposed to set up for camp the next day. Sunday morning: set up went quickly…we had nothing to set up. Sunday night: 6 more teammates arrived making our team complete! Still no equipment.
By this point, the director and I realized that this shipment very well might not arrive til after camp had already started. We had never seen, done, or experienced camp without the “stuff” for camp. It was in this moment, that we knew camp would have nothing to do with us, or a nice colorful set, or fancy flags, or quality sports equipment, or tshirts, or nametags, or any other camp stuff. The only thing we needed and the only thing promised to us was God’s presence. So often, we think our lives, experiences or weeks of camp are blessed because of the things we have, use or receive. While these things can be blessings and can bring blessing to others, I was humbly reminded that it is God’s presence that defines blessing in our lives. Joseph, for example, after being sold into slavery by his brothers and purchased into Potipher’s house was considered successful or blessed because the LORD was with him. At the start of the week, we had no choice but to solely function in and with the presence of God, but the coolest thing was to see the staff continue in this mindset even after we received our equipment. What made camp awesome was to know without a doubt that the life-change that happened was completely a result of God’s presence and had nothing to do with the “stuff” that we think makes camp.