NYE is coming back for the summer! He’s been at snow camps, he’s volunteered at summer camp and for the first time since 2012 he’ll be at BBC for the entire summer. Read on for why he’s returning and why you should too!!
“I CAN’T WAIT to come back to camp! I’ve been busy stewing my creative juices in my time away from BBC- and I can’t wait to see how having a brand new ENORMOUS pavilion will let us create new games and activities. I can’t wait to do all of my old favorites- the Mudpit, Mission Impossible, Gold Rush- and I even have ideas for awesome NEW games! But I won’t give them away here- come join us at camp this summer to find out!
I can’t wait to worship God, play in the sun, and see you all this summer!
Campers will teach you just as much as (if not more than) you teach them. I share this mantra with staff often throughout orientation. Staff and campers prove the saying true for 8 weeks every summer at Bethany Birches Camp (BBC). A few weeks ago I experienced the mantra to be true for myself as well. Three BBC teen campers reminded me of what it looks like to love God and love people.
About 6 months ago at BBC’s 2013 April Connect for Teens, Annie and Katie Soho told me I should join them on a service trip to an orphanage in Ethiopia in August*. The offer was tempting. I perseverated for about 6 weeks until I finally declined. Recently I was browsing pictures from their trip and reading about their stories (I’m still waiting to hear in person) through an article in the Valley News** and I’m wondering why I didn’t join them. The pictures and comments struck me as love in action. Specifically loving the least – children and widows. The campers were carrying out the beliefs I claim and share each summer.
For the past 10 summers I’ve shared God’s 2 most important commandments: Love God and Love People. As each summer concludes the post summer blues inevitably sink in. I miss the excitement and energy of young people at camp. I miss the staff. I feel like the beauty of camp is wasted on the emptiness. I wonder if any campers heard anything this summer that will change their lives. Over the course of their summers at BBC – Annie, Katie and Flossie heard something. These 3 girls have been hearing this message for a long time from camp, from their churches and from their families. These BBC campers not only heard a message to love others but put the message into practice. They sacrificed 2 weeks of their summer to serve in Ethiopia. Campers continue to teach me.
Annie, Katie (and their mom Sandy) and Flossie inspired me. Following their journey to Ethiopia and back again has inspired me to not just stay on the hill of a lonely camp but to move into the world (or invite the world to me) to love God and love people. I don’t know that I’ll be heading to Ethiopia anytime soon but right now I’m inspired by these 3 BBC campers to consider how I can live out now what I share all summer. How do I love the love and serve the people around me now? I’m learning more from these campers than they are from me.
*Selamta Family Project is an organization that seeks to place orphans in forever families. Find out more here.
**I waited too long after the article to post this. You can’t seem to get to the article anymore online. If you’d like to read it in full let me know, I think I can get my hands on a copy.
So yesterday I hiked up the back side of Mt. Washington with some friends. We wanted to get some late season skiing in!
I have a cool GPS map but there’s an error with the file. If you could see the map you’d notice that we were all over the place! After hiking up, we walked to different areas of the mountain to see how the skiing was over there (and then over there… and over there). We did this because we didn’t know the mountain very well and wanted to find out where the sweet spots were.
This is not so different than the life of faith. For example, Jesus tells us in the Bible that he is “the way, the truth and the life…” For many years, it was hard for me to understand what that meant. I hadn’t experienced him enough to know that what he said is true or understand how it worked. I hadn’t found out where the good skiing was, yet, so to speak. In fact, yesterday I had to trust that there was good skiing up there somewhere. And I trusted that there was because many people have said so, and, I had been there a few times before.
When we got down, one friend mentioned that he feels like he knows the mountain much better now. (He’d better – we spent 10 hours walking around on top of it!) When following Jesus, in faith, it feels very much like this. A little like wondering around for a while on top of a mountain. And, we get to know him better after spending time with him or trying out something he said. Then we come to a knowledge of him. Knowledge of him (or of the mountain) is beyond faith in him (or trust that the mountain will have some sweet spots).
Just one of the many reasons I’m excited for Summer Camp 2013. Another chance to explore the life of faith and come to know Jesus. Please share if you too are excited for camp (or have been up Mt. Washington in the spring!).
What about you – what’s the life of faith like for you?