Summer is one of my favorite times of year. Yes, I realize that that seems unlikely for somebody who grew up in a place that sees days of 115 degree heat with 90% humidity come August. I know it seems unlikely for somebody who, the summer after second grade, experienced a day so hot that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport had to be closed because airplane tires were melting (it got up to 122 degrees on that day, June 26, 1990).
The reason, however, that I enjoy summer so much is simple: camp. For seven years, from 1994-2000, I attended camp in Arizona (three Chi-Rho, four CYF). Since 2003, I have been a camp counselor every summer, with three summers in southern California, six summers in Arizona, a summer in Indiana, and a summer in New York City. And this summer will be my first here in the state of Missouri!
To me, camp is a time to get away from the real world and spend a week living in a community of friends. There is something very special about going to camp—you’re away from the cares of the rest of the world, you see only your camp friends (who, by the way, are so different from your “real world” friends that twenty years later, two of them might be groomsmen in your wedding), and you just don’t have to worry about what’s outside of the camp. Sure, at the end of the week, you have to leave, but for those few special days, the only thing you have to worry about is toning down the screaming during “Children Go Where I Send Thee” so that you still have enough voice to sing “Pass It On” at the campfire later.
This summer, Justin Thatcher, Carson Meade, and Meleah Walkup will both be experiencing just what it’s like to go off to camp for a week. I too will be heading off to camp at the end of July, to be a director for the first time; our intern, Michael, will be coming along as well, to be a counselor for the first time.
Keep us all in your prayers as we head off to camp this month—for each of us, it’ll be a week of bug bites and sunscreen, bad sleep and questionable food, and most of all, great fun and fellowship.
Let’s go camping.