Saturday, June 23, 2012

Camp Lessons

On Friday, our youth and sponsors returned from Camp Tallowood.  I’m already looking forward to the camp reflection service on Sunday night to hear how God blessed and what He taught them this week.

For 30 plus years, I spent one week of each summer as a sponsor at youth camp.  There are so many treasured memories from those weeks.  God met us at camp every single year.  It seemed like you could feel His presence the moment the busses rolled through the entrance to the campground.  Each summer, I knew that God was going to do some amazing things in the lives of the youth and adults alike.  And He never disappointed.  

Some lessons I learned at camp through the years:

* The more I prepared, studied, and trained for the week the smoother the week went.

* Prayer is essential before, during, and after camp.

* Investing in the lives of students and sponsors costs you time, energy, and your heart.

* God can use His Word, loud music, camp pastors, heat, scripture memory, His creation, sponsors and students to speak to you.

* When I expectantly wait, look for, and listen for God to speak, convict, and teach He does.

* God doesn’t depend on the amount of sleep I had, my disabilities, or abilities to work through me.  He is looking for my availability and a willing heart.

* Starting off each morning with a “Quiet Time” with Him helped keep the priorities right for the day.

* Teamwork and encouraging words were important qualities for our group and recreation team to develop during the week.

* Doing without cell phones, computers, television and other devices for a week, as well as my normal schedule, made it easier to concentrate on what God was doing at camp.

* Sometimes the results of what began at camp are not seen until years later.

* My family should be one of the first to notice that God is working in my life.

* The lessons learned at camp were never intended to stay at camp. 

Each year, we wished that camp could last another week or longer.  In a way, it can because God desires to have a relationship with us the other 51 weeks of the year just as much as he does during the week of camp.

Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.

Isaiah 26:8

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