Heading out to Green Bay I thought I new some stuff about camp ministry. For almost 10 years now my summers have been filled with campfires, chapels, wide games and skills. I thought I had it down. I was completely unprepared for the whole other aspect to camp I was about to experience.
I always secretly had a hard time with closing days of camp. In my mind it was test time; time to be graded on how well you did with someone kids during the week, even though the parents weren't there to see any of it. Participating in five weeks of family camp changed this for me and I am so so thankful for it. It is amazing to watch kids grow during the week and the Lord uses kids camps in incredible ways, but there is something truly amazing about watching a family experience camp together. I didn't get it until I was in it, watching a dad carry his daughter as she screams with joy during a game, seeing a family do crazy actions to a ridiculous campfire song together, and seeing some parents rest for the first time all year as they watch others invest in their kids. One parent said to me "this must be what heaven looks like" as she spoke of how we were all serving and taking care of one another. It was blessings all around as the families would invest in our staff as well. It was so good, especially for our younger staff to see the impact they could make in the life of a family and to be invited into and loved by multiple families during the past two months.
Our challenge to our staff was to make "normal" life look like this. You can impact lives, even at 15, by serving families wherever you are. This summer challenged me to believe I had something to offer families. I was challenged to move through fear and serve, knowing that there is so much potential for community on the other side.