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Friday, August 14, 2009

Honoring Christian Camping


My wife grew up in a Christian Bible Camp, Camp Hanover, outside of Richmond Virginia. Her father, John Ensign, founded the camp on 680 acres of land and retired from there years ago. Our son Luke worked at Covenant Pines in Minnesota a number of summers.
I, however, have distanced myself from the Bible Camp world over the last years for no apparent reason. It's there. I support them and encourage them. But I've forgotten the energy they create, demand and consume. This past week has been a sobering reminder about how much energy and heart it takes to run and staff a camp. Ours is only a 1/2 day camp. But it begins early with the set ups, the arrival of teachers, musicians, craftspeople, the athletic team, and the kitchen staff. It goes like a freight train till noon, and then there is the daily wind-up, clean-up, set-up for the next day that often trickles well into the afternoon.
As the senior pastor and camp photographer, I've been witness to every aspect of the operation of Noah's 1/2 day camp, and I'm really impressed, and exhausted. And the sad thing is that I have not worked nearly as hard as any of the other workers! And...our camp is only a 1/2 day and lasts one week.
So this morning, hats off to all you camp leaders; in churches hosting VBS camps like ours, in the established camps around the country who are now winding up a full summer, of the big event camps like CHIC that happen every three years. Your work matters and counts. Lives are touched. Little eyes and hearts observe you and hear the good news of Jesus.
Now go to the beach and get some rest!

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