It was a great week of “Family Camp” at Camp Pioneer, our Eastern District camp on the shores of Lake Erie in New York. I know there are some in our congregation who have variously experienced Camp Pioneer, but I do hope that more of us do in the future. It is truly a gift of God in so many ways.
A few thoughts…
- I was very impressed with the young counselors – especially the young men. Here were young MEN (for heaven’s sakes!) who were faith-filled, intelligent, articulate, well mannered, responsible, kind and generous. I was SO glad my daughter Erika was finally getting an education on who she should be looking for in a husband.
- I continue to be sad about how the camp is home to fewer and fewer children as the summers go by. Lutheran camps in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota were so incredibly formational for my faith and life. Unforgettable in so many ways. I just feel such sorrow for the generations who are now missing out on the faith-growing experiences of camp. This past year the Atlantic District Camp Sonshine closed. So far Camp Pioneer has managed to keep afloat – but only because they do a lot of things besides youth camps now. We parents just have to CHOOSE these faith experiences for our children over the multitudes of other exciting things to do. I just can’t encourage you enough to SEND YOUR KID TO LUTHERAN CAMP!!!! And I must qualify this because you really have to pay attention to how Lutheran or Christian a particular camp is. Many so called “Lutheran/Christian” camps have absolutely NO Christian content in their programs. I am just so very proud that Camp Pioneer has SUCH a strong Christian program. The faith standards for their staff are very high.
- Being “away from it all” is just a great refresher. Although I was trying to keep up with my emails and “direct” from afar several events here in Scranton, my only other “real” tasks were morning chapel and evening devotions. To be able to just enjoy myself and family without having to “care” about anything else made me stop and struggle sometimes. The questions entered my mind so many times: Why should I care about world affairs? What do half the things I care about at home really matter? Although I realize that I just can’t run away from reality completely, I have definitely made up my mind that my life is going to be better with less facebook time! I also just can’t WAIT for heaven when all these burdens are lifted.
- My Great Learning. Our Bible Study leader was Pastor Hoffman. He came with several families from his church in Ohio. He was a great fellow and teacher! We were studying the creation account and its meaning for our lives. I came away pondering one thought related to the above point of the simple life: God gave us light so we could work and live. And he gave us darkness so we could rest. But how come I keep trying to extend the day with artificial light? How come I am just not obedient to God’s will to rest? How come I hate the idea of spending so much time sleeping? I have just got to learn to accept more and more God’s gift of rest. Rest is good! That is my learning for life I have to work on. Maybe this idea is at least palpable to me now because I AM getting older and I can feel my body is starting to slow down! Ha ha!