Our third camp of the summer was “Camp Bob” which is a strange name I know, when I tell people that where we went they usually end up with a look of confusion on their face. Then I mention that it’s because the lake that the camp is on is called “Roberts Lake” and everything is right with the world again.
Camp Bob is a smaller camp and it’s considered “rustic” because it has outhouses and cabin-like tents instead of cabins. At first I didn’t realise that the tents they used were anything more than a tent we would bring ourselves but they were much better than that, set up on wooden platforms and built for use through the entire summer with thick aluminum poles.
In any case, Roberts Lake is beautiful, deep and clean and almost entirely private.
It was a full camp of about 50 or so kids and there were a number of things that struck me. The tent leaders were mature and incredibly intentional in their discussions with the kids and deeply capable. They also had an incredible culture of encouragement, each day an encouragement partner was drawn from a bucket that you would leave a note for. The staff were also very intentional about laying hands on me as a speaker when the week started. It was a deeply rich environment, which was probably helped by the size of the camp itself.
Speaking throughout the week was fantastic, every morning the tent leaders would share encouraging moments from their discussions and events from the previous day,
One of the most thrilling things was watching kids respond to Jesus, and like previous weeks fall in love with God’s word.
One girl whose name was Aleah, couldn’t keep her eyes on anything else. Everywhere I would see her around the camp she would be reading her bible. Every time I would speak she would come to me and ask where it was that I had referenced so she could read it herself. That same longing seemed to go throughout most of the camp as it seemed like almost all of the campers (that didn’t have them already) wanted bible’s of their own.
Watching her was an incredible reminder of what I can so often take for granted when it comes to reading my Bible. I have the opportunity to read this incredible love letter and message from God, with nothing standing in my way. It’s not an obligation but an opportunity. Thank you Aleah.
One of my greatest honours of my summer is hearing the chorus of voices praying to receive Jesus. Stepping out in faith and speaking out loud words that confirm their commitment to and acceptance of Jesus. It is a beautiful sound that I hope each of you has the chance to hear one day.
I’d like to share with you a portion of an encouragement note I received during the week;
“You might already know this, but God is using you in incredible ways to impact people of all ages. I’ve never seen someone lay out the gospel in such a simple, yet deep way, never leaving anything out, all the while keeping these kids engaged. It’s a true gift God has given you and it’s awesome to see you.”
I can’t tell you how much a note like this means to me, its so easy to get lost and wonder if you’re having any impact at all in the midst of speaking – God used this to encourage me to keep running the race and keep doing what I’m doing.
Thanks again for reading and even better, praying.