The fresh crisp air signals the beginning of autumn. School begins and children board buses with backpacks and lunch boxes ready to see old friends and make new ones. Teachers hand out the first assignment which often asks: “What I did this summer”. Do you remember some of the things you wrote about? Maybe you took a family vacation to the beach, or the mountains, or to visit relatives. Some of you went to summer camp. Today I am thinking about first time campers, specifically youngsters spending their first nights away from home.
Do you remember the first time you were away from home overnight? Was it a pajama party, a visit to grandparents, a school trip or summer camp? Maybe you were a little nervous, even frightened about being away from the comfort of your own bed, home and family. Maybe you were homesick or were in a place where you didn’t know anyone. Maybe you rode a bus, train or plane by yourself to get to your destination. Once there, you were expected to get up early, eat with the group, try new foods, take part in group activities and meet new people. Maybe you became part of a team, or you became a group leader. Maybe you were afraid of being left out or ignored. Whatever you did, you learned to accept responsibility for your decisions, try new things and meet new people. You were growing up to be who you are today.
My first camp experience was at Camp Nathanael in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. I was nine years old. The tuition for camp was to memorize Bible verses and recite them to my Bible teacher.
I loved camp so much I went there every summer for eight years. I’d love to hear about your first experience away from home. Did you love it or hate it? Did you make lifetime friends? Were you a camp counselor? How did it affect who you are today?
Verse of the Day
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.