Normally directors write about how their campers have experienced God during their week at camp, but this week and this camp is anything but average. It's better than that, it’s bigger than that.I need to tell you about how our staff experiences God this week, and how God shows up for them, in a big way, during friendship camp. This week we are living out a Christ centered life, of service and sacrifice. Our staff and Service Partnership campers are serving our Friendship campers, adults with developmental disabilities from their twenties up to their sixties. Our staff welcomed them to camp Tuesday morning and instantly they had 38 new friends, who even before they knew their name had told them they loved them. Unconditional love is what our staff learn about this week, they live it out with their campers showing them everyday, every hour , every minute what it really means to love someone. The staff live out what it means to serve the least of these and our friendship campers get a week of being served fully, and getting loved on, and lifted up by our staff. This week is full of hard work, deep love, and is the embodiment of the word joyful.
I’m gonna pause for a moment and brag about the our Service Partnership campers. These are our high school campers that are helping our staff with the Friendship campers. Pardon my hip slang here, but these high schoolers are killing it. (Parents, if anyone ever laments about the state of today's youth, you tell them about your kid and what they did this week) these teens gave up one of their last weeks of summer to come to camp. They are giving up one more week of sleeping in late, hanging with friends and doing anything or nothing. They come here not to do the usual camp activities but to work hard, love hard, and serve hard. They traded sleeping in late for early mornings helping other get to breakfast by 8 am. They gave up playing video games in air conditioning for uno cards in the shade. They have dealt with tears of sadness and happiness, they have dealt with dirty clothes with grace and compassion. These teens make us so proud to direct. They have been looking for any and all chances to serve their campers and the staff. They are also know these campers better than our staff, most of them are returners from last year or the years before while are staff are new this summer. So our they have been helping our new staff learn the ropes of Friendship Camp.
Also these teens know how to have fun, and they have formed a close group of friends this week with their fellow service partnership campers and with our friendship campers. They are making memories that will change their lives.
At Friendship Camp we have had horse rides and a carnival, we have danced and dressed up, and grooved to the beat. We swim, and make crafts, and discuss the bible passage of the day, and all our campers are prepping for the talent show tonight. Which is incredible, and tends to be the high of the week for a lot of people. We have skits, they perform songs, or dances, they read poems, or tell stories. We end every night with worship time. Tonights will be bitter sweet, we all are looking forward to the comforts of home, but will miss being together in this place. Because we are getting a taste of God unconditional love.
From the directors
Amy, Brittany, and Morgan