The campers go home at the end! Isn’t that the worst ending to anything ever???
Sorry to spoil the surprise for you. Come on, let’s be honest here. That ending is a bit of letdown? Yeah, that’s a question. For now, let’s save the end for… the end.
There is no small degree of personal growth in the lives of people who are involved in church camp. It doesn’t matter what your role is: camper, counselor, program director, or fish. I have been blessed to have been each of these things throughout my life (except the fish; although I was a walrus once – that’s a long story and a bit of revisionist history so I’m not going into that here). I have grown in so many ways through each of these roles, but I think one lesson I have learned more than anything was learned through my time as a counselor and then as a program director. The lesson is this: don’t take for granted the work God has given me.
The work that God gave me as a counselor at Twin Pines was to be a witness for the Gospel to the campers and to be an example of the love of Jesus Christ. The campers who come to Twin Pines are special. They are special because they are chosen, by God, for a reason to attend summer camp. We don’t (always) know what that reason is, but regardless we live in a broken world and the young people are victims of the brokenness, hatred, and sickness. They are bombarded by the message of the devil. They are told they aren’t good enough or they need to do such and such to be “cool” and “loved.” Young people, who are our campers, struggle with their identity and they need the loving hand of God to help them find it. The summer staff is that shining example of Christ’s love for them.
Twin Pines is a place where campers can experience God; where they can experience the awesome work of Jesus Christ in their lives. His love can be seen in the staff, in creation, in friendships that are formed, and in the Gospel being presented. Campers are special people; requiring love and attention. It’s not up to us to choose who gets to hear the message of Jesus Christ. It’s not up to us which campers we should love. Christ loves us all. We should love all of the campers. Don’t let the mission to share the love and joy of a relationship with Christ become compromised because you don’t have time or because someone is different from you. Don’t lose sight of your true purpose, the purpose Christ has given to us all. Don’t let anyone miss out on Christ’s love and message of salvation.
The campers go home at the end of the week. As a camp counselor, you only have seven days to change their lives, but the message isn’t just shared at summer camp. Wherever you are, don’t waste your time and don’t waste the time the people in your life! There is only so much time in life. Don’t let anyone think that their time was a “letdown.” So, was their time a letdown? That is a question.