Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time for Summer Camp!

Short blog entry today - and late too!

I had to get up early today and drive just north of Leesburg to research a story on the United Methodist Camp Warren Willis. The director, Mike Standifer, was meeting me mid-morning to chat and give me a tour of the 200 acre plus site alongside Lake Harris.

Wow! The place is beautiful. Lakefront. Live Oak hammocks all over the place. Dense Florida underbrush. Wetlands. Docks. Wide screened-in porches. Spanish moss. Literally hundreds of noisy teenagers!

We talked about why a week at camp (or a summer, if you're one of the 108 college-aged counselors) is so important, so transformational. I heard a piece on NPR recently that focused on the "camp people vs civilians" phenomenon. Essentially, the journalist said, people who go to camp in the summer become qualitatively different kinds of people - it's as if they speak another language and understand one-another on a level non-camp-people just don't get.

The NPR guy was right. But the effect at church camp is different in a still more profound way. It folds in encounters with the holy that stay around all year long and actually mold the kind of spiritual life the camper experiences.

More tomorrow..... DEREK

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