I leave on Sunday for a week long Summer retreat/camp with our youth group. As I’m getting ready for camp and buying my Dramamine for the ride up there,
That’s no joke. I want to be knocked out for the drive up the mountain or it’s gonna get real up in that bus.
borrowing a duffle bag (a large duffle bag mind you), making mental notes of what I need to bring and lining up outfits for a week of fun in the sun.
As I’m getting ready, all the camps I attended as a high schooler keep coming to mind. All the fun times and great memories that were made at all of our Summer and Winter camps.
Like the time I went to surf camp. We literally camped on the beach all week it was awesome, until I realized I had forgotten to put any sunblock on all week and burnt my face off! By the time we were on the bus coming back home my face was peeling so bad it looked like a map and my youth pastor was afraid my dad was going to kill him.
Or the time we went to Yosemite and had worship under the stars high up on the mountain. Nothing but the sky and our creator.
Or the time we couldn’t make it up the mountain for winter camp because of a huge snow storm and ended up coming back to Church and having our own little retreat weekend in the high school room.
Or the time we tried to go river rafting in the off season and the leaders had to literally pull our rafts around the river. Not as fun as “real” river rafting but we sure did get some good conversations in.
Or the time when we got to climb Vernal falls. It’s like a billion little stairs carved out of the side of the mountain(talk about calf cramps)that you get to climb right next to a beautiful waterfall.
Actually getting to swim in and jump off of waterfalls.
Or the time three of us took a nap on the top bunk of a full sized bunk bed. Not because there weren’t enough beds but because we loved each other that much.
If you can’t tell that’s me in the very back.
Or driving up in Bob the tomato, which is what we affectionately named our youth group van because, well, because it was a big red van.
Or all games and pranks and goofy songs and skits we had to make up. The time spent goofing off in the rec. room. The nights our leaders would beg us to go to sleep or the times they would stay up late chatting with us.
All of these are great memories. Memories I will keep with me always. I will always have the stories and pictures of snowball fights and failed attempts to catch a wave and camping out under the stars.
However that’s not what camp is about. Camp is about the time I went to my first winter camp, well my first youth camp ever. The time that I was sixteen. The time that I made the decision to leave the world behind and follow Jesus. The time I made a promise to the Lord to look ahead and walk the straight and narrow. The time that my life changed forever.
That’s what camp is about. Life changing decisions. Commitments to the Lord. A soul saved, a heart refreshed.
This is the picture I have from that camp. Sorry it’s super blurry but that’s me in the beanie in the middle-ish.
I’m super stoked to get to hang out with the youth of CCSG, to get to listen to studies and worship the Lord. I’m excited to get away and have uninterrupted time with the kids and to get to pour into them Gods word and His love. I’m excited to see the hearts that will be softened and the lives that will be changed. I look forward to the work that will take place in all of our lives as we set time aside and get away to be with the Lord.
I wish everybody could get the opportunity to be a part of a youth retreat. There’s really nothing like it.
“Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
Because when you can see this being lived out it’s pretty awesome.