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Camp Files – Day 2: Friends and Stories

For the first few years that I started volunteering in Youth Group, we would take the students to camp on week three. When I even brought up the topic of changing the week for scheduling purposes, I always got pushback from the kids, and I never really knew why. Covid changed all of that, and now we come on week four. We’ve been coming here on Week 4 for the last three years, and I get it now.

The camp friendships are real.

The group of students that we have attending camp now is a relatively new group of kids, who really pre-date the hiatus of 2020. Only one kid, Lance, has been here more than three years.

This year, we finally are starting to see the same group of students, over and over, and they really do thrive on these relationships! And it’s not only the kids who have these relationships, but the adults form them as well. On our way up on Monday, I bumped into some people from another South Florida church at a Turnpike Plaza, and they noticed me as “one of those Warren Willis people.”

Pastors that come back and preach for a week are full of their stories. In fact, they come back mainly because of the effect that camp had on them as a kid; they know how these relationships build and grow.

In our lessons and small groups, we are trying to make sure the kids see how they fit into the bigger picture of God’s story. Yesterday, we talked about how people in the world use negative words to try to break each other down, but God is trying to do the exact opposite of that. If they listen to the story that God is trying to tell about them, they will hear words of hope and encouragement.

Today’s lessons focus on how Christ rescues us from the worldly nonsense,
and tries to keep us on a better track. The Middle School Pastor, Michael Le Blanc, had a great message for the kids. The concept is that the world is constantly trying to tell kids who they are and where they fit in life’s story.

Unfortunately, this is usually a negative message. However, God has a much better story to tell about them. Here was Michael’s message: God makes no junk. God made you in His own image.

You are a Masterpiece.

I cannot fathom all of the stories and friendships that have been made over the course of 75 years at camp. However, that pales to the fact of how many kids have come to know the love of Christ and, therefore, the love of themselves here at camp for those same 75 years. This is why camp is so unique.

Many Blessings,

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