A return (sort of) to normal.
As the bus wheels started turning, and the usual warnings about food on the floor were passed back, there was a quiet easiness settling in. The jokes and the laughter began not much longer after we hit the streets, as well as the inevitable “are we there yet” question. No, we are not. Well, not quite anyway, but creeping ever so closer.
No, things are not quite yet back to normal, but hints of days-gone-by began to creep in. The usual stop at a Turnpike plaza, the long queue to register only seemed to annoy the adults because the kids were already having fun. Camp was starting to feel a little more normal this year.
We’ve gone back to the same pre-Covid registration check-in. The students actually get to choose their own skills this year, and not ones determined by the group. The Warren Willis cross floats valiantly on Lake Griffin. (don’t mention the 5-foot gator that just swam by… don’t mention the 5-foot gator that just swam by…) The gaga ball pits stand ready to take the beating of adolescent kids hitting a ball way too hard at each other. Lunches are served family-style, just like they used to. If you listen closely, around 5:30 you will probably hear the faint chat of “Stack yo’ dishes. Stack, Stack yo’ dishes!” The only remnants of Covid policy are the usage of masks indoors. A small price to pay for five steps closer to normal.
And, let’s be honest here.
is not anywhere near the childhood that these kids have had over the last two and a half years. As if adolescence wasn’t hard enough, so many kids had their lives torn apart due to the pandemic. How many field trips were canceled? How many rites of passage simply didn’t happen? How much learning was lost? How many households were broken?
As I look towards setting the youth and family calendar for this year, I will often be reminded and pushed towards getting some of our “normal” youth events back on the calendar. When so much gets stripped away, it is easy to remain in the empty spaces. However, these kids are worth pushing back to “full.” A week away at camp is definitely a good start.
The theme for this week is
The kids will be learning about the unconditional love that God has for them, how to love each other, and how to love themselves, as God’s beautiful, perfect creation.
In the Middle School worship time tonight, they heard 1 John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
In small groups, later on, we used 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
When they come home to you Saturday, think about God, Love, and where that all lives in your household and daily lives.