These days are long and tiring and joyful and sometimes too hard and heartbreaking and often full of grace and laughter and life. Sometimes people say that summer camp is some sort of separate reality apart from the “real world” and I have to push back against that and testify that my life is very capital R real. The news of the world is always present. Our campers and counselors have all of their stories and experiences within them, informing the way they are part of this place. People love and hurt and forgive and make peace here every day. The magic of camp is that we work so hard toward the common good and an honest, intentional community, promoting love and helping one another work through all the realness of our lives.
I have felt very stretched this summer, in my many roles at camp and in my personal life. I often feel like there is too much to do, and not enough hours in the day to be present for the staff and campers AND get everything done. I don’t like that feeling. I don’t do well when I don’t have time to play and relax and have honest conversations. I am working so hard to be present in this space and time; please say some prayers for me along those lines. Alongside those emotions, I often feel like my heart could burst because I am so lucky to work with and witness the staff loving these kids and just truly being themselves. I hope they know how loved and appreciated they are.
One of my favorite pieces of camp life is how often we sing together, during worship, meals, games, in between times. It is a gift to live in a community that celebrates in music. This summer I have been meditating on these lines, from Canticle of the Turning:
“though I am small, my God, my all, you will work great things in me.”
& from the Prayer of Good Courage:
“give us good courage, not knowing where we’ll go; to know that your hand is leading us, wherever we may go.”
Each season has its peaks and valleys; give us courage through it all.
be brave, y’all; you are loved.