LYFE Camp Week I 2009 – Thursday

This week, I’m blogging about LYFE Camp, the week-long United Methodist Church youth camp where I’m in my fourth year as Dean. While my blog is usually about creativity and writing, I hope regular readers and campers’ parents alike will find inspiration in reading stories about camp. Thanks for reading, and your comments are always appreciated (I’ll pass them along, too, as I’m able).

Every year, we a good portion of Thursday is spent on a Quest. It’s a difficult process to explain; it’s the sort of thing you just have to be there and experience to understand. What I can tell you is that it’s full of prayers, affirmations, self-reflection, letting go, and growth of faith all wrapped up into one powerful afternoon. This year we had three new moments and three returning moments and the mix really worked well for many people. One gets out of Quest what they put into it and it was clear to me that many people took away a lot. I’m afraid I won’t get into too much more detail, dear reader, as I hope to protect the secrets and surprises of Quest from future campers who may stumble across this blog. I will say that this blog, up until last night’s entry, has been buried in a time capsule somewhere at Decision Hills. What was Quest about? Where is this time capsule? You may simply have to ask someone who was there…

Dinner was take-out pizza from Jimmy’s followed by a subdued, moving evening worship. We had a testimonial from a CIT who has gone through some tough times and was able to express how important it is to surround yourself with loving, strong people. Their message touched many people throughout the camp and it helped set the tone for small group discussion. I stepped outside to grab my camera and heard the thunder and watched the clouds roll over camp. Rain would prevent us from going onto Meditation Hill, so Chaplain Kent J. and I decided to provide communion – something we were going to do Friday, instead – and proceeded to have a “love feast” of bread and juice. Between communion and a little extra discussion time, we were able to hold off just long enough for the rain to pass and give us a brilliant, beautiful window of time out on Meditation Hill with a sunset across the lake and cloud-to-cloud lightning drifting off into the distance behind us. It was an interesting ying-yang experience to behold in the sky.

Root beer floats and an indoor campfire (too wet outside!) closed the night. Highlights of the day included SCs having a chance to connect with each other several times throughout the day, introducing “The Yoddler” to new campers, weather moving from high chance of severe thunderstorms to hot and sunny all afternoon for Quest, and our time on Meditation Hill spent less and less as individuals all spread around and more about small clumps of people huddled together with hugs, smiles, and tears. Those are the moments I treasure.

One day left before we merge with back home…

-nm

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