She stood behind home plate. She looked like an “easy out” in her bubble gum pink sweat pants with the elastic ankle band just below her knees (no shorts allowed, even though it was 100 degrees in mid-summer in Oklahoma). The ball rolled towards her skinny frame, and she timed her kick perfectly to send the ball down the third base line (the only chance for her fourth grade legs to make it to first base).
She didn’t care that the teams were boys against girls the final day of church camp. In fact, she seemed to have something to prove. She tore down the first base line without hesitation. The only problem, a boy thought it was ok to stand in her way. Without blinking an eye, she ran straight over him to get on base.
“Safe,” motioned the first base referee (probably a camp sponsor). The boy, embarrassed, picked himself up, dusted off the red dirt and tried to hold back the tears. The most gentle, quiet girl just flattened him (He did move out of the base line for the next girl).
That story is one of my favorites from children’s church camp in the mid 1980’s (my sweet younger sister shocked everyone when she showed up to play that day). I know it’s not the most spiritual memory I could share, but it is one of the funniest, most memorable.
I also remember singing the duet, “He’s Still Working On Me,” with my friend from church. (I know I’m showing my age, now).
How camp has changed!
Our recreation always involved some type of ball: volleyball, kickball, dodgeball (even used the same ball for all the sports). Today my girls have the privilege of attending Cross Timbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp in south Oklahoma. They brag about their courage (or lack, thereof) on the ropes course, the rock wall, obstacle course, and “leap of faith.”
And think about the crafts. Most of the time we used the staples of art: crayons, markers, glue, and glitter. Now they bring home fancy crafts like pottery or stepping stones.
Our water fun: swimming. Now they have canoeing, water obstacle courses, slides, etc.
And on the other hand, children’s camp hasn’t changed in many areas.
It’s always hot.
Top bunk is a must!
The children make memories that will last a lifetime.
And most importantly, they leave with the same important message: Jesus loves them, wants a relationship with them, and will never stop working in their lives (“He’s Still Working On Me”). Many children make decisions to trust Jesus as their Savior.
Remember to pray for your campers this summer. Even though it may not be the same camp you experienced as a child, the same God wants to use camp in children’s lives. God loves children’s church camp!