These were letters we received from two of our new campers after their first time at St. John’s Camp. These are exactly the experiences we hope and work so hard for!
When my mother first announced that my brother and I would be packing up and heading off to summer camp, we were initially far from eager. But St. Johns’ wasn’t just any camp; it was a church camp. And that meant praying. Lots of praying. And that also meant no technology. Not exactly our idea of a “fun” summer, although after giving it a try we were soon proven wrong.
Despite our reluctance, we felt right at home within St. Johns’. I was one of 90 sweaty campers, all of whom were looking to strengthen their faith and to have a good time. From late night swim parties to joyously singing during praise time, it was a week full of dedication, friends, valuable teachings and fun experiences.
Our mornings would start at 6:00 for those of us whom were restless enough to go out running. For the rest, it was morning exercises at 7:00. Afterwards, we went to Third Hour prayers and breakfast. First Teaching, counseling groups and Second Teaching were next, followed by a long-awaited lunch. Free time for things such as canoeing, swimming and zip-lining happened before dinner, and the day was then completed with Small Compline and praise time.
When the moment came to leave, I probably wasn’t the only one who felt a change. It’s when you find yourself gawking at the sky – just the sheer, beautiful blueness of it – that you know something has changed. A change that allows you to appreciate the little things, to stay awake and to be grateful.
And as we stood together in the last few minutes of camp, we sang our final song of praise together; tears rolled down cheeks and farewells were exchanged. But this wasn’t to be the end, of course. Next year we will be reunited with friends both new and old, and in the meanwhile we will take what we have gained in knowledge, and use it to grow closer to God.