I can honestly say that this year of kids camp was by far my favourite year as a counsellor. I started it off with a simple prayer: that the girls in my cabin would leave impacted by whatever happened. And what a special week it was! I had a cabin full of the sweetest grade five and six girls and two wonderful junior counsellors. The weather was beautiful. The pastor brought incredible messages. And the Holy Spirit was so present.
Our theme for this years camp was “God is Super Wonderful!” Each day had it’s own focus, “God is with me when _____”. The kids learned that God is with them even when they don’t see Him, that He is with them when they are afraid, when they feel small, and when everything feels hopeless. The things that we talked about weren’t all sunshine and rainbows, in fact they were pretty hard topics. I think we can often make the false assumption that kids are resilient to the tough emotions that adults feel (like pain, hopelessness, fear) but in reality, I think they feel them harder than anyone. What a precious reminder it was for them to hear that no matter what they feel, God is by their side.
We studied the story of Moses – how God protected him even when all the other baby boys were killed, how God spoke to him in the burning bush and told him that He would be with him as he spoke to Pharaoh. We talked about how God was present when the Israelites escaped Egypt. And we talked about fear – how we are able to face whatever fears we have with the One who parted the seas by our side. Our theme verse was “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) It was the perfect verse for all of the kids to memorize and take home with them as a daily reminder that God is always with us, especially in the valleys of life.
On the last night, the kids were all given an opportunity to come to the front at the end of the service and pray with the counsellors if they wanted to accept Christ. Seven of the ten girls in my cabin gave their hearts to the Lord on Thursday night, and the other three left inspired to continue pursuing a relationship with Him. As their counsellor, I was not only so proud, but also so inspired by them! The eagerness they brought to every service, the way that they would take notes. There was one girl in my cabin who especially touched my heart – for being only eleven years old, she already had more Bible knowledge than I do. (she even corrected us once when we explained a parable ‘wrong’!) I had the privilege of standing beside her during one of the worship services as she closed her eyes and raised her hands during the songs, and I could never put into words how much her simple actions throughout the week taught ME. Faith like a child. The most pure form of faith that there is.
The week flew past. It was so much fun – from screaming campfire songs, to the silly theme nights, to cabin devotions, to painting the bottoms of kids feet, to searching for frogs and four leaf clovers. The world just feels different out at camp. Like all of the troubles of this society are gone for a little bit, and there is nothing to distract us from the Holy Spirit. I love it out there.
If you need me, I’ll be over here still soaking in all of the goodness that came out of the week. And desperately trying to catch up on sleep. 😉