The last two weeks have been kinda cool in that I took on a project of archiving Cedarwood videos from the last 9 years of camp into an organized collection, mostly from rapidly deteriorating dvds and cds that were piled in one of my office cupboards. As amused I was with the song selections over the years, (from the days of Five Iron Frenzy and the OC Supertones, to MxPx, to POD) my favorite part was just reliving memories of old. It constantly astounds me how many kids have made their way through Cedarwood over the years, and although many have actually stayed involved and gone on to be counselors and leadership, there's many more that have just grown up and moved on.
On friday I began writing this summers uTalk material. For those of you who are not Cedarwooders, uTalk is basically a cabin group time each morning where we go through the basics of the Christian faith in 5 days, introducing the person of Jesus Christ to our campers. The whole point of what we do at camp is to introduce Jesus to our campers and let them make their own decision, and with that in mind, the point of uTalk is to open the doors to conversation and questions, and to hopefully find the answers in the Bible together.
It's amazing (but maybe not surprising) how this time of preparation each year results in my learning new things about my own faith journey, and as much as I almost dread the brain cramps that come from trying to discern how to share the teaching of the Bible in five 40 minute sessions, I really do look forward to it every year.
I guess that leads me back to my initial thought.... how many have gone through camp over the years, and where are they now. One of the most important things to me in the concept of camp ministry is that no matter what a teenager believes or decides about God and Christianity, they should have the best time of their life and camp, and they should know that they are unconditionally loved. My responsibility is not to make anyone a Christian- that's between God and them. My responsibility is to love others the way Jesus did, and to not be afraid to share (with gentleness and respect) the hope that I have.
Maybe in another 9 years or so someone will sit and write a similar blog (or holographic video entry i suppose), and Lord willing maybe it will be one of the guys I've been lucky enough to mentor and spend time with, just as someone once did with me when I was 13 and having the best time of my life at camp.