This will be my 17th summer of attending camp with students. Back in the old days I was pumped and excited about going to a week of camp. The lack of sleep didn't bother me back then. The waking up at 6am and going till 1 or 2 didn't phase me. Now I'm old! I don't look forward to camp like I used to. What?! Did a youth pastor just say that?
I don't like:
>the 4 or 5 hours a night of sleep
> the van ride home while everyone sleeps in the van and I must stay awake.
> camp food. Institutional food lacks at most universities.
>walking in the heat and humidity
>sleeping on a plastic coated mattress.
>telling a teenage boy or girl, who should know by this point, that they need to take a shower (there is enough oil in your hair to lube my truck)
>explaining over and over again how their cell phone will distract them during the week of camp with the endless texts they will receive, read, and respond to.
>when students who knew for months that they could go to camp but procrastinated till the last minute and as a result missed the deadline.
>most of all being away from my family for the week. As my children are growing this weighs even more on me and probably soon they too will be traveling to camp and staying at a hotel nearby or something. Last year my 6 month old daughter was taken by ambulance to the ER while I was at camp, that was very hard on us. (I would much rather share a room with my wife than with the assistant to the youth pastor, Rich Coleman)
I do like:
>watching students bond with each other and build friendships
>hanging with students
>the awesome worship times
>watching them compete in the recreation
>taking them to the Texas Inn to eat
>observing them connecting with God
>when that one life is radically changed and the "camp commitment" is for real.
>thinking that next year we are going to change it up big time for camp.
You can follow our camp adventure at our camp blog site. There you can connect with your teen through e-mail and listen in on our evening worship sessions.