Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy Campers

Well, the first annual all-church camping trip was a rip-roaring success, I'd say!

We had five families who actually camped for one or both nights, and another family who joined us for a little while on Saturday evening. Then on Sunday morning, two singles and three more families made the trek out to the campground for a lovely outdoor service.

We had beautiful weather--in fact, unseasonably cool for August--but it warmed up enough for swimming in the afternoon. Some of us also paddle-boated, others went for a run or took a nap, the teenagers wandered far and wide, the preschool set resisted naps, and the tweeners played endlessly with swords, shields, and the cheap plastic bow and arrow sets sold at the camp store.

There was much ado about cooking--over the fire, on camp stoves, in electric skillets--and great sharing of condiments and final results. And of the making of toasted marshmallows and S'mores there was no end!

My favorite activity, though, was getting to know the other families a little better, especially a family that's only been attending for three weeks. "We felt so comfortable on the first Sunday we came," the mom explained. "Well, I guess you can tell, or we wouldn't have come camping with you all!" They fit right in, kids and all, with our little group. We are so glad to have them!

This family had also invited their 13-year-old neighbor boy to join them, and he and Bantam13 hit it off right away. He's promising to come every Sunday with finally, we may have the beginnings of a youth group! (So far, it consists of our three oldest.)

The Sunday morning service was a delight, with nature all around and Father Rooster having to shout to be heard above the cheeping of birds in their nests in the roof of the pavilion. Even under the distracting circumstances, his message was a powerful one, about God being with us in the midst of the storms of life. The Gospel reading was about Jesus walking on the water, and he said that in early church tradition, a ship was a symbol for the church. What an informing metaphor for this passage, in which Jesus sends the disciples on ahead, without him, in a boat, into a storm--yet He joins them, in a way that calls them to greater courage, faith and trust.

Fortunately, no storms on our camping adventure, although we had about 20 minutes of hard rain in early Saturday evening.... Though it did dampen some cooking fires, it was not enough to dampen spirits, and I think we're all looking forward to next year! (Some of us are probably glad that's a year off, though. ;)

(Pictures to follow as a separate post.)


Linds said...

I have been to so many church camps over the years, and this really brings back great memories, Jeanne. I can't wait to see the photos.
So many great things have been happening in your church - affirmation that you are in the right place!

MoziEsmé said...

Sounds like a fun and spiritually rewarding time! Glad the weather worked out okay - that can make a huge difference in things . . .

Islandsparrow said...

I love hearing about your camping adventures. It has been said that camping draws a family together and I'm sure that's true for church families as well. Glad you had a good time.