I originally wrote this for my MySpace blog (does that even still exist?) and ran across it the other day. I had attended two camps that year. One Youth camp, one Kids camp. I still do this sort of thing and am gone a good portion of my summer with activities like camp. My feelings still hold true. Hope you enjoy.
Aaahhhh camp. I have a weird Love/Hate relationship with camp. For starters, I AM NOT a morning person, so waking up at the buttcrack of dawn is not my idea of fun. Nor is sleeping on a matress made for someone at least half my size and weight. Putting up with weird folks ALL the time and not getting to see my kids (and my wonderful wifey at the second one) is not great either. But most of all I dislike camp b/c it is such a let down. The reason I find it so discontenting is because it is not reality.
It is not even close to reality. The fact that it is so far removed from reality coupled with the fact that I strive to be very real causes my adamint dislike of camp. I think that is b/c I spent so much time trying to be someone else when I was younger. I was not myself, but rather I attempted to be someone I thought other people would give approval. I was not real or authentic. I was living a lie. Sure, there were places where the real me would sneak out from time to time, but most of the time I was fake. Living that way made me miserable, as it does for everyone who lives their life that way. Therefore, the thought of going back to that is not a pleasant one. And a thought that brings me back to the subject of camp.
In a way, camp promotes that lifestyle I so despise. It’s like a week where I can come and not be me. Or if I have to be me, I can be a WAY better version of me. The awesome Aaron 2.0.2 (still some flaws in the programming) goes to camp. The worst part about this sad realization is that I am not alone in feeling this way about camp. Maybe you haven’t thought about it this way or vocalized it in such terms, but I have a strong feeling you know what I’m talking about. (Unless you are truly gifted and are exactly the same all the time… if so message me and let me know how) Besides leaving your camp gf/bf (which you know deep down it probably won’t work out…) that is why leaving camp is so hard. I know we talked about it in group, that real life is MUCH harder than life at camp.
All of that makes camp something I don’t appreciate.
Lest you all think I completely despise camp, let me tell you about the other side of that coin we call summer camp. First of all, I love the fact that I can take time out of my schedule, clear my daily agenda of the mess of life and draw near to God. That provides the perfect opportunity to renew my relationship with Him as life tends to deplete it. Much like date night with my wife, or family night with the whole family, I need, as we all do, that time to enhance that relationship with our Heavenly Father. I get to spend my time with a great community of believers and grow together in God’s grace in worship, prayer, Scripture, service, and fellowship.
Next, I love getting to pour into others. I don’t know much, haven’t experienced much, nor do I have much to offer, but I love sharing what I do know with others. Family groups, church groups, or whatever, I love the fact that I can share my love and longing for the Saviour (as pathetic as it may be) and point others in that direction. I know I don’t connect with everyone, and for that I am truly sad. But for those few that do get it, I praise God.
Lastly, I love the people! For one I am an extrovert (which means being around people charges me up) and I also just love being around all kinds of folks. Secondly, I have a great time being around other Christians. I love telling stories, hearing stories, sharing laughter and seriousness with people. And Camp is the perfect place to do that.
Consequently, in my final estimation, I do enjoy camp. I believe it is a worthwhile experience. True, it is not really that close to real life, it can have a huge impact on the other 51 weeks of your life if you let it. It has been a good summer.
So to all of my camp friends I say thanks. You helped make camp great this year. That is why I put you on my top friends and that is why I wrote this blog.