Last night, I was at a fundraiser for the camp I spent every summer at growing up. I was reminded of why that camp will always be a place I love.
I still go there for retreats now, and as I turn down the dirt road to the camp each time the memories of all my times there come flooding back.
Years as a camper.
A few years as summer staff.
Family winter camp weekends.
Young adults retreats.
Each and everyone specific memories of things we did and things I learned. Experiences that helped to make me into the person I am today. Times God spoke to me and challenged me and encouraged me.
Games and activities of all kinds.
Running through the bush.
Canoeing and kayaking.
Blowing up snowmen with things we probably weren't supposed to have at the youth retreat.
Friendships begun or grown.
Next steps taken in my walk with God.
New understanding of things God says in His Word.
Clear messages of what God has for me in the future.
Opportunities to learn new things and try new things. Safe place to take the chance to step out and do things I'd never done before.
I'm sure without the time I spent at this camp, God could have found other ways to show me and teach me the same things. But all these things happening in this one place make it a pretty special place in my life.
As I heard stories last night about what God is still doing there and the direction the camp is heading now, I was again excited about this place. I know God is still working in lives through it.
Really what is special about it, is that it's away from home. There's something about getting away from our busy lives to a place where even my cell phone still doesn't work that makes it easier to hear God and gives opportunity for new friendships to be formed.
I wonder if there is a way we can make that space in our current lives for that to happen. Not replace the times away, but to supplement them. To make these experiences go beyond a few hours or days.