It has been two weeks since the end of Day Camp, and yet I have written nothing about it! How curious an omission, when you consider the importance I have placed (and continue to invest) on that momentous week. I guess I’ve been busy, which is no particular excuse.
One of the best things about living in the Duckabush is the neighboring Christian Camp, Wilderness Northwest. Directed by Jody Weed (ably assisted by his family), this camp offers summertime camping, year-round retreat programs, and a week-long Day Camp program for children ages 6-13. Last year I had the opportunity to serve as Camp Photographer, following the five groups of 12-15 children around as they engaged in various skills, crafts, and other activities.
After Day Camp 2003, I produced a commemorative CD set featuring scores of pictures and more than 45 minutes of edited video describing the program for the friends and families of the campers. It was such a positive experience that I determined to seize the opportunity again this year.
Fortuitously, the end of my 90-day contract with my employer fell on the first day of Camp. Although they determined to hire me on a full-time basis, I was able to negotiate a week’s leave before signing on as an employee (just another way that God works all things together for good, for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose). I purchased a new video camera to supplement Jody’s camera, and I pestered Ray Canterbury to release several Counselors In Training (CITs) as my assistants each day of the program.
Over the course of the year, the CITs meet on a monthly basis for discipleship training. It is always inspiring to see the love that these teenagers have for the Lord as they patiently work with the campers, setting an example of kindness and godliness. I am challenged by the effort and talent they invest into the daily skits, often improvised and always enjoyed by the children.
It was a glorious week. The weather was nearly perfect, and the campers were filled with enthusiasm. The week-long program that Jody devised was very well coordinated with the workbook pages and the curriculum used by the teachers. It really seemed to resonate with both the kids and the teachers.
On Monday, we studied Creation, with specific emphasis on the fact that all of Creation came about through the literal ‘Word’ of God. Tuesday focused on Corruption … the tragic Fall of man into sin its consequences. Wednesday came in with a Flood, as we examined the account of that worldwide Catastrophe and its impact on the people of Noah’s time. On Thursday we studied Confusion and the story of the Tower of Babel (many groups helpfully provided their own supplemental confusion as well). The week culminated in teaching about Christ and the Cross with an emphasis on the way that God’s plan, beginning with Creation, points to His Son and His redeeming work on the Cross.
Most days included a 45 minute session in each of these categories:
- Craft Station
- Outdoor Life
- Science Lab
And of course, each day began and ended with an assembly in the big green tent, with singing, skits, group cheers and Bible verse recitation. I thought that the singing communicated a real sense of being on fire for God. These campers were not ashamed of loving Jesus — some of us could really take a lesson from them.
The camp was staffed by roughly 30 adults and 15 CITs, in addition to the 65 campers and occasionally visiting parents; it was a bustling place throughout the week. Many of the adults and CITs used vacation or took unpaid leave to serve on staff at Wilderness Northwest, while others worked evenings to make the time for Day Camp.
I’ve begun editing the video footage, and am very excited about this year’s DVD project. Last year it took me more than 10 weeks to put it together … this year I hope to finish more quickly (while people still remember that they attended Wilderness Northwest in 2004). If you are an alumnus of Day Camp this year, look for your DVD in the mail not later than Easter.