a week ago today, i was packing the van and getting ready to come home from spending a week at camp medley. i was chaplain for the week to about 85 boys and girls.
the week was mixed bag for me – i thought i was in way over my head (i’ve usually felt more confident with the mid-to-older teens and these kids were 8 to 12 years old) and camp held some uneasy memories for me.
while i was preparing for the week, i had the fruit of the spirit in mind as the focus for the chapel sessions. so, i left for camp with a trunk full of fruit and desperately praying for God to work through me. the morning sessions were fantastic, camp gave me an incredible assistant for the week, we focused on: love; joy; peace; patience; and kindness. and used those themes as the foundations for the evening chapel sessons – those were my favourite times!
monday – love: focused on the greatest love story in history (oddly, almost all the kids thought it was romeo and juliet…weird) and talked about the characteristics of love…unconditional, forgiving, etc..
tuesday – joy: spend the afternoon blowing up balloons for a huge party. we looked at the prodigal son and the party Heaven throws when we turn to God. (the staff made me promise not to use balloons in chapel at night again…apparently a chapel full of balloons and noise makers create chaos…oops!)
wednesday – peace: knowing and experiencing the peace of God…placed a candle on the centre of the floor in the chapel and shut the lights off to invite everyone to focus and be still. worked really well.
thursday – patience: had chapel at the pool while i sat in a canoe and talked about the patience along with obedience the disciples experienced when Jesus told them to go back out after fishing all night and caught nothing. i was surprised…not one camper tried to jump in the pool and they were all well behaved.
friday – the gospel: this was culmination of the whole week and we focused intently on the gospel story. all week i asked everyone to wear a bandana, from sunday night until this point, they wore it sleeping, shower, pool, oc, etc… sin is dirty, disgusting and embarrasing (yes, i wore it into the city when i went in for supplies). after talking about this, invited people to place their pieces of fabric on the cross as a reminder of Jesus paying the price for our sin. what a moment! words cannot describe!
i had a great week! and all week have wanted to go back, but i guess i’ll have to wait for senior teen when i am co-chaplain with my buddy jon.