Our first two-week session of the summer is off to a great start! After a full day of skills on Monday, many of our campers found themselves quickly immersed in the glory of God’s creation during a two-night campout. The oldest campers, the Sycamores, camped on the South Toe River at the foot of the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Camping on the South Toe is a memorable experience. For one thing, I’m always surprised by the temperature — you can count on it being at least five degrees cooler than in Black Mountain. With the recent hot weather, the cool air flowing down from the top of Mount Mitchell was a welcome gift from above.
Our two middle tribes in Deer Camp, Hickory and Hemlock, showed impressive endurance and resilience during a backpacking trip. After camping on the mountain on Monday night, they woke up early to a hearty breakfast of eggs, sausage, and oatmeal. That good fuel, along with a lot of grit and determination, powered the young men to Eden Rock, approximately 1,500 feet above Lake Eden.
The most impressive aspect of Deer Camp’s arrival at Eden Rock was that it only marked the halfway point of their journey! They carried everything with them that they needed for another night of camping at a new location — heavy packs loaded with sleeping bags, ground pads, water bottles, and clothing. What an inspiring effort!
While drinking in the incredible view with the campers, the Director of Deer Camp, Drew Fowler, spoke about how God’s love transcends even the beauty of the magnificent peaks surrounding them. He explained that like the ancient tribe of Israel, we are called to look beyond the hills and high places for our salvation, beyond anything we can see. We are to know that our “help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121. Sometimes it takes the most beautiful places to remind us that we ultimately seek the kind of beauty that cannot be captured in a glance or through a photo.
While half of camp was away up on the mountain, the youngest campers in Bear Camp reveled in having the run of the place. All of the tribes reunited today in Eden Hall at Lunch for a delicious meal of pulled pork sandwiches, fries, coleslaw, and salad bar. Afterward, campers went to rest period and then afternoon skills. This evening Bear Camp played a brand new game, Minecraft. I’m told it involves…dragon armor!!! Deer Camp played three-ball-three-disk, a combination of soccer and ultimate Frisbee. The Sycamore Tribe played an old classic capture the flag game, Gladiator, while the Poplars went through a “skill rotation” that offered creative options including learning more about how to tell a good story, build a dam, make animal calls, or draw.
Finally, the night ended with a camp-wide Evening Watch that included a lot of wonderful singing. Some of it was loud, some soft, some thoughtful, and some silly. It even included intent listening as Buckeye Tribal Director Bo Evans talked about his experience accessing the living water offered by Jesus.
Inspired to be at Camp,