Living Epic Stories

Shawn Marler July 8, 2015

Camp is a place where our favorite stories come alive! Rather than simply listening to a story being told, watching one unfold on a screen, or manipulating a story with an gaming system controller, Rockmont is a place where campers can fully enter a story. They become the characters, the heroes, and the ones advancing the plot. Whether painting up or adorning a costume, we engage the imagination in ways that cannot be done in a living room or movie theater. We LIVE epic stories through our play.

J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have long captured the imaginations of young men. This epic tale came alive this evening for the Buckeyes and Birches who played a brand new game, introduced just tonight, called “Journey to Mordor.” The object of the game was for the campers to form “fellowships” and stealthily work together to deliver Frodo to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, avoiding Orcs and Sauron along the way. Campers brought our their camouflage and dark colored clothes to make their passage across camp more successful. They fully entered the story.

There were several other epic stories being lived out today. After fueling up with breakfast burritos and pop tarts, we headed to Morning Watch and cabin clean-up, and then prepared for a day full of tribal activities. The Buckeyes and Birches joined together to play “How to Train Your Dragon,” bringing one of their favorite animated movies to life. The Hickories and Hemlocks put on their bathings suits and met at the lake to compete in their own version of Waterfront Olympics. The Sycamores scaled The Wall, crossed Piranha River, and navigated Lava River down at the Challenge Course. And the Poplars awoke at one of our campout shelters here in the Great Craggy Mountains to a clear sky and beautiful sunrise.

After our Taco Tuesday lunch and an hour-long rest period, the adventures continued. Several Mountain Campers headed out to the Nolichucky River for an afternoon of whitewater rafting. Buckeye and Birch raced to the beach to prepare for their Waterfront Olympics, competing in activities like the Sunken Treasure, Cranberry Harvest, Low Dive Biggest Splash, and High Dive Smallest Splash. Hickories and Hemlocks finished packing for their campouts and then started up the mountain. Poplars and Sycamores were found all over camp competing in the great Match Relay, navigating several camp obstacles on land and over water, trying to keep a match dry and racing to be the first at the finish line.

After dinner, Poplars and Sycamores played their own stealthy game, Behind Enemy Lines, once it became dark. Hickories and Hemlocks settled into their campsites, built their campfires, roasted marshmallows, and settled under a clear night bright with stars. Our evening devotion brought us to the story of the bleeding woman who had faith enough to just reach out and touch Jesus’ robe and be healed. We learned about a bigger story of which we are all a part. We discussed what faith looks like and how God brings life and healing to the broken. We discovered good news in the story about a God who has time for each one of us.

There were no small stories today, only epic ones! We fully entered those stories and had a ton of fun in the process. We also learned more about ourselves, our friends and neighbors, and about God. We saw how our story is so much bigger than each of us individually. And that’s good news!


Shawn Marler
Bear Camp Director

Today’s Bible Story…
Scripture: The Bleeding Woman
Story: Mark 5:21-34
+ Where do you see yourself in the story?
+ What’s the good news?

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