Sundaes, Silence, and Cicadas

Mark McAlister August 3, 2015

Sunday. Sabbath. Rest…and of course, a lot of fun. We woke up this morning to cool temperatures, rising steam off the lake, and many eager campers and staff ready to take on the Rockmont Mile Swim. Krispy Kreme awaited each table for breakfast, followed by an extended cabin cleanup. Campers and counselors parted separate ways to go to their different church services where we each worshiped in God’s first church: the great outdoors. The cicadas, distant dog barks, and morning birds made for an excellent choir.

After lunch, we all enjoyed a well-deserved, extended rest period and then all met out by the waterfront for some delicious Sunday sundaes topped with sprinkles, oreos, cherries, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Bear Camp then spread out across camp to enjoy a number of cabin activities including paddle boarding and dam building. Deer Camp went to the golf course where they played a variation of Risk, one of our beloved capture-the-flag style games, and Mountain camp dueled it out cabin vs. cabin in the Waterfront Olympics. Later in the day, we all enjoyed an outdoor picnic for dinner and then prepared ourselves for Council.

High on the mountain each Camp convened around its own council ring for one of the most sacred times of the session. We all partook in silence, only speaking from time to time to express pleasure or displeasure with the games, songs, and stories. Our call to silence is a call to become one with ourselves and our surroundings, and to tune our ears more closely towards God. We recognized the growth our staff has seen in each of your sons throughout this first week at camp and lastly, during devotion, where we listened closely for the Word of God. The message tonight was the story of the Good Shepherd found in John 10 which says,

“ I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

As we walked down from council in the dark, making our way back down the mountain, we were all reminded that we are His sheep, and that the Good Shepherd always takes care of his flock, never once forgetting a single one.

Grace and Peace,

Mark McAlister

2014 Birch Tribal Director

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