Shawn Marler June 11, 2015

So often we hear the term “surrounded” used negatively—surrounded by enemies, surrounded by darkness, surrounded by fears. At camp we are surrounded, but it is fun that wraps us and it is love that covers us. Days surrounded by adventure call us out of slumber. Nights surrounded by brothers call us into family. It is in those surroundings that we cast our fears aside and fully rely on God’s love, power, and grace alone.

Today our three tribes that make up Starter Camp enjoyed a later start with breakfast at 8:45. Filled with eggs, sausage, biscuits, and orange juice, our campers finished the early morning by honing their singing skills at morning watch and cleaning skills at cabin cleanup. Tribal activities were on the docket for the late morning with Birches and Hickories enjoying the waterfront while buckeyes played a few games of Three Ball Three Disk. Following an all-American lunch of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, French fries, and chocolate chip cookies, a busy and fun filled week was rewarded with a slight respite in rest period. A variety of skills filled the afternoon with different cabins trying out their fifth and sixth skill of the session. Dinner came soon after with the sweet promise of burritos, rice, beans, and fudge bars. After dinner ended, sounds of techno, rock, and pop reverberated across Lake Eden as Bear Camp played Battle Ball. Hickory matched the artificial noise with the authentic sound of battle cries and laughter as they fought for victory in a game of Risk. No matter the location or vantage point on the property today, you would find yourself surrounded by fun.

As the darkness begins to wrap camp in the dim light of dusk, the sound of guitar strings and camper voices surround lower camp. Without actually seeing the scenes around camp, I can easily visualize the events of each. Campers, slowing after a day of skills and games, return to their cabins for a devotion led by their counselor. Full of memories of a day packed with fun, our campers are showered, in fresh clothes, and surrounded by a community of brothers—wrapped in a love that is bigger than you and bigger than me. As they dive into the camp liturgical passage tonight, John 3:1-17, they will see a love that surrounds us all—the love of Christ. They will hear words so often quoted, “For God so loved the world,” and they will see it in action from their counselors and cabin mates. At camp even in the darkest nights without a single star or ray of moonlight, our community love shines brightly. There is no escaping this light. In it we stand. In it we grow. We are surrounded.

In complete thankfulness,
Drew Fowler
Program Director

Today’s Bible Story…
Story: Jesus Invites Nicodemus to Be Born Again
Scripture: John 3:1-17
+Where do you see yourself in the story?
+What’s the good news?

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