Return to Summer Camp

Sam called me the day after his summer internship was finalized. "Dad, are you going to be home tonight? There's something I need to ask you about - a big favor." I was ready for him. "Yeah, I'll be home, but I already know what you want to talk about. You're going to dump camp on me, aren't you?"

Sam had been excited to be asked last winter to serve as camp pastor for our children's summer camp at Windermere on the Lake of the Ozarks. But now, with his sudden change of plans, it's up to good old dad to cover for the kid and go back to camp. The last time I was camp pastor our son, Jake, was a 3rd grader, so it's been a while for me, and to tell you the truth, I thought I was pretty well done with camp. Guess not.

So, these days I've been preparing for one of the toughest audiences any pastor ever has to face - 130 squirmy 3rd - 6th graders, speaking five times in five days. It does require an old guy like me to rethink and retool and revise my approach lest I commit the unpardonable sin - boring kids with the Bible.

Oh, did I mention I also get a cabin full of 5th and 6th grade boys to oversee and entertain? That's always a good time. I'm confident that I can still revert back to the days when hygiene and holiness were unknown concepts, and changing underwear was optional. And I think I still remember the story I used to tell of the three headless pirates that came back from the grave to share with the boys after devotion time and lights out. It used to scare them spitless.

So, how long has it been since you went to summer camp? What sticks in your memory bank? Got any stories to tell?


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