Rob and I have been to Camp Adventure every summer since 1992. That would make this our 16th summer of camp. My role has changed over those 16 years, and so has my perspective. I will never forget the first few years of camp. I remember kids like J Aquilla, Amber Cox (Beeson) , John Keim,and so many other now men and women who were then just kids. I was only 19 myself, so I was a kid too.
Those first years of camp were special, because of the environment I saw Mark and Sheila Beeson had created there over the past few decades. I had never been to a place that was so close to "Heaven on Earth." Before we coined the phrase "Bringing Up there Down Here," that's what Camp Adventure was. And yes, I am talking about a camp for 6th-8th graders! I had never been to a place where there were no practical jokes, no cut-downs, no negativity, only love, encouragement, and building one another up.
Being the 35 year old, one of the "elderly" at Camp Adventure now, I walk around the whole week and just watch, wonder, and pray. I don't have a group of middle-schoolers to counsel, but I have my own small group of 3 girls. It is one of the only places on Earth I can take them and just say, "Watch" "Watch J Aquilla. He's married to Angie now. They love Jesus. Just watch them."
My kids do watch. They are transformed every year by living in a place that is "Brining up There Down Here."
If you are sending your kid to camp next week, or in July, you are doing the right thing. They will be in an environment of love and acceptance like they have never known.
I can't wait!