For the past month, a printed camp schedule has told me when and where to be, all day, each and every day.
That might sound dreadful. But in fact it was quite wonderful.
There was no need to decide whether to do laundry on day 3 (yes) or day 5 (no). The schedule dictates.
There was no need to wonder whether or not you really want to get sprayed off with a firetruck hose (yes) after playing in a mud pit (woot!) with 350 middle schoolers or 100 teen moms. The schedule dictates.
There was no need to debate the pros (lots) and cons (none that matter) of a late night dance party that required trekking to a building on the far side of the lake. The schedule dictates.
After being home for exactly 42 hours, I desperately miss the dictator.
I want a cabin bell to send me to bed at night. I need a staff meeting to wake me up in the morning.
Most of all, I want someone else to decide when and what I will eat three times each and every day.
Last night I spent 75 minutes in the grocery store during which I was essentially paralyzed by all the choices and responsibility.
I don’t want to plan and shop and cook for two. I want to eat my meals with thirty fellow work-staff friends. And I need a saner person than myself to set a weekly menu.
I’ve done the camp thing enough times to know that when it ends, I will deeply miss both the sense of purpose and the close-knit community.
But I’d forgotten how lost and aimless the first few days back home can be. Sure, it’s nice to be back in my own bed. But it would be even nicer if I could bring my own bed back to camp where I just spent a very sweet month indeed.
So here’s to Michindoh. Here’s to Wyldlife. Here’s to Young Lives. Here’s to community living and common purpose.
I quite miss them all because coming home, though lovely in its own way, doesn’t hold a candle to Going Home, which is what the last month was really all about.
“When the younger son finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.” So he returned home to his father. and while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (from the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel)