[Part of a series in which I muse about life at camp.]
In 3 hours (180 minutes / 10,800 seconds) masses of middle-schoolers will descend upon this place. And what a magnificent descent it will be. Loud. Energetic. Excited. Boisterous. Caffeinated. Frenetic, some might say.
Glorious, we would say. Because with those masses of middle-schoolers will come life as only middle-schoolers can live it.
And in this place here, those masses of identity-formational stage of life middle-schoolers will (by the grace of God) encounter life as only Jesus can give it.
It is quiet right now. Beautifully, soothingly, breathtakingly quiet – not because all is at rest, but rather because all are at work. A Sabbath kind of work. A worshipping kind of work. A restoring kind of work. The kind of work that is absolutely necessary in order for life on earth to meet life in Christ.
It is quiet here – even in the octaball court. (Which is both miraculous and creepy.) But soon – (wonderfully, excitingly soon) the still silence will be beautifully shattered in a way that only happens at camp.
Be still, my soul – in peace, in thanks, in adoration – and in preparation for the earth-shattering explosion that even now is barreling down the highway in this direction. We await in expectant joy!
The miracle that is summer camp defies description on so many levels, even before summer camp has begun.
In 24 hours, 300+ middle-schoolers will descend on a little plot of sacred space in the mitten known as Michigan. So in fact the miracle we await will be twofold as miraculous summer camp collides with miraculous middle-school and creates a breathtaking explosion of awesomeness.
The excitement and anticipation and energy and total stupendousness of what’s to come is almost too overwhelming.
But not quite – because there is work to do. The miracle that is summer camp, you see, does not happen on its own. Not even close.
So today – 36 hours before campers arrive and the collision begins, and 8 hours before the full staff arrives – a small group of people started to work. Hard. Even though the work doesn’t officially start yet. Because that’s how things happen at camp. People step in. People step up. People step out, marching to the sacramental beat of an incarnated Savior who fully embodied and faithfully modeled humble service and grace and joy and love.
Welcome to camp, Day 0. We look ahead. We anticipate We catch our breath in sweet expectation.
And we work. Because without work – sweet, sacred, blessed work – the miracle that is summer camp cannot happen.