So I got back from camp on Friday. It was my fifth year going, and it’s beyond a shadow of a doubt the best week of the entire year for so many reasons.
It’s a Bible camp associated with the Church of Christ, and it runs one week out of the whole year, so it’s the same people every year.
Going to camp is going home. If home is where the heart is, then camp really is my home.
It’s the relationships. The singing. The way it completely energizes me. The way I get so close to people in only five days. The beauty of being in the middle of nowhere with no phone distracting me.
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my best year of camp, but it was still camp. It was still home.
The relationships built in just five days always amaze me. I’ve met very, very dear friends at camp. Friends I know will be there for me through everything. And being surrounded by 150 people who all believe the same things I do- it’s amazing. Beyond compare. We laugh, we cry, we stay up too late and get up too early. We have embarassing moments and moments to be proud of. Together. All in a single week. And the relationships I’ve built at camp are just a small part of why I love it.
The singing, too. I can’t ever explain how amazing it is. No video could ever do it justice, no recording could either. It’s the most beautiful sound in this whole world- hearing over 100 young adults praising the Lord. We all stand in tight circles, arms around each other, brothers and sisters in Christ. In Christ alone. And it’s so, so, so beautiful. So beautiful it can’t be explained. So beautiful I’m not the only one shedding tears when we sing.
The Bible classes, the devos, the view from the mountain that completely takes my breath away every single time, even if the hike has already made me breathless. Being out in the middle of the woods, lying on my back and staring up at the stars God created. Hugging each other through our tears on the last night because it means so much to all of us, camp does, and we don’t want to leave.
I heard Bible camps referred to as “spiritual gas stations” once, and that statement couldn’t be more true. Because coming home makes me sing louder, pay more attention during the sermons. Want to grow closer to everyone in my youth group and keep in touch with the Christian friends I just made.
I can’t even begin to explain how much camp means to me. This year was hard, because a friend from camp was killed a few months ago: Grace Gilley. And I miss her, I miss her so much, and camp just wasn’t the same without her beautiful smile and laughter. Yet going to camp was going home, and it always will be.
Always, until I exchange this earthly home for my mansion up in Heaven.