Camp Is

CAMP IS...

by Joe Keefer – Pennsylvania Christian Camp, Blue Knob, PA

Asmall wisp of steam lifts from the coffee cup cradled in my hands, a promise of early morning warmth. My eyes focus on the fog lifting off the mountains as I stand

outside the lodge. As the fog lifts, appreciation settles into my heart. I am so glad to

be a part of a Christian Youth Camp. As my heart ponders how much it means, my mind

can’t help considering what camp is.

Christian. This camp is a Christian Camp, and that fact makes my involvement a noble endeavor, not a walk down a purposeless path. It is a place where Christianity is taught and displayed openly without fear of interruption or embarrassment. It is a setting not only of majestic scenery, but also of majestic values –those taught by Jesus. Here, campers will not only take nature hikes to gain mountaintop experiences, theywill also take journeys into the word of Christ to gain luminous lessons of eternal life.

Advance. Though outwardly it appears to be a retreat into the mountains, camp is really an advance for the cause of Christ. It may seem to some that we are here retreating from the assault of a hectic world, but we are actually here preparing an assault on the world for Christ. Here, Jesus is held high for everyone to see – from the young camper to the very well seasoned staff member. Later, we will leave this spiritual boost camp inspired to live aggressively for Jesus.

Mentoring. Camp is a special time of show and tell-- a time to show Christianity in action. It is a place to display how Christianity works. While in the midst of God’s beautiful creation, kids behold the beauty of Jesus displayed in the Christians serving them. Though they are serenaded with the sound of crickets, the songs and tales of joyful Christians will win them. Here, Christian love, not just the water of the stream, splashes onto their lives.

Personal. It is during camp that your soul meditates on the Word with birds chirping in trees,

smiling at laughing campers hiking a trail, and singing around a crackling campfire. All of this

happens while you unselfishly share yourself and voluntarily wear yourself out for the campers. Camp is a part of who you are and what you do -- for Jesus. A crow caws nearby and interrupts my musings. I have another sweet sip of Maxwell House warmth, and my body revives for another wonderful day of Christian camping.