‘Tis the time of year when a young man’s heart…

…turns to thoughts of summer camp.

Or, at least, that used to be the case for me about a decade (!) ago. For many summers, I paddled, swam, ran, laughed, played, sang, and so much else at an Episcopal summer camp.

My life has been indelibly shaped by my years at camp. It was that experience that set me out on the path that has led, for now, to Yale Divinity School. Although I have moved on (as has the camp, Bement, that I once worked at), I do remember one day sitting on the dock, supervising campers in canoes, and chatting with some folks visiting from the Diocese of Massachusetts. They were trying to start their own summer camp and had come to—ahem—us for pointers. I was only too happy to oblige.

Now, that camp, the Barbara C. Harris Center is up and running. And, in a marketing strategy that would have been totally foreign to me in my Bement days, they’ve got some great videos on their Facebook page.

I’ve been watching these and am so full of nostalgia for my time at camp. I’m also so full of pride and satisfaction that “youth ministry” (which we talk about so much in the church) is so alive and well in the Barbara C. Harris camp.

When I worked at camp, I was often found of saying that ninety percent of success in camp counseling is energy and enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm, you may know, literally means “God within us.” That is what I see in these videos: God within the campers and staff, and God surrounding and lifting up the entire experience.

Blessings to all who are preparing for summers of camping ministry.

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