Farewell Camp, Hello Summer!

My mountains as seen from my hometown

My mountains as seen from my hometown

Hellllloooooo, Rancho Cucamonga! I got home from camp just over a week ago on Friday, June 7. Since then, I have:

  • Watched almost a full season of Heroes on Netflix.
  • Deep cleaned my room and given away bag after bag of clothes and fabric. (I LOVE simplifying my life!! Occasionally I would go on rants about materialism, and then start throwing things out of my closet. It was magnificently freeing.)
  • Crafted more handmade vintage-y greeting cards which will very soon be selling on my new etsy store! (Official announcement pending)
  • Babysat twice and have set up dates for more.
  • Officially made Refuge House of Prayer my home church!

I did not get the “ideal” summer job I had been hoping for. I was a little bummed, but I have concluded that God was protecting me from an overcrowded schedule. My first priority this summer needs to be my online IHOPU classes. As it is, I have arrangements for babysitting over the summer for a number of families. I will be very busy the next two months, that’s for sure.

As excited as I am to be home for a few months, it’s also rather difficult to leave my camp. Summer camp 2010 was my first full-time job. I’ve spent large portions of the past three years there, totaling about 16 months. I’ve learned and grown so much. From general leadership skills like initiative to flexibility to guest service skills like saying “yes” (whenever feasible) to outdoor science school skills. I am now the master of dozens of different ways to get and keep attention, teach about the environment, survive (theoretically) in the wilderness, keep kids busy kids with a game, etc. Throw me on the trail with 20-30 5th graders, and I will be completely in my element.

And even beyond all those handy professional skills, I grew a lot relationally. Since I never lived on campus during college, camp was my first real communal living experience. I’m a solid introvert with a tendency toward isolationism, so being “forced” to “do life” with so many people was just what I needed. The teamwork, fun, and fellowship has been simply wonderful. I love these people so much and will always treasure the memories I’ve built with them.

I’ve also learned how to intentionally carve out time for God. I had to do it at APU, but it got harder at camp. That’s why the camp prayer chapel and a couple of other lookout locations have become so precious to me. I’ve met with God there, because I’ve determined to set aside time and treat them like appointments that must be kept. The key is intentionality and priority. It’s planning ahead and putting my Bible in my backpack (even if it means I end up hiking the mountain with it for half a day). It’s taking advantage of small – or large – blocks of time. If I want to spend time with God, then I’ve got to fight to make sure that happens when no one else will do it for me.

The mountains have bewitched me, body and soul. I see God in them every time I look around. I see him when I marvel at the rugged, delicate, colourful, brilliant beauty of this world. Golden, flaming sunsets. Leaves rustling in the breeze. The rich petrichor smell of the forest in the rain. Colours, shadows, textures, shades of life. So much depth and creativity… they all reveal the heart of the Artist.

Those three years were one of the best gifts my Father has ever given me.

Now, Rancho. Family. Home. And classes… SEEP starts tomorrow. I’m going to be throwing myself into studying the Bible at a level I never have before. I’ve sat through classes at OTI, but there was no homework. I’ve done Bible classes at APU, but that was APU, not IHOPU.

This is going to be a summer to remember.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Heartsong Handmade | Fragrance Arise

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