Wondering where your pastors are? We’re at camp! Wondering what we’re doing? I’m glad you asked! Each August, Rev. Christy and I head up north to a place called Lake Louise Christian Community. Lake Louise is located on Thumb Lake, not far from Boyne City. Thumb Lake is a beautiful, deep, spring-fed lake, and there has been a Methodist summer camp on the shores of Thumb Lake for more than a hundred years.
Your pastors head to Lake Louise to help lead something called “Elementary Bear Camp.” Bear Camp is all about helping young people who are new to camp get over their anxieties and experience God’s love out in the wilderness. Teddy Bears are the youngest campers - they come with their guardians and stay for just a little more than a day. Black Bears are a little bit older. They bring grown ups to camp with them, too, but at night they sleep in a cabin, just like the big kids do. Rev. Christy and I help lead camp for the oldest campers, the Polar Bears. Polar Bears are in the 3rd-6th grade, and they are ready to spend an entire week at camp without their guardians tagging along.
Each day we roust the campers out of bed at 7:30am. After a hearty breakfast and a good-faith effort to tidy the cabins, we take to the fields for some energetic, running-around-type games. Once campers have got all the wiggles out, we settle in for a time of worship. Worship at camp involves lots of skits and singing. This year our theme is, “Let there be light!” All week long we will be talking about how God turns on the light in our most desperate moments.
The rest of our morning is filled with various activities. One day we will make water rockets out of pop bottles, another day we will run ragged playing capture the flag. After lunch, everyone is ready for a quiet hour of rest! When we’re good and recharged, the whole camp heads down to the beach. Some campers play on the giant inflatables, some just splash around, and others scour the beach looking for Petoskey stones. After supper we gather for an evening activity - we might watch a movie and eat popcorn, or we might have the campers put on a variety show. Every day ends with a time of reflection around the campfire, complete with silly songs, s’mores, and prayer.
We are so grateful to be part of a church that encourages its pastors and young people to be a part of camping ministries. We hope you’ll take some time to pray for the Court Streeters at camp this week. Pray that we will experience God’s love in a powerful and personal way! Thanks for your prayers, and thank you for helping to make this week of camp possible!
Your servant in Christ,