Once every Summer, the Berg household makes a trek to one of our Holston Conference Camps. This year we are at Camp Dickenson, an old farmstead on the meandering basin of the New River in Fries (“freeze”), Virginia.
You should come see it. If your image of camp is the deep, mountainous woods of Buffalo Mountain, Camp Dickenson will surprise you. It is open and spacious precisely because it is an old farmstead. Several acres of the property are mown for hay during the year, and the adjoining games field could probably host a football field.
We are here for the last week of the Summer Camp season, a time when counselors and staff ought to be exhausted and focused on what the next semester will bring. Sometimes, at some camps, during some Summers, that will happen, but not here and not this year.
The staff at Camp Dickenson this week are still energetic and enthusiastic about their campers, about showing the love of Jesus to them and to each other. It feels like the first week of camp, except that the staff are tightly bonded and working in sync because they’ve been practicing this for several intense weeks.
In fact, camp is always an intense experience. The Summer staff see each other in close proximity and in emotionally charged situations, with only short breaks over weekends. Some of them even choose to stick together during those weekends, so the close community continues without pause.
Lesser souls would grow weary. Our camp staff don’t.
After twenty-one years of being part of Holston Conference camping in one form or another, I am convinced that our camp staff don’t grow weary because what is powering them is more powerful than they are.
I’m convinced that God’s Spirit is at work in our camps.
I’m convinced that our camps are modeling the Kingdom of Heaven.
I’m convinced that the Kingdom of Heaven is breaking into reality with an intensity that we don’t see in any other ministry.
That’s why we come back, year after year. Camp is making a difference in Holston. Camp is making disciples. Camp is bringing heaven to earth.
If you haven’t seen it happen, it’s about time you did. There’s nothing like it anywhere else.
Pray for our camps. Pray for our campers and our staff. Pray for them as they shift back into everyday life. Pray that they keep letting the Kingdom of Heaven shine through them.
And as you pray for them, pray for you, too. See if the Spirit is moving you to get involved. Maybe camp can still change you, too.