I’ve had an amazing week this week that has been framed by the view! We have had the privilege of being Camp Parents at a small camp in Northeast Alberta. The rolling hills patchworked with hay and canola. The endless blue sky stretching from horizon to horizon. The sun setting across the crystal clear lake. The lush green surrounding us as we walk on the trails. So much natural beauty that I can feel my soul sigh and settle.
Being surrounded by the beauty of creation fills a hole that I often forget needs filling! I love my home in the city and the community we are a part of. We have a lot of greenspaces and my street is lined with towering Dutch Elm trees, but it’s not the same as getting out into the country side.
But the best view of all this week was watching young people pour into the lives of kids at camp!
I don’t know if camp has been a part of your experience growing up or not, but there is nothing quite like it. My hubby and I met at summer camp 30 years ago and worked and/or volunteered at camp for about 14 years of our married life. We saw so many kids come and learn that they are loved and have value and purpose. Most of this happens because young people are willing to volunteer or work for minimum wage to staff the camp. They work long hours in all kinds of weather with all kinds of kids to provide a summer camp experience for every kid that comes. I am so thankful for them.
If you listen to media you hear a lot of negatives about millennials and GenX and young people in general. Go watch them serve at a camp and you’ll see something that doesn’t get talked about in the media. I watched as young boys shadowed young men and saw a glimpse of what mentoring looks like. I saw young women encouraging young girls to be themselves and saw true beauty. I saw young people cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes with a smile. Camp is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
My kids got to experience camp this summer. Something they may not ever have had the opportunity to do without the resources we have to offer. I have enjoyed their stories and seen their laughter and joy as they too relaxed, and let a hole be filled in their soul they didn’t know they had. I believe this week has made a difference for them. As we continue to work towards seeing their family reunited I hope what they have learned this week will always be with them.
So if you know a young person who works at camp take the time to thank them, maybe buy them a Tim’s card or a coffee. They are changing the world one day at a time.
In the midst of the mess