Summer Camp Articles
This summer I’ve been living in community with the 12 “permanent” (read: summer-long) staff members at Camp Bratton-Green, the camp of the Diocese of Mississippi. I never went to camp as a kid and had no real experience with college students—other than being one a couple of decades ago—so I was a little nervous about how my 10-week stint as the chaplain to the group might go. Despite myself, I worried about whether they would like me, whether they would be willing to talk to me about their lives. If not, I knew it could be a long summer for both them and me, since we’d be seeing a lot of one another.
Greetings in the name of the Lord! I write to you, having just completed another inspiring, exciting, boisterous, reverent, and one-of-a-kind day at Christian summer camp. I am serving as a chaplain for a session of 89 middle-schoolers here at Shrine Mont Camps, in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. We just came from an evening Communion service in the outdoor chapel, surrounded by candlelight, with guitars and voices rising to the darkened sky.
And the kids are LEARNING. The messages are sticking. The group is coming together. The answers (and questions) are getting more deep and honest. When I ask, “What did we talk about on the second day?” a dozen hands go up, and the correct response “Jesus is reliable,” comes without delay.
I am writing this post from Shrine Mont, which is a Christian retreat center in Orkney Springs, Virginia – in the Shenandoah Valley. During the summer, Shrine Mont welcomes over 900 campers throughout the summer, with various camps and sessions.
While the camp themes differ (art, sports, outdoors), worship is the thing that draws them all together.
And the best worship tradition has to be THE SHOUTING PRAYER.