Monday, April 29, 2013
Why do we go to Camp
"One Saturday morning I sat at my desk in the lonely quiet time before the breakfast bell. A big, strong man walked into the camp office. “Who was responsible for retiring that flag last night?” he demanded. I figured someone was in trouble. I said, “I guess that would be me.” “I just wanted to thank you,” he said. He went on to tell me he was a Captain in the Marines. I told him that it would mean a lot to the staff to hear what he had to say. At breakfast he stood to speak to us. He explained that that past year he had lead his men up the Valley of the Euphrates during the liberation of Bagdad. His sergeant had been killed, and several of his men wounded, a terrible cost.They did this to keep America free, to ensure that we could enjoy the wonders of Yellowstone. He then told another story. In 1986, he swam a mile in Lake of the Woods. He told us how difficult it was to be a Marine in training, to be a Marine. “And yet,” he said, “through all those trials I kept reminding myself, that as hard as this is, it isn't as hard as swimming a mile in Lake of the Woods.
--Delose Conner--The most important things to be gained at a Council Scout Camp are the values of Scouting. Our Council Camps will fill the lives of scouts and leaders with God and Country, service to others, and duty to self. Council Camps provide real experiences that teach the scouts as they live the adventure. No watching fantasy lives in movies or on TV, no computer generated escapade. Camp is the real thing. There are no false highs from drugs or fake friends in hate driven gangs. We know the battle you are fighting for their futures; we want to give you a week long weapon to defend them for the rest of their lives.
They will meet God as they live in the wilderness that is His art, and learn to love and protect it, to be the stewards of the earth He has told them to be. They will share with their friends the truth of beauty, where a flower or the star-filled sky equally proclaim God’s glory, where service and love are revealed in the person of a Scoutmaster, a staff friend, a SPL, or a scout; where brotherhood speaks of the God in man.
They will feel the joy of freedom that is America as they live, work, and play in wild lands that belong to them. They are richer than kings, because they are American Citizens. All day, every day, they will lead and follow and share. They will thrill with joy as they pledge allegiance to the flag that stands for freedom in ceremonies where their heroes model respect for their country. They will shed tears of gratitude as a ragged old flag is committed to the sacred fire, symbolic of the respect of a grateful nation.
They will be there for each other; serve each other as they gather firewood, cook meals, wash dishes, dispose of garbage, clean KYBOs and scrub the showers. They will participate in meaningful service projects that will beautify their National Forests and their Camps, service that will teach them to care. They will learn to lead as Patrol or Senior Patrol Leaders, and they will learn to follow their peers as well as their adult leaders and camp staff councilors. They will come to know that they can trust leaders who are their friends and learn to be worthy of the trust of those they love.
They will face and overcome physical challenges they would never dare were not you and the camp staff there. They will swim in mountain lakes, climb to mountain tops, and earn the pleasure that comes from pain."
This was just so touching to me, when he talked about meeting God I even let a few tears out. I hope that this might answer some of your questions about why I would leave the comforts of home for a summer.
It can also apply to our outdoor activities, there's a reason that God gave us wilderness and I hope that we can all find that out for ourselves.
Here's the link to his original post back in 2010: http://attheagora.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-go-to-camp-final-cut.html
Thanks, and have a great summer!