A few weeks ago, some camp families were up on the mountain visiting and enjoying the fantastic cross-country skiing the snow has brought us this year. It happened to be somebody’s birthday, and the rest of the family wanted to decorate Alford Hall to surprise the birthday girl later that evening. They began decorating just as the year-round staff were finishing up serving cafeteria-style lunch to Anna’s ski customers, and there were a handful of groups of skiers still in the dining hall.
One of the most important qualities of camp has always been that it is a place where everyone can join in and feel welcomed immediately. Often in our lives it is easy to feel that were are not included – in groups of friends, in fun activities, or in plans for the future – but camp teaches us that we can never be out of our right place and since we are all children of one loving Father-Mother, we don’t have to be intimidated by our brothers and sisters.
As we cleaned up the kitchen that afternoon, we got to see an awesome example of this unfold. At one point while putting away some dishes, I looked up and said to Jasmine, “Wait, do we know that kid?” Children who were visiting with their families to ski for the day – who had no connection to camp as we all know it – had begun spontaneously joining in on the decorating fun. Soon a whole bunch of kids, and even some parents, were helping hang banners and streamers, and even sweeping the floors! They were responding to the welcoming spirit that we often refer to as the camp family, and joining in expressions of joy and celebration. I was so grateful to witness all this activity, especially as we here on the mountain work to see CLC’s stunning property used more often to bless our immediate community. A great time was had by all, and the day ended, as so many fun days do, with a trip down the mountain for Eder’s ice cream.
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I really liked reading this, Ian. You are a great writer. I can hardly wait until August.