Monday, June 29, 2009

Family Camp

We're at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp for the 16th summer in a row. At least that's what my son Dan said last night as he introduced us. Dan is on staff here this year. It's good to have some time with him. Son Jon is here too. He drove down on his own from Rochester where he and his band "Lift the Burden" had a concert Saturday night.

Daughter Naomi isn't here. She's a Bethel University senior majoring in journalism and reconciliation studies. She's at my brother's family home until they drive her to the airport at noon. Naomi is heading for South Africa today. Thank you to all of you for the ways you have supported her and please keep her in your prayers as she learns and serves in another part of the world. She has posted her itinerary on her blog.

So the rest of us are at Family Camp is at Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa. We've been coming here for 15 years or more. (I wrote about this last year too.) I'm usually very interested in the speaker for the week. This year's speaker is Reid Matthias. He's telling part of his life story at the moment.

I thought I might let y'all know what happens at family camp. I just wrote a note to a family friend letting her know about it. Here it is:
Every morning after breakfast at camp there is chapel time with lots of Christian camp songs usually with lots of actions and a skit on the theme of the day. Then there is a "sharing" (where one of the camp staff talks personally about how the theme verse... today one of the counselors confessed that she put college ahead of God). In a few minutes we break into age groups where there is a learning time for each group. The college age counselors meet with the kids and a pastor does teaching and discussion with the adults.

After lunch there is "family time" when we talk as families about what we learned in the morning and have some Bible study and prayer. Then there's free time with a variety of activities (swimming, crafts, sports, games, or just talking, reading, napping). Each late afternoon (except Wednesday p.m. which is unscheduled) there is an all camp, all ages game.

After supper there is a special spiritual event each day - a program put on by the staff. Before bed there's a campfire and more free time before bed. Lots of good conversations. Lots of food.
There are about 150 people here including staff. Parents and kids and grandparents and grandkids learning about God, experiencing Christian community, having fun together. When we first came here our kids were very young and really got into the counselors and fun. They still do but it's different now that we don't need to lead them around by the hand. Now we get into some good talks with them.

God is good. It's good to have some time away. I believe God will use this time well.

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