We had a great first session this summer filled with brotherly and sisterly love from our campers, and it was a great start to take us right into our second session! We have staff meetings on the porch of Alford Hall at 6pm every day while campers run and play on the Game Field, and there is always such joy in hearing the laughter and chatter coming from the campers as we give gratitude for the day. Both Lenape and Canoya are pretty full this session, and there’s just that much more room for unfoldment in Christian Science through our activities and daily metaphysical studies.
Last night to kick off the session was Barn Dance, and if that doesn’t get the whole camp jumping and dancing, then I don’t know what does. We had a great staff this session prepare Barn Dance, and while there were still all the games we have come to know and love – Big Wind Blows, Musical Chairs, Mouse Trap – the Barn Dance staff (self-named Montana, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia – but actually named Skyla, Amanda, Gabe and Rachel) switched things up a bit with new dances and new songs for the campers and staff to laugh and sing/dance along to. But of course the most hyped up song of them all was still Cotton Eye-Joe, considering no one has still figured out where he came from, where he went, or where he goes.
Something we have all noticed as a staff this summer that we are constantly giving gratitude for during our meetings or in conversation is the complete unity of the campers and staff this summer. There seems to be no barrier between everyone no matter the age, cabin, or native language. We are blessed to have our campers from Mexico this session, and when they arrived a couple of days ago it was as if everyone here were long time friends reuniting after years apart. Though we do have some returning campers, and they were able to see their old friends from past summers, we do have quite a few new campers this summer in every cabin. This has presented as a great opportunity for many alumni campers to step up and be leaders in helping the newer campers to find their way to the Longhouse, or figure out which classes would be fun for them to take.
Both Jesus and Mrs. Eddy talk of how lovely and wonderful the love of children are, and how pure the friendship and love for one another is amongst them, and it truly is so dear to see the younger campers meet, say hi, and then instantly become best friends. The older campers are the same too, because as soon as one mentions their love for something, or laughs along to a joke with someone else a friendship has been formed. I saw during free swim yesterday afternoon one guy in Norman quote a movie, to which another Norman camper finished and for the rest of the day late into Barn Dance they were laughing together and jumping around to the music. I’ve been going to CLC now for 10 year consecutively, and though this is the summer that many of the friends I have known for years have started to go off and do other things during their summer, I still am blessed to know that those friends will be in my life for quite some time to come. We all share so much together when we come to camp – and not just t-shirts of certain colors of World Cup Soccer Day. But there is a special bond among all of us who go to CLC because we share the same religion and can use that as a foundation to build lasting friendships with true happiness and joy.
And besides, how would you not become lifelong friends after having to dig a hole in the woods together for the bathroom on an overnight in the rain with one flickering flashlight? Or wake up as co-counselors to campers screaming about a mouse to which you dress in rain boots, three sweaters, sweatpants, and headlamps to grab brooms together and go on an expedition to rid the cabin of said mouse. Or make a bet to eat as many chicken patties as you all constantly can at your table only to all lay on the outdoor stage for an hour after dinner groaning from your full stomach and spontaneous laughter, which in hindsight only made it worse, but in reality truly made it better. These are the memories that will bond you for life.
We’re so excited for this session and all the joy and love that will be expressed, as well as the metaphysical growth that will unfold. In the Sunday School class I was teaching yesterday, my class and I set metaphysical goals for the session. All the campers in my class had some great questions and ideas for how they can further their relationship to God and knowledge and understanding of Christian Science by reading more of Mrs. Eddy’s writings or, for one camper, learning more about the influence of women in the Bible and how she can use those women as role models in her daily life. I handed out notebooks where they all wrote down their goals and will continue to write some questions, answers, breakthroughs, and milestones while working on their goals that we will talk about next Sunday. I’m very excited to see what thoughts and insights the campers come up with!
Today is our first day of classes, and this is always so fun to go around and take pictures of the first moments of these campers journeys in new activities and adventures because towards the end of the session it’s inspiring to see how much they have grown in what they are learning. New campers will also be receiving their new clans today, as we have our first Council Fire of the session tonight! The sun is shining, the lake is sparing, and God is smiling at us to let us know it’s going to be a great day!
For more updates on our day-to-day happenings, you can check out our Facebook page Crystal Lake Camps, Twitter: @crystallakecamp, or Instagram: @crystal_lake_camps. Pictures are continuously being uploaded to our SmugMug (471 already for this session), and any other questions you have can surely be answered on our website. For alumni, this summer we’ll be recreated any and as many old pictures of CLC and alumni campers and staff that we can find. So if you have any pictures you think would be fun to recreate, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to help contribute! We’re excited to see what we all come up with!