If you’re reading this post, you probably already know that one of the key components to Crystal Lake Camps is our international program. You may also know that Becca and I this past December were fortunate to be invited to be part of a group that was in the Philippines to celebrate a century of First Church, Manila being open and serving Manila. [read about it here]. Recently, I was able to go to the UK to attend Easter Camp – an annual event in the UK for Christian Scientists and their families. It’s very similar to Family Camp here at CLC, if that helps give you a bit of context. You should understand, however, that Easter in the UK is somewhat like Memorial Day weekend here in the US – it seems that everyone travels for the weekend – it’s a HUGE holiday there!
Instead of owning a property, the Easter Camp Committee rents out a segment of a caravan park somewhere around the UK. There’s not really anything quite analogous in the USA, but basically all over the UK there are these facilities with a bunch of caravans which can hold 2-6 people per unit; there might be anywhere from 100-500 caravans, depending on the location. Anyhow, this year, Easter Camp was on the north coast of Wales. It was beautiful! I’d never been to Wales before, and it’s much hillier than I was expecting, and the people I met were fantastic.
Each day at Easter Camp, there are fun activities – hikes, exploring a nearby castle, or other similar things – and also a segment is set aside for discussion groups. So for example, I attended a group discussion about maintaining joy in our life, especially when things seem hard; or another group discussion on meeting inaccurate information about Christian Science in our daily lives. These are really wonderful and rich discussions. And while there are a number of similarities between the US & UK from a cultural perspective, there still are differences, and I’ve found such great opportunities to learn new ways to approach issues out of these discussions. Very similar to what happens during camp with the campers from all over the globe!
There was also a Christian Science lecture, Sunday Church and Sunday School services, and lots of fun evening events – including a fantastic barn dance – of course with a bit of a British flair, so it’s not quite the same as we do at CLC! But the whole week was very camp-like indeed!
In recent years, CLC has been getting 10-15 campers from the UK, and again this year we’ll be seeing a good group. They come from all over the country, and as mentioned above, they bring a richness to the CLC program with their own understanding and insights on their practice of Christian Science. This year at Easter Camp, it was fun to see a lot of families that have only been in Christian Science for a couple of years. In fact, we’ll be seeing a few campers from these relatively new CS families! They’re doing great work getting the word out about CS, and CLC is proud to be a part of their sphere of activity.
Have a great springtime! We’re finally getting some modestly warm weather here at CLC, the daffodils are poking up out of the soil (not blooming quiet yet, however!), and the spring migration of ducks who overnight on Crystal Lake on their way north has begun. It’s fun to see all the new growth around camp – several projects are underway and/or recently have wrapped up, and we’re glad to be welcoming our 70th summer of children from all over the world – including the UK! – to take part in another year of spiritual growth at CLC.
-Nathan Bowen, Executive Director