Youth Camp Summer 2019 has officially ended, but we are so blessed to have shared it with all the wonderful and spiritually minded campers who came and hung out with us this summer! Though the actual sessions have come to an end, the memories will live on for quite some time, as will the friendships and lessons we all learned.
The banquet theme for Third Session was Monster’s Inc. and the banquet committee and our Arts & Crafts Director Margie did a fabulous job of bringing Monster’s Incorporated to life, along with some of the characters we’ve all come to know and love – Sully, Mike Wazowski, and even Raz, our favorite straight-faced receptionist.
We had doors hanging from the ceiling, monsters as our center pieces, and paper and crayons at every table as the number of monsters decorating the walls continued to grow.
Seneca and Wahalla were the winners of this session’s Cabin Excellence award for their impeccable job cleaning their cabin and expressing cabin unity and harmony within the camp. And, in a big twist of events, the Turtles won the clan award for the summer!
I’m a Turtle, so right now off the bat I’m just going to say that I’m biased, BUT the Turtles are usually solid fourth place. Consistency is key, and we are happy with where we are every summer. We work hard, but we’re pretty small. But small and mighty this summer seemed to persevere and somehow we triumphed to win the clan award for Summer 2019! The clans were all within five points of one another though, extremely close in the ranks, with the Turkeys coming in second, Wolves in third, and Bears in fourth.
It was a wonderful and bittersweet end to the summer. The banquet was such fun with games and activities to keep everyone active – monster blob tag being the biggest of the successes – and a gorgeous sunset that faded into a calm evening.
The kitchen served up a colorful meal of pasta, fruit and vegetables that had our plates looking like the crazy color combinations you would find on the collection of bedroom doors at Monster’s Inc. and ended with some monstrously good cookies. So good, in fact, that everyone was able to get two.
We all gathered after our meal for the slideshow, recapping highlights from the session through photographs the campers got to see for the first time, and then talked about the alumni board and the pins and lanyards each camper gets every year they attend camp. Each camper on their first year receives a Crystal Lake lanyard that they get to put their pins on. Then every year a camper comes back to camp, they receive another pin representing their next year.
As the sun set and the night appeared, we all finished our festivities in Alford Hall by singing One Little Candle, a tradition that includes singing the song and quietly carrying a candle from Alford Hall to the Lodge. Everyone gets their candle at Alford Hall and holds it, unlit, as we walk down the camp road in the dark two-by-two led by our Head Counselors. Once we arrive at the Lodge, all the candles are lit and then placed along the ledge of the back porch of the lodge.
We all stand on the waterfront then, singing One Little Candle and then the traditional song from CLC – Symbol of Serenity. The lights from the candles flicker in front of us, lighting up the Lodge, and we all stand reflecting on the summer we’ve just experienced.
The song asks what life could be like if we all just lit one little candle, and how bright the world would be if we consciously and continuously shone our God-given light. The song reminds us that it is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark. And it’s not some great difficulty to light a candle – simply a tiny spark. Sometimes during the year it can feel like we are stumbling in the dark during our day-to-day activities.
But when we feel overwhelmed, just remember how easy it is to light a candle, to turn to God, and remember that the light we are searching for has always been right there within us shining brightly. Once we capture that light and implement it throughout our daily life, reflecting God in all aspects of our day, our day will become significantly brighter. And it won’t just be our day that lightens once we ignite the spark within us, but also those around us. How easy it is to influence someone else’s day for the better just by smiling and keeping a good thought.
As the song ends, what a bright world that would be, and what a strong influence we have as Christian Scientists to be able to carry that light for ourselves and others.
Campers have since left, and we are prepping now for our Family Camp, which will start on Monday. We are eternally grateful for every single camper and staff member that blessed this summer with their presence, smiles, metaphysical support, and friendship! How wild that it seems only moments ago all the staff were arriving for staff training, and now we’ve all been together for at least two months.
If you’d like to relive any of this summer’s memories, all the photos from each session have been uploaded to our SmugMug account, which can be found on our website. We will be posting continual updates of our time here at Family Camp on our Instagram and Facebook, and if you go to our YouTube, you’ll find the slideshows from Session 1, 2, and 3 all uploaded for you to watch as many times as you’d like!
Thanks for another great summer!
Social Media Director/Camp Photographer