A Letter from Senior Camp Director Nathan Bowen
I was recently reviewing the end-of-session evaluations and thank-you notes that we’ve seen from CLC’s summer 2015 campers. What a story they tell! To hear of the fun that was had, the stories shared; and lots and lots of healings.
One thematic thread that I saw through the comments was about how at Crystal Lake, the campers feel like they can be their ‘true’ self. And every time that concept (using whatever words the child employs) is shared, there is a clear connection to seeing themselves as innocent, pure, and good. The pernicious claims of guilt, being defiled, or ‘badness’ I think are ones we all have to work through to see the falsity of such suggestions. I’m so glad that our campers are readily and regularly seeing this as the real value of a Crystal Lake Camps experience — that they are seeing themselves as free and pure. Well, there simply isn’t a better gift anyone could give!
In thinking more deeply about this concept, I turned to Mrs. Eddy’s writings to hear what our Leader had to say on it. She’s incredibly helpful. In particular, I appreciate this passage from Miscellaneous Writings (pg. 18):
“ … thou shalt recognize thyself as God’s spiritual child only, and the true man and true woman, the all-harmonious “male and female,” as of spiritual origin, God’s reflection, — thus as children of one common Parent, — wherein and whereby Father, Mother, and child are the divine Principle and divine idea, even the divine “Us” — one in good, and good in One.
With this recognition man could never separate himself from good, God; and he would necessarily entertain habitual love for his fellow-man.”
What a fantastic way to consider a Crystal Lake Camp experience — where every community member is seeing themselves as part of the infinite One of God, good; and “habitual love for his fellow-man” is the daily activity of each camper and staff. Well, we certainly make a strong effort.
As you consider CLC for your family, friend, or Sunday School student for summer 2016, know that it is this exact idea we’re striving to bring to each day at camp. The activities — while fun — are just a tool for the campers and staff to express their ability to love their fellow man. We work our hardest to be sure this is the keystone to their camp experience. Camp shouldn’t just be about another fun experience in a community of Christian Scientists, but a place to really strive to put the lessons we’re each learning to a demonstration of our understanding.
Summer 2015 was tremendous. We saw a big jump in our enrollment, and a big increase in our international campers. We had strong programs, and — as the camper letters corroborate — lots of healing. This healing begins the moment you decide to have your child come to CLC — because even the demonstration of making camp affordable can be a notable demonstration. But each step along the way, we’re here to support and nurture the growth with you.
We look forward to another amazing summer up ‘on the mountaintop’ at Crystal Lake. We are grateful and blessed to have you join us.