A Letter from Executive Director, Nathan Bowen
Crystal Lake Camps’ 2019 Metaphysical Theme
…with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3 with)
…rise to the true consciousness of Life as Love, –as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of the Spirit. (SH 391: 30 rise)
The manner in which the two passages of our metaphysical theme work together has been a source of great inspiration for me this winter. Isaiah’s description of drawing water from a well dovetails quite nicely with Mrs. Eddy’s idea of ‘rising to true consciousness’ – the act of drawing our salvation from the well is the act of raising our consciousness to true Life as Love! Although that wasn’t the reason we chose the passages, what a remarkable way to think about a camp experience.
At CLC, our primary goal is to be sure campers and staff are working to put God, through their practice of Christian Science, first. We continue to offer fun, safe, and adventuresome activities for campers of all ages; these are all done with the specific goal of allowing each child to learn more of what it is to exist as a reflected idea of divine Mind.
And so in that, one of the great things camp helps us all to see – camper, staff, and family – is how our individual salvation really is possible, and furthermore, that we are conscious and cognizant of it. The mortal experience all too often tries to argue that salvation is unattainable, that we’re too flawed to deserve it, or that it frankly is just an out-of-date idea that doesn’t have applicability in our modern day thinking and living. But as we draw from the well of salvation, so to speak, we begin to see how false those beliefs are. Salvation is, in fact, a current and applicable idea for all of us, and one we all deserve – and can achieve!
So how does a Crystal Lake experience deliver on that? There are three primary ways I can see:
- Offering each child a chance to participate with peers in challenging situations. This naturally opens the door for each child to offer a helping hand. And when we offer a helping hand, we’re putting into practice Mrs. Eddy’s statement that “…love is reflected in Love” (see Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer from Science and Health pg. 17). Seeing divine Love in action necessarily opens our eyes to a larger understanding of how much Love is and/or can be functional to make us better people – that, in a manner of speaking, is salvation in action.
- Putting campers and staff in daily contact with experienced, caring, and knowledgeable Christian Scientists who can attest to the practicality and applicability of salvation. Whether it’s the camp Practitioner, Camp Parent, members of the CLC administrative team, or other experienced community members – our smaller program size makes these people easy to connect with, and done so that these more mature members are seeing and know when they can step in to support a camper in their life in such ways.
- Our programming marries a solid and caring Christian Science foundation with the fun and easy-going activities of camp in such a natural way that campers easily and naturally see that salvation is part of a balanced life that is neither all about quiet studying, nor just all goofing off – essentially, that salvation comes neither by being a recluse, nor through an entitled sense of destiny. Campers relish having relationships with a peer or counselor who they can both a) have an amazing time boating on the lake with, but also b) sit and talk and pray together when they want to find help with something they may be challenged with – whether it’s something that happened that day, an issue at home or school, or just a question they’re pondering and want guidance on how to understand the idea more fully. Inspiration, as we know, can come from moments of deep communing with God in prayer, but can also come at other times through expressions of joy and enthusiasm. And marrying the two into a full, rich life is what Crystal Lake truly excels at providing.
So – won’t you join us this summer in considering these ideas and supporting through your prayer and your own life that salvation is available to us here and now? We’d love to hear your experience and how your exposure to Crystal Lake – whether as a camper, staff, parent, alumni, or an interested community member – has enriched your life through inspiring your own daily efforts to put this concept into demonstrable action!
With great love and appreciation for you all –
Nathan R. Bowen