Thursday, June 4, 2015

On Being a Camp Kid

Another amazing and growth producing summer lays before our family... it all starts up on Monday!

I've never known mothering without camp-family-ing.

This past year I realized something.
Being a camp kid is a unique (little understood) childhood.
There are some big expectations that are placed upon camp children that are not always understood by onlookers or fellow staff who haven't had older children yet.

Here's the top 8 things my children want you to know about what it's like to be a Camp Kid in a Camp Family...
(I did ask them... but expounded on their thoughts a tad bit)

1... We absolutely LOVE our life and what we do! We know we are blessed to participate in what happens every summer at CBX. We look forward to it all year long and are sad to see it go when it's over! We are thankful for our home and where we get to live. Not many kids get to LIVE at camp! We enjoy serving at camp together and seeing kids grow and learn and heal! We LOOOOOVE the people we work with... Both full time staff and seasonal staff!!! They are our family and we cherish the special community we have with them. CAMP ROCKS!

2... We LIVE at camp. It is more our home than it is camp to us, even if it isn't suppose to be. Sometimes that means we struggle to know just when and how to switch our behavior based on varying situations. Every once in awhile we go crazy and draw on the walls or make a mess or even go in the kitchen when we know we shouldn't ... Because it's our home and not just a camp (or work environment) to us. 

3... We love the camp community, probably most of all! With community comes conflict and sometimes we are a part of it. We get sassy or short with an adult we know we normally should treat with respect, or we make a mess or put ourselves before others... Basically, we are sinners. We need grace, forgiveness and compassion. But, hey! With that, we are pretty skilled at extending that back to you when we are overlooked, treated/managed like a camper or when others are plain sinful to us! It's a sweet part of being in community!

4... At times we go through seasons of feeling like we are missing out. See, we are part of camp, but at the same time we really aren't. We aren't staff... We are too little to be included in many "staff" things. We aren't campers... And miss out on all the fun, even though we fully understand we do this thing for them! But we see everyone having SUCH a good time and we can't help but feel it stinks to not be a staff or a camper!!! Being a camp family can be a little lonely at times. 

5... Being a camp kid is SUPER tiring at times. We feel we have to be our very best all the time and like expectations of us are very high. Sometimes we've been kept up late the night before at staff meetings or Bible studies or campfires and some times we get up WAY too early for devos. Then again some time counsellors or staff feel the same way... Just wrung out! Please realize when the summer is challenging for adults, that it does the same thing to us... We are just littler and worse at coping with it. 

6... We feel like we own CBX... Not because we are entitled or bossy... but, quite honestly, because it's all we've ever known! We love this place! We are fiercely proud of it. Sometime our zeal for this place and what we know of it spills out and we feel like telling staff or campers where to go... Both literally and figuratively. We don't need to be put in our place, but we might need a gentle reminder that we have a place.

7... Sometimes there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Not the camp kitchen... But authorities in our life. Our mom and dad are the main people we take direction from, God designed family to function best that way! Our parents are believers in the idea that we should learn from other people besides them. We need to know that if we are doing something out of line that we will be held accountable, but we don't need to be over-managed by too many people. AWKWARD (as Addie would say). But things happen. If in doubt, go to mom... It is a win/win for us all because we are better corrected by our parents and you avoid any awkwardness of correcting us in a way that doesn't help us grow as the unique people we are!

8... Know we "get it". When we see someone struggling or hurting we stop and our family prays for them (for real... we do this!) We know that CBX campers have hard lives and that our staff struggle along side them. We are aware of the reality in which our campers and staff live ... even at our young age and it hurts us too! We've gotten to know campers, they are our friends, they return every year and we often know them longer than summer staff does. We question God and feel broken for them or wish we could make their lives better too! Know we understand this even though we are little, we get the depth of your struggle and hurt.

 We can't wait for another amazing summer!

We can't wait to get to know you, grow along side you and see the amazing things God does in and through you!

Thanks for hearing what it's like to be a camp kid in a camp family! 

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