For Ladies …Christian Youth Camp

Pat Jones

The year was 1998. Church camp was over for the summer, except at our house. The boys were already looking forward to the next year. Often, I would have to take a deep breath to keep from exploding from their incomprehensible chatter, but I could think of nothing that made me happier than knowing they had enjoyed Bible class, camp fire, making new friends, and the many other activities that had taken place at camp.

Years later, when both my sons were living in Tennessee, the thing they missed the most was church camp. After they recently moved back to the beautiful mountain state, camp was even more exciting now that my daughter-in-law was able to join in the fun. Once again, I experienced the incomprehensible chatter that follows the summer at camp.

When I think back to the beginning of our family’s camp experience, it was not always such a sure thing. At the age of 8, my oldest son decided it was time for him to become a camper. I remember putting the linens on his bed and making sure he remembered his matching outfits. As I left the campgrounds, I told myself this would be a wonderful learning experience. He would be able to claim a newfound independence away from his family.

Beginning the long trip home, however, I began to wonder if I had invested enough time and love with him through his earlier years. It is not easy being a mother and questioning the decision you just made for your child. Then I thought of the account of Eunice and Lois. They taught Timothy the scriptures from a child (2 Timothy 3:15). Paul wrote of Timothy’s unfeigned faith that dwelt first in his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). I let my son stay at church camp for one week knowing that a few tricks and jokes might come his way. Eunice, on the other hand, let her son travel with Paul and the other missionaries, knowing he would suffer persecutions and afflictions. I continued to wonder if those early years of teaching and attention to Bible study would prepare him for the really important things in life.

At the end of the week, I pulled into the camp parking lot not knowing what was awaiting me. Here came a little boy – with a huge load of filthy clothing – reluctantly leaving his friends. After jabbering the entire way home, I realized he was ensnared with the camp experience “hook, line, and sinker.”

As a mother who gained such comforting advice from Eunice, I would suggest using that same advice to encourage your children to attend Christian youth camp as well. Perhaps they will also be caught “hook, line, and sinker” during the 2009 experience. -Route 1, Box 109-A, Rivesville, WV 25688.

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