So, a week ago this little church-going polytheistic witch found herself at church camp once again. All of the little traditions that make up the PHYO Conference didn't leave me feeling overwhelmed, like last year. I could even remember most of them. :)
So, what are 10 of the coolest things about being at camp?
10. Wireless Internet Connection - Yes, Camp Christian has internet in the admin office and the dining hall. And I took Mathilda along with me this year. I didn't get much work done, though, as a couple of us made our computers available for the kids to vote for Hiram Farm in the Pepsi Refresh Everything contest.
9. AC in the dining hall - This was the saving grace this year. I'm not sure I'd have done as well as I did with the heat if it weren't for being able to spend some free time, as well as class time, in here.
8. Adirondak Chairs - There are two huge circles of these on the main part of the campus and they are a truly great place to hang out and get to know everyone. PHYO is such a small conference that most of the kids get to know most of the other kids and there aren't really the cliques you get with a larger group. Everyone is okay hanging out with everyone else, regardless of where they might be on the social food chain back at school.
7. Spiritual Journaling Workshop - The kids who took my workshop this year apparently really liked it and have requested it again next year. Made me feel great for having tried something new.
6. Singing - Yes, the songs at breakfast and lunch are silly, but they're fun. And the more serious songs at dinner are beautiful. And the singing is absolutely beautiful. Many of these kids are in choirs and choruses back at home and you can tell. "Sanctuary" gives me goose bumps and it's not the only song to do so.
5. Sacred Space - You know the moment you pull past the camp's sign that you are somewhere special. The land definitly belongs to God and you can feel it in the energy of the place.
4. Camp Traditions - There are too many to even begin with, which can make it hard on newcomers - campers and counselors alike - but the more experienced kids are great at letting you know what's going on. And, well, the Order of the Fork just rocks.
3. Gospel of John class - The cirruculum I got to team teach this year dealt with the Gospel of John. We had some great discussion and well, I got to show Rowan Atkinson's "Amazing Jesus" sketch. How much cooler could it get?
2. Adults - I have no idea who some of these folks are out in the "real world", but here at camp they are so much fun to interact with. And to know that some of them were so glad I came back makes it even better. Camp is wonderful for everyone's self-esteem. :) And yes Chad, OU is a real school. Sorry the hills scare you.
1. The Kids - The reason I went back this year, aside from the fact that last year was a blast, was because of the kids. Before the week was up last year, several of them were asking me back this year. And they meant it. I had to ladies in my cabin this year that had been in my cabin last year and it was wonderful to see them. It was their last year at PHYO, as they both graduated this year, so that made it extra special.
Bonus: PHYO Love - This shouldn't need explanation after the above list, but I've certainly been going withdrawl from all that unconditional outpouring of affection.
My kids love camp as well, although they both still go to the younger camps, but all too soon they'll be at PHYO and I think they're looking forward to it. And since Monkey Girl has already been at camp this year, we had stuff to talk about.
So, there you go. And that's only a partial list of what makes camp so cool. I'm not sure I could even begin to catalog all the little traditions that make camp so very special. Every kid should have a place to go to where they can completely be themselves without worrying about what their friends - or in some cases, family - think. I'm so glad Camp Christian exsists and that my dear friend, Rev. D, talked me into giving it a try last year.