So I left the blog and spent some time cutting up a huge hackberry log that's over 2 feet in diameter. You might be tempted to think you couldn't do this with a 16 inch chainsaw. It is actually a lot easier than you would think even considering the chainsaw people tell you not to do it; they hint that you will die or chop off your arm or something. But I managed to do it without hurting myself. That's always a plus when you're having fun. Then Beaven started up the tractor and started dragging the biggest log over the creek but the log fell off the path and went wandering off on its own, and finally fell into the creek. So we're kind of at a standstill. After a while standing there staring into the creek and scratching our heads, we deciding that if it rains enough the creek will rise, floating the log into the pond and he can hook it up to the tractor again and continue dragging it out into the field. That is the plan. We'll see what actually happens.
Beaven and I went to Youthquake at Camp Gilmont last weekend and that is usually good for some excitement or insights. But, for once, everything went as planned--I didn't even have the traditional midnight emergency. No stomach aches, sore throats, asthma attacks or compound fractures like Kevin Ware had. It was just a calm and fun time.
Saturday afternoon we did a service project that was kind of fun. About 75 kids crammed into the dining hall and spent an hour or so making clay bowls. After the bowls dry for a week or so, another group will come behind us to paint and glaze them. Then the camp will fire the bowls in their kiln and take them to an Empty Bowls fund raiser. It's a cool organization. Check them out here: www.emptybowls.net
Then the kids ran around for another couple of hours and we had skits and a campfire and S'mores and some songs and vespers and then woke up and had more songs. Then something really wonderful happened.
First, let me remind you that the spring youthquakes are led by PULSE (it's an acronym for something-- I can't remember what). The Pulse kids are all high school kids who have been through an extensive leadership training program.. So we had middle schoolers being led for the weekend by high schoolers. The only adult appearing to remotely be in charge of anything was the keynote speaker and she was only in charge of what she said and sometimes her microphone. It was a youth event, for youth and led by youth. I have long since stopped being amazed by this but other people might be.
At worship on Sunday morning we were singing Kyrie Eleison, which is a song most of the kids are familiar with and sing back home at their own church. At the end of the song the band stopped playing and the kids continued a Capella and it was just the most amazingly pure sound. And at that point my camera ran out of memory. I'll give you that short clip but it cuts off before you're ready. Sorry.
I told you it cuts off too soon. But it gives you an idea of how sometimes even most energetic of our children can be still and give their hearts, their worries and their love to God.
And that is why I love going to Camp Gilmont. God is there. Sometimes in the trees and sometimes inside the campers. You just have to watch and pay attention.
Friday afternoon, just before we left for camp, the mailman brought Beaven and I a note that a couple of friends had made a donation to Camp Gilmont in our honor. And we were both blown away. We don't often get things done in our honor. And it certainly beats something done in memory of us. So that's a good feeling and I will send them a nice thank you note. But even better than the honor was the realization that Someone Out There GETS IT. Kids need camp. They need these weekend retreats and they need to go away for a week in the summer. And people need to help support camps in whatever way they can.
Getting It means you understand what happens at camp. Kids need to be away from their routine sometimes. Some kids need this more than others: to get away from the city, sometimes from a bad situation at home, sometimes from a pressurized atmosphere. The fund my friends sent money to will help send some of the inner-city kids to Gilmont this summer. These kids need a place to see things you don't see in an urban setting like a frog or a fish or a creek.
Even kids with great homes and famlies need to get away sometimes.It's part of growing up to know there's no one around to help you find your socks in the morning. Everyone needs to spend a little time around a campfire, to roast a marshmallow or hot dog or to just watch the flames in quiet.
Beaven and I appreciate people who Get It more than we could say in a Thank You note.
Camp Gilmont is about to have a new way people can support the camp. We're starting a volunteer program called FROGS, an acronym for FRiends Of Gilmont.. We will give folks a way to support the camp in a multitude of ways. We will be offering the Frogs a hands-on chance to help the camp with projects like painting a door or building new shower benches or just being an ambassador at outside events. We will specialize in modest financial donations (though we will take the big money). And most importantly, we'll have a cadre of prayer warriors who will pray for the camp. If there is a way for someone to help the camp we will offer it.
Our first outing as Frogs will be May 18 working at the Camp Gilmont Jamboree. We'll need people to help with the greeting, cooking, archery, mountain biking and Tie Dying. Come out to the camp and have fun with us as we introduce the camp to the East Texas community..
The Frogs program is still developing. Let me know if you have opinions or ideas. Be one of our First Frogs. Send me an email and I'll sign you up!! firstname.lastname@example.org