November 14, 2010

Reflections From Bayside 3/3

Saturday Night- The night was taken up with a night game; which are always fun. This was a sort of find the item, avoid the bad guys kind of stealth game. My role was to hide with an item.

As I was walking to my designated hiding spot I encountered a porcupine. He saw me before I saw him, and started to work his way up a tree. I suggested he find a better hiding spot since the area was about to be filled with night gamers. He opted to ignore my advice.

The game was fun, all be it cold. Along with getting some fresh air I got a chance to talk with a few campers more.

There are a lot of sad stories and hurt being carried around by people so young. It's times like this that I am reminded of why I do what I do.

One camper called Bayside 'the place they could be who they really are'. I can't think of a more noble goal than to be able to be that place for someone.

Bayside, keep up the good work.

Sunday Morning- It felt like another early morning. I'm not sure why. I got up and went to bed about the same time I normally would. Oh well, maybe I'm too old to camp.

Breakfast was a welcome event. They had the coffee on for me. We chowed down on bacon, eggs, cheesy hash-browns, which I would recommend to anyone before an hour long hike.

Getting all the teens together to head off took about 30 minutes longer than we thought it would. Not the best start. The trip went well. We had the normal amount of annoyances you'd expect by taking 40+ teens with a mixture of urban and rural backgrounds on a 30 minute hike each way. Lots of running a head, sore legs and plenty "are we there yet's".

The destination was worth the walk. The woods opened to what had been an old hunting cabin. A little further was a bank and a flat clearing. From the bank there was a picture perfect view of the lake. When I went out there yesterday I knew I needed to adjust and work in the Sermon on the Mount.

Standing up on the hill speaking had a surreal feeling to it. Most of the talk was from the Sermon on the Mount. The goal was simple. Give them words for what they were feeling, that the living a Christian life in Jr High was going to be hard. We talked about forgiveness, turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile, not judging, and being blessed for a whole bunch of stuff I rather not be.

They got it.

But the point wasn't to scare them; it was to get the to the point of asking the 'how' question. How are we supposed to do all this? Then we read about Jesus going into quiet places to pray. Places like we were in. Places were the demands of the world seemed a little further away.

I invited them to make here that place. For seven minutes give or take most of them were quiet. Most of them were still, most of them stopped and soaked in God's goodness, his love and his provision.

We finished the activity by coming back together for communion. This was the icing on the cake. The last piece of the puzzle so to speak. A reminder that we are not in this alone. Christ died to save us, but he also united us. We are all part of one body, under one Lord, with one mission.

I suspect some of the councilors will have some Facebook friend requests to deal with later today.

Soon it will be lunch, then everyone will begin the trip home. I'll be glad to get back home and see my family. As everyone else gets home, happy to see their families, their tv's and computers I hope and pray something of this weekend will stick for someone.

I think it will.

Get Ready, Adventure Awaits