Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stepping Back ... Summer Camp

One of the highlights of my childhood was summer camp.  Last week I had a chance to give two of my granddaughters a similar experience and I'm happy to say they loved it.  Our church rented out an old camp. A group of our college students went up a day early, cleaned, and then ran the program. The only thing they didn't do was the cooking.  I worked in the kitchen, giving me a unique opportunity to be a 'fly on the wall' and be around  for K & K, who didn't know anyone there when we arrived.
It was like stepping back in time.  The property was given to a church in the early 1900s.  The church is required to maintain it as a camp, or it reverts to the descendants of the family who donated it. Times are tough and the little church doesn't have a lot of money to put into upgrading the facilities.

The structure of the old kitchen/dining hall is in jeopardy, and campers were not allowed inside.  We cooked and served from another building.  
Can you imagine the number of meals that were served here over the decades?
And the clatter of the old ironstone dishes being stacked after a meal?

Little cottages are scattered about the wooded grounds.
This is the ceiling of the old chapel.
From 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. the campers were busy.  Workouts, breakfast, chapel, electives, lunch, more electives, free time, snack shack, dinner, chapel, campfires, devos....  Electives included crafts, cooking class, kayaking, target shooting, games, drama class, newspaper class, first aid, survival class, fishing, and more. 
Between mealtimes, I had the chance to wander around and observe.  It was hot and humid the entire time, with no air conditioning anywhere. Yet the counselors and leaders were kind and patient, a living example of God's love for these children.  Here, K & K are shooting BB guns for the first time. It was hilarious...these city girls had absolutely no clue, but both managed to ding some cans with a little help.
I had hoped to be up for sunrise over the lake one morning, but didn't quite make it. 
There's something about a quiet lake early in the morning... peaceful
It wasn't long before the campers were up and the silence was replaced with happy chatter.  
It was such a treat to recapture the flavor of my childhood, and share it with K & K.  They had a great time and made many new friends; I hope that they'll look back on camp week as fondly as I do!

Did you ever go to summer camp?


  1. I went to summer camp and more recently was a camp RN. It was great fun but hard work as teenagers never ever sleep and put snakes on my desk! Your kiddos will fondly remember this camp and I am so glad you got to cook. I love the clothesline image.

  2. I love this post. The pictures are beautiful. I would love to go to camp there! I went to church camp as a child and loved it. I think you had to be 8 yrs old before you could go and that age just took FOREVER! Even now, when I smell the scent of dried pine needles damp with morning dew, I think of Camp Cherokee in the heartlands of southeast Tennessee. Thanks for the memory boost. I'm glad I saw your comment on a blog I was reading earlier. Now I have a new blog friend to stalk/follow.

  3. Sounds like some great memories!


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