This week's word is Aloha! All the way back in Week 1, we used Aloha to talk about radical hospitality and how each of us are welcomed here at camp. Now in Week 7, Camp Outrageous, the last week of the summer, Aloha is also a benediction. A benediction is a moment to name the blessing we have received and our intent to share it.
Our Scripture for this week is John 14:25-27. Jesus says, "All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
This passage is both overwhelming and comforting. There is still so much to be learned. Our process of learning and growing and loving never ends. However, we do not go through this journey alone. We have the promise of something more, a guide and a friend who will be with us always, and nothing in heaven or on earth can separate us from the love of our God.
This week's passage is particularly meaningful not just for our campers, but also for our staff, as we will soon be saying goodbye and leaving Spring Heights. However, we are blessed to have ways to communicate and be present with each other, even if we cannot be physically together. The friends we make at Spring Heights are so special. On a personal note, it was amazing for me to come back to camp for a summer and work with people I knew when I was a camper, as well as people I would never have met if I had chosen not to work at camp.
As an Aloha community, gathered and blessed, we carry the heart of each other as we go with a promise that a warm welcome awaits upon our next meeting or upon our return. In our Aloha community, we all belong, no matter where we may travel - no matter where the Spirit might lead. The same Spirit that called and gathered us, the same Spirit that wove us together, now calls and leads us outward into the world to teach us all things and share love with all people.
I especially want to thank the writer of our curriculum this summer, Rev. Lisa McKee, who inspired this blog. Much of this blog has only been possible through her hard work and the quality of her writing. Our campers have received amazing, life-changing lessons because of Lisa. Thank you!
This week was Camp Outrageous, which is similar to Fourth Fest. Campers choose a club that meets for two hours every day that they care about. This year we had a Newspaper Club, Challenge Course Club, Horse Club, Crafts Club, Water Club, Drama Club, and Fitness Club. Campers also got to choose many of their daily activities, such as archery, crafts, sports and games, farm time, and log roll. We also made this camp outrageous with activities like tie-dye, formal dinner, and fireworks!
Our Newspaper Club published a newspaper every day of camp. Read all about it here!
May the God who brought us together send us out to bring peace to our families, friends, churches, communities, and our world. Amen!
Check out our end-of-week slideshow here!