So I told myself when my son starts being able to go to camp, I will help out. 2014 marks the first year.
Being new to the camp, there were many things to learn. It was a good thing I had great team members.
It seemed there were a lot to ready myself with initially. It was kind of overwhelming at times. But things started to fall into place, and into perspective.
I think what I loved most preparing for the camp was the total reliance on God. It felt good to feel the heart of God and follow His prompting.
As it is I am not an overly excitable person. And most times I feel that events like this require me to be excited and eager and loud - if for no other reason than to make the kids excited and eager and respond. But I realize that there are others who worked alongside me who were not like that. Some were doing work quietly and some motivated personally. Is it a group leader thing that I placed myself in such a role? If I were a helper instead, would I have reacted differently to the situations in the camp? In fact looking back at the videos in the camp, I wonder who that person that looks like me is?
Talking to kids I don't know on the first day was also tough for me. It was exhausting trying to coax them to talk and tell us their darkest deepest secrets. And being the private person that I am, I found it tough to keep the group talking and excited about topics of interest. I rather prefer the quite times with individual kids praying for them and getting them brave enough to pray for me. It's a wonder that as a kid grows, their ability to pray out loud diminishes if not prompted continuously by their parents and teachers. This was a lesson to me to always give my kids the courage to pray out loud in a group.
Son fell sick 2nd day of the camp. Which made me feel sad because there is a different kind of bond that is developed when you 'play' with your son in a church camp. The setting is formal and you see the way he interacts with his peers and group leaders. And you see that social part of him that emerging right before your eyes. It was touching to a mother seeing her son in a different light.
At the end of the camp, I did feel a little sad. Partly because I know the stories of my kids and feel sad that I cannot follow up further. Partly also when you have pushed yourself to the high, coming back down to the middle ground takes another round of effort. After surviving the camp, teaching, being teacher in charge and even organizing Easter and Field Trips ain't that hard. Perhaps because the people I need to be involved with are a great bunch. Working with any other people I don't know still seems a far off ability.