Caption: Youth at Camp Claggett – Middle School Week, 2019
Photo credit: Camp Claggett and Mildred Reyes
A few weeks ago, in the midst of 268 acres, with stunning views of the Sugarloaf Mountains and the Monocacy River, I attended Camp Claggett – Middle School Week for the first time as an adult volunteer. To my surprise, just like many first-time campers, I too experienced a sense of nervousness, curiosity, shyness, and excitement. As we kicked off our week at Claggett by welcoming campers and their families, I was thrilled to see friends reunite, new friendships begin, and all of us try eagerly to figure out what our next steps would be.
This year’s theme was Holy Ground. And just as Moses experienced standing on holy ground by going barefoot (Acts 7:33), at different moments throughout the week, I also would take off my sandals where I stood. Not because of the scenery that surrounded me, or the zip line course, or the games and workshops, or any of the other activities planned and executed, but because God was clearly present–in the campers, the amazing camp counselors, directors, chaplain and volunteers. As I participated in the small group discussions, I was awed again and again by the purity and sensitivity of the faith conversations we shared. Each served as a reminder for me to breathe deeply and allow myself to experience God’s spirit among all who were present.
In the joy of experiencing holy ground, many campers taught me valuable lessons that I cherish in my heart. They were not shy to teach an adult a thing or two about friendship bracelets, games, art, and most importantly–faith. In particular, I was struck by one veteran camper of seven years who expressed the reason for his repeated attendance at Camp Claggett is because it allows him to breathe.
Imagine if we took the necessary time from the constant busyness of this world, to allow ourselves to breathe–how would that impact our lives and how would we experience God’s presence on holy ground?
Missioner for Formation