As the elementary children began to enter the building this past Monday, you could feel the excitement begin to fill the room. They have been eagerly awaiting this day all summer long. The anticipation of going to camp has filled their hearts and the day has finally arrived.
Our middle school and high school youth have already had their week of camp. Their anticipation and excitement of going to camp has already been fulfilled. It is funny how each week of camp is almost the same, yet different based on the age group going. During our high school week, most of them have already been to camp before. They are more excited about getting out of town and anticipate who their counselors will be this year. Our middle schoolers are a mixture of returning campers and new campers. But even if they are returning campers, some of them are ‘new’ campers because it is their first time to go to camp as a ‘middle schooler’. Each camp has their own special attributes. But elementary camp, there is just something extra special about it. Their excitement and anticipation is refreshing and energizing.
Have you ever thought how time and experience takes away some of our ‘anticipation’ of life? As sponsors and chaperones, the van ride is always one of our favorite parts of camp. We love the conversations we have, the laughs we share and the twenty million questions along the way. During this time is when we notice the difference in the children and their anticipation of the experience that awaits them. For our first time campers, the van ride is filled with something new. Some of them have not traveled so far away from home. Some have never been away from home for more than one or two nights. As we travel down the road, they are the ones that ask the ever famous question over and over again, “Are we there yet?” The campers who have been to camp before, already know the ropes. They play the scavenger games we provide, but soon settle in with their pillows and try to get a little sleep. They already know it will be a long drive. They may not have the same anticipation as the new camper, but they have the anticipation and excitement of knowing they are returning to a place that filled them with love and joy the summer before. Their conversation is usually filled with, “I wonder if ‘so-and-so’ will be there this year” or “I remember last year when we ……..” No matter what, the van ride is always filled with wonder and expectations.
Then we see it. The Camp of the Hills sign! We have arrived! Excitement, nervousness, anticipation, fear. All of these emotions begin to flow in each one of the campers. As an adult, do you remember a time that all these emotions filled you? It seems as we get older, these feelings get fewer and fewer. But take heart! You can still experience these emotions, if you allow yourself to truly experience God’s goodness each and every day. The children will be waking up this morning, not in their own beds, but at camp. Their anticipation and excitement of actually getting to camp is over. But it is a new day. As they wake up, a new day of excitement and wonder begin. A day where they will experience God’s love being poured out onto them. The questions begin right away, “What do we get to do today?” As you wake up, you may not be at camp. But it is a day where God is ready to pour his love over you. So you too, can be filled with anticipation and be eager to start your day. Ask God the question, “what do we get to do today?’ GET EXCITED, because today is the day the Lord has made. OUR KIDS ARE!