20th – 26th August 2018
When I was a child I used to go to a kids camp every year. It was always so much fun. The days were action packed and I was always so excited to go.
We would take part in many sports activities, we would meet new friends from other churches and we would attend the meetings. I always remember them being very exciting but we would also hear from God. I remember it was at one of these camps that I became a Christian. They had quite an impact on me.
These camps are still running all these years later. It’s a different venue but everything else is the same. I really wanted my youngest son, Jake, to go so we got a few kids from the church and we went. There were 12 kids and only 2 leaders – me being one of them.
Before I went I was a bit nervous as I was responsible for so many kids. What if something happened? What if I didn’t have the energy to keep going all week? I imagined that I was going to have kids hanging off me wanting something all the time.
However the reality was so different – those kids were amazing. We had no major issues and no kids crying because they were missing home. They got stuck in with every activity and they had a brilliant week.
For me it was like I took a step back in time to some of my fondest memories. Some of the kids I met when I was on kids camp were there now as leaders themselves. I had kept in touch over the years but it was great to see them in that environment again.
It was slightly different for me though because I had never been as a leader before – I had only ever been as a child. So I wasn’t prepared for how busy I was actually going to be. I did however rise to the challenge and I got stuck in with everything.
I even ended up on stage at one point to do the floss. (a dance move all the kids seem to be doing). I couldn’t believe it. I actually won, winning points for our team. I became ultra competitive that week but I had so much fun.
I kept going the whole week doing activity after activity, running here there and everywhere. In June I did a half marathon but this week I felt I did one everyday!
I think it was the busiest week I have ever had in my life but it was also the most fun. I kept thinking that a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have been able to handle that kind of pace and I definitely wouldn’t have ever considered going let alone lead a group of children.
I have left that camp with the same feeling I did as a kid – excited for next year. I leave feeling privileged that I got to know those 12 amazing children better. I have also left happy that I had the energy to keep up with them which is definitely something new for me.
This journey I have been down is still showing its rewards and this week it’s been a big one.