Camp Life Through My Eyes
By CBM National Intern, Ada Wimer
CBM’s Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go in Watauga, TN has come alive with the sounds of kids playing together, worshipping God, and eating lots of delicious food. It has been awesome to hear the stories of how God is working in the kids’ lives. On Thursday nights, we finish the evening with a campfire and testimony time. During Teen Week, a lot of the campers shared how God had been working in their lives that week. Some shared that they realized their addiction to electronics and saw how it got in the way of their relationshipswith God. Others shared how they were encouraged to be more bold about sharing the gospel with their friends. And still others shared how they were encouraged to grow in their relationship with God. There is something about being surrounded by nature and fellow Christians, separated from your cellphone and TV, that reminds you what is really important in life: knowing God and worshipping Him. Sometimes during evening chapel, I will stop singing and just listen to all the young voices praising God. It makes me smile and I know that it makes God smile too.
If I’ve just made camp life sound perfect, it’s not. It’s a lot of hard work. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. I’m in charge of the junior staff, which means I am the leader of about 8 teen girls. We do all the dishes in the kitchen, serve food, set up the dining hall, run the snack shop, and clean the chapel, gym, and bathrooms every day. We get hot, sweaty, and tired. Some nights we don’t finish cleaning until after everyone has gone to their cabins. But we also have fun times together. When we are exhausted, we go to our cabin and laugh till our stomachs hurt.
All the work is worth it. If even one person comes to know Christ or is encouraged in their walk with God because our work kept the camp a nice atmosphere, it is worth it. Sometimes we can romanticize ministry and imagine that it is doing big, noticeable things. Really, it’s about serving others and doing the best we can for the glory of God, even if that means scrubbing toilets or washing piles of dishes with a good attitude. The junior staff doesn’t have a lot of time to reach out to campers directly, but we do have the wonderful opportunity to be an example in how we work with a good attitude, encourage each other, and do a good job. We’ve been studying James together and at the end of chapter 1, it talks about living out what we believe. It can be easy to say all the right things, but not to act upon those things. If we do that, we are being hypocrites. This summer, we get to live out our faith by our actions since we don’t have a lot of time to just sit down and directly share the gospel.
It’s exciting to see what God is going to do the rest of this summer. He is a Changer of hearts and He is doing great things here at Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go.
‘Til next time,