Oh Discipleship Camp, lovingly referred to as d-camp.
Where should I even start?
So much could be said about the 6 days of being at camp with over 100 middle school students during one of the hottest Junes ever recorded in the history of this fine state of Arkansas.
Really, the amount of material is overwhelming.
I could tell you that we made middle school students memorize and recite a fairly hefty passage of scripture in order to come, thinking that this would drive the numbers down and we would not take as many kids as the year before. And then tell you how this strategy did not work, how they rose to the occasion and we actually took more kids than the year before.
I could talk about how every night I was so tired but could not fall asleep because of the sticky heat, how I would lie awake in my bed at night and listen to girls whisper as I prayed for all the people in the world who endure heat, humidity and bugs as part of their normal existence, and without the hope of an air-conditioned home at the end of the tunnel of six sleepless nights.
The topic of bugs alone could sustain a couple of pages. Girls having contests and counting their bug bites to see who had the most.
I could talk about how horrifyingly mean girls are capable of being to one another.
I could probably fill four pages detailing what I think is and is not appropriate church camp wear. Especially for girls. (But then Taido would say to me, as he did at camp, Alison, you don’t want to be that mom.)
I could tell a story of sneaking away for a couple of hours to the gorgeous Ozark wedding of some precious friends. And of running into a dear old friend while there.
I could talk about how every time I heard Taido get up and speak to these kids, I knew that this is absolutely, positively what he should be doing because he is so great at it!
I could write about Ben tagging along and living life large, participating in everything with every part of his being, until Taido would drag him off kicking and screaming to bed.
I could talk about watching Cole as the older kid and Mary Polly as the younger, how they experienced camp so differently from one another, but yet both loved it.
I could describe seeing Norhaine in the kitchen all week, surrounded and dearly loved by the kitchen crew, getting up at 5 am and working so hard to make meal after meal for so many kids.
I could pour out my regret about how much I moaned and complained (heat, bugs, heat, too many kids, heat, overcrowded bedrooms, heat…) and how the only way for me to have survived this camp with grace was to completely rely on a strength not my own, and how I short-circuited that Power by whining instead of trusting.
Material for months, I tell you.
But the story I really want to tell, the story on my heart that has eluded my pen for weeks since its occurrence, is…
The Story of The Hike.
I’m going to take my best stab at it.