Sunday, July 20, 2014

Who needs a toothbrush at camp?

 Saturday the whole family gathered at my Aunt Linda's lake house.

 My cousin Brad was such a good sport.  He took the boys on an endless number of jet ski rides and tube trips.

Does this make anyone else a little nervous?  Just a mere 11 years until he is a legal driver.

Daredevil Cooper was in heaven!


Uncle Matt took turns at the wheel.

Sibling style!

 My mother, a closet daredevil, took part in the action too.

We ended the day by celebrating Uncle Matt's birthday.  Cooper Matthew, named after Uncle Matt, helped his uncle with the candles.  

On Friday the boy returned from camp.  I was greeted at the door with a suitcase filled with dirty laundry, tired kids, and endless amounts of stories.

The boys gushed about camp favorites: the "gusher" waterside, s'mores devoured by the fire, and silly camp sing-a-longs.  The snack bar was mentioned more than once.  In the life of a little boy, it doesn't get much better than holding $5 while eyeing a rack full of candy bars.

I asked Cooper what monumental purchases he made at the snack bar.  He rattled off a few sugary sweets and then quickly slipped in "and a toothbrush."  What?  Back it up.  A toothbrush?

Cooper exclaimed, "Well, I lost my toothbrush and Dad (the camp doctor) told me I had to buy a new one."

He sighed and added with disgust, "What a waste!"

I had to laugh.  How cruel could one father be that he "forced" his son to forgo the purchase of a candy bar in favor of some good oral hygiene?  Clearly, Chris didn't remember being a boy at summer camp.

Certainly, I've never been a boy at summer camp, but I've experienced camp through the eyes of my sons.  Camp is not a week full of nutritional food, good hygiene habits, and ample sleep.  Those things all take a back seat to endless outdoor play and new adventures.

I've come to peace with some of the realities of church camp.

While the toothbrush may not be used, the Bible will be cracked open.

While the broccoli may not be eaten, the candy bar will be shared among new camp friends.

While the sleep may not be had, the bunks will be used as a congregation point for endless amounts of laughter and sharing.

That's the allure of camp.  And for a week of summer memories and fun, I can overlook whether the shampoo bottle was opened.

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