Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Camp - A Turning Point

During my early teen years, I had the awesome privilege of going to youth camp. I lived in Florida, and there was a camp called Lake Yale. The little church where I spent my teen years sent a bunch of us every year.

I'm forever grateful.

I don't think I would be who I am today had I not gone to Lake Yale.

My love of lakes (and rivers and oceans) and enjoying creation and thinking of the Creator began with loving Lake Yale.

Not a lake, but a river ... but I love them, too!
The first time I learned about using additional versions of the bible in addition to the King James Version was at Lake Yale, which fueled my love of bible study.

And, in a very real sense, the start of my work ethic began at Lake Yale.

You see, while there that momentous year of turning 14 and giving my life to Christ, I also decided to join the youth choir. Teens from every church represented that summer at Lake Yale were there. The most I'd have sung with was maybe 20 people. Now I was in a group of over 200. It was overwhelming.

As young people often do, the experience of being with new people made us goof around, and talk, and well ... you know how it can be. 

The choir director (how I wish I could remember his name!) was kind of a big deal, a professional musician, who volunteered to help the choir that year. We were all in awe of him and maybe a little scared to sing in front of him.

After a couple days of chaos, he felt it was time to give us a "pep talk." No, I don't remember everything he said. Actually only one thing stuck in my mind, but I will remember it forever. He said,

"When you think about it, God gave us the very best, perfect gift He could give when He gave us His Son. Don't you think He deserves no less than us doing our best? Serving God is like a profession, the successful ones are the ones who work smartest and does their best."

Something right then clicked in my heart. I wanted to give my all. Ever since that day, if I decide I feel led to do something, I do it with everything I got. After all, it's scriptural:

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:23-24
Did you ever go to Youth camp?  I wish everyone could go!


Previous post about Lake Yale: here

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt #6. Share a Summer Camp memory. To view work from the whole community, visit Kat's blog, "Mama's Losin' It."


Michele Morin said...

I didn't go to camp as a kid, but have volunteered at Camp Good News for ages and ages -- so, of course, all my kids have wonderful memories from there. This was the first year that my youngest is too old to be a camper, but he's there this week with an older brother on staff! Such good memories!

Linda Stoll said...

I'm with you, Jerralea ... some of my favorite memories involve being away at Camp, and it's a tradition we still live out every year with our kids and their kids. I wouldn't call it a restful vacation, but I cherish every chaotic moment, knowing that our children's children will take these memories with them through life.

Let's hear it for summer!

Anonymous said...

Hume Lake Christian Camp in the Sierras is where I went to camp and received Jesus as my Savior and Lord. It really can be a good turning point for kids. Glad you had the opportunity and that it was a life changing experience.

betty said...

My brother said (and I agree) that a lot of young men and women come to know Jesus by attending church camp. My kids loved their experiences there.


Mama Kat said...

I've never been to a summer camp, but I've never heard a bad thing about them. They sound like so much fun!

Jazzmin said...

In reading your post I am so inspired by your experience at Lake Yale and what that meant to you and still means to you as you look back on what a treasured time it was for you as you came of age. And you have such a way of writing that always inspires me in my faith. This is definitely making me wish I would have gone to a summer camp that was anything even close to yours- sometimes I think of maybe volunteering to be a counselor for one to even have the privilege of helping shape young girls' faith. I especially enjoyed hearing about how it impacted you and how the words of your choir director there did as well- and little does he know it is inspiring others now in 2016 because you've shared his message and it's moving my heart as I read it. I hope to memorize those words in Colossians♥

Thank you for sharing this!

Blessings and hugs to you!
Have a wonderful weekend, Jerralea!