During my camper years my church loaded up a school bus once a year and took a bunch of us kids to Pleasant Bay Camp. When I was 15 I worked there for a summer. Later on I married a man who also loves to fill different roles at summer camp, and this led me to 7 more camps in the last 15 years! It has all been just glorious – I truly love camp. Why? Well, let me show you a typical week through the eyes of a camper…
Sunday – I am so excited to be here at camp! We had to drive for 2 hours, but it was worth it! This place is really beautiful – there are so many trees and everything is so green. The air smells so good! I’ve already seen lots of different kinds of birds and heard a loon on the lake and chipmunks and squirrels are everywhere! I hope there’s no snakes or big spiders – yuck! I met some nice girls and there’s one especially who I’ve been hanging around with all day. She was in the cabin when I came to drop off my stuff. They say it’s time for lights out. Goodnight.
Monday – Today SO MUCH happened! First of all, the food is actually not bad here at camp! There’s even fruits and vegetables (I ate some that I liked), and of course desserts and snacks too! We have church every day here – twice! But that’s cool – the speaker seems really nice and funny. I learned some new songs. I also got to do archery and canoeing and swimming today. And we played lots of fun games and went for a nature hike. I’m actually pretty tired and it’s time for lights out again.
Tuesday – Every day we have one hour of rest in our cabins after lunch. So that’s when I’m writing today, instead of at night. I have a few more friends now from my cabin – we all get along pretty good. It’s different from school – here they really help us be friends and sort out arguments. They talk a lot about God, but it’s cool. I’m actually learning a lot of new things about the Bible and being a christian. I feel like I don’t have to worry so much about what people think here, like I can be myself a lot more.
Wednesday – I was missing my family and my house a little today. My counselor noticed I wasn’t very happy, so she went for a walk with me and she’s so nice! Nobody is mean here. Everyone seems like they’re trying to be really nice to us and help us have a really good time. I feel better now, and I only have a couple more days until I go home. I think I will also miss the friends I’m making here at camp. They said we could email or text each other after camp is done. That sounds really good.
Thursday – Every day we go on a little nature walk after breakfast, and it seems like every day I see something new. Today we counted 10 different kinds of trees on the trail. Other days we’ve seen lots of different animals, or plants, or mushrooms – things like that. I like everything that I’m learning here at camp. We’ve been learning a lot more about God too. I already know a lot about him from my family and from church, but I like the way they talk about him here. It’s really fun and it makes sense. I feel closer to Him here. I think I can feel closer to him when I go back home too.
Friday – I’m writing at night this time because they let us stay up later tonight! We had a campfire and made s’mores and sang songs and got lots of mosquito bites! But it was worth it. My favourite things from this week have been canoeing, swimming, wagon rides to the beach, chapel, tuck, and sleeping in a cabin. I really has been a good week and I will miss everything about camp, except the bugs! My new friends already gave me their email addresses and phone numbers so that we can stay in touch after we go home. Thank you God for camp. I want to come back next year!
For the past 11 summers I have spent from anywhere from 1-60 days at Camp Norland in Northern Ontario. This place has become home to my brood. There is a history of more than 50 years of successful ministry at Norland, supported by the 13 CBOQ churches that make up the Northern Association. The camp is currently experiencing difficult times and could use a little TLC. There is a debt to clear and a future to plan. There is hope for this sanctuary on Deer Lake. If you’d like to make a contribution, visit norland.ca, or find them on Facebook for more information.