The Gift of Camp

Posted by Mont Clare UCC on Saturday, March 7, 2015 Under: Church Events

The Gift of Camp

A Reflection on Camp Thanksliving: Living A Life of Thankfulness
Summer 2012 Williams Bay, WI     

by Kuya Rambu

     As a camp director I am used to asking people what they bring home with them from camp—a lesson learned, new discovery, or an unforgettable experience. When I was packing up my things to break camp one camper approached me and asked what I will take with me from this year’s Family Camp. Since I started directing camps in 2002 in the Philippines and 2008 in Chicago, no one has asked me that question. I could not answer immediately. The question made me sit for a while and reflect.
     So many things came to mind. So many to thank, praise and glorify God for. So many people to thank and have encouraged the whole event—their presence, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, leadership, servanthood, generosity, the fellowship shared with all hugs and kisses. With all these, allow me to share one experience that will haunt me in a good way for many years, the roommates!
     You see, when your camp roommates are the distinguished young gentlemen of the community they might be excited to have one of the camp directors as a roommate. I learned, however, they are more curious of what the camp director roommate brought to camp.
     When they discovered my stash of chocolates and chips they took possession of it right after I declared it “The Rambu Stash” which Levin conveniently called it “Trash”. They divided the spoils among themselves leaving me with only one pack of dried fruits and nuts which they did not appreciate because of the word “probiotic” on the label reasoning that they don’t eat germs. And yet there they were eating my mouth-watering treasures of my stash without washing their hands!  
     I placed a nice comfy swiveling chair with nice tiny wheels in the room and declared it “Kuya Rambu’s thinking chair” to give me space and time to think. Apparently they liked my chair too. My thinking chair was conquered! First it became the “Andy’s cooling chair”. Then the “Levin’s rest and relaxation chair”. At some point it was “Billy’s I’m charging my phone chair”. The next thing I knew it was now the “Brennan’s analyzing chair”. Suddenly, before I could sit down and think, there was a sign “Karl sits here!” Soon it became the “Lance’s laughing chair”, which later became simply, “The Prely Chair.” So what happened to Kuya Rambu’s thinking chair? Erased from history. Not even the imaginary spiders in the room, invented by Prely and Brennan, remembered it existed.  
     What space do I have left? My well fixed, neat and tidy bed—the last place where I could have peace and harmony. So I thought. For apparently some people brought the war over sleeping spaces during Vacation Bible School days to Family Camp! Guess whose bed space they were all fighting to invade? Exactly! My bed!
     Not only was I deprived of the opportunity to think on a comfy chair or enjoy my hard earned stash of creamy chocolate bars and crunchy potato chips which they ate leaving crumbs all over the floor that were all useless even to Hansel and Gretel and that Bien—who cared less about my stash—have to vacuum the mess they made. Apparently my bed was a “good spot” too. I chose the bed for it was gracefully positioned near the windows. I like sleeping near windows to feel the sun’s rays in the morning or just spy on people.
     However it was on the windows the cute automatic cooling system was installed that directly blew cool fresh breeze to my sleeping spot.  So everybody wanted to lie down on it that even after I victoriously expelled one bed grabber another is already lying down with all the comforts in the world on my well fixed, neat and tidy bed even before I could celebrate my victory digging into my food stash. Oh right, my stash is gone! And lo and behold someone’s even taken the space under my bed playing with one of my glow sticks.
     The glow sticks! Do I really need to elaborate on what happened to my beloved glow sticks other than some of it actually did not work? So here I was secretly unpacking a glow stick that when I cracked it giving this soft glow all eyes in the room were on me as if they just saw the rising sun for the first time of a brand new day that was about to get cloudy. Guess what happened? Mmm hmm.
     Back in ’08, we never had this stash grabbing, chair relabeling, I’m taking Kuya Rambu’s bed whatsoever, no sere bob! So, after all these afterthoughts, remembering that Levin eventually got my bed (fair and square), I finally answered the curious camper. I’m taking with me all the fun fellowship and if only we could stay much longer. For there is so much to love!

For all that has been and for all that will be, thank you. 

To God be the glory!

In : Church Events 

Tags: "summer family camp" "thanksliving" "thankfulness" "stash" "reflection" "summer 2012" 

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