Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Camp Memories

On Monday of this week I had the chance to drive a van full of boys up to Sunset, SC and drop them off at Camp McCall. When I was a kid I always loved spending a week away from home at summer camp. Camp McCall, Camp York and Camp Harmony were three that I went either as a child or teenager with my church. Here are some fun memories I have from those times:

- One year at Camp York there was a kid in my cabin who was crying at night before bed. When I asked our counselor what was wrong, he told me that the kid was homesick. I can vividly remember thinking to myself, "What's wrong with that kid?". Here we were sleeping in bunk beds with all of our buddies, we got to swim in a lake everyday, shoot bow and arrows and cool stuff like that, and this kid would rather be at home? For me it just didn't compute.

- Camp was the first place that I ever had any part in a worship service. Once again it was at Camp York and our pastor Lonnie Shull asked if I would say the opening prayer. I remember being so nervous when I walked up to the microphone that my hands were shaking.

- We had a kid in our cabin one year who would run back from the showers to the cabin in the nude. My friend Andy called him "the running butt", because that was what we saw as he passed by us. We thought he was crazy, but looking back it wasn't that bad because there were no girls in that section of the camp. That experience just prepared me for living in Quad 2 at Charleston Southern years later.

- I always loved camp fire time at every camp I went to. There was something cool about everyone sitting in a circle around a huge fire and singing cheesy old praise songs like "Pass It On".

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite camp memories. Don't be shy, leave a comment!


Robin Cathcart said...

At least the "running butt" took a shower - unlike my boys when they went to Camp McCall this year! Just got back today from going to Mother-Daughter camp at LaVida with Kylie. That was really special because I spent 5 years there as a staffer years ago. I got to share lots of fun stories and memories with her while we were there. It was especially cool to see her reaction when I showed her all of the things that her Dad built when he was working there (an amphitheater and several buildings.) She had a blast and is already looking forward to going by herself next year. Camps are truly special places. I'm with you about the homesick kids - I never got that either!

The Brighter Side of Things said...

I spent time as a camper at McCall. Counselor at Camp Marietta, Pinewood and many others through the years. I get the memories confused, I can't remember if I was a camper of counselor. Most of the things I remember aren't things I want to brag about. My children may read this. They were much the same as a camper and a counselor.

The camp fires were always great memories. As a camper it was the hi-lite of the week. As a counselor it was usually the event following a wonderful worship service when the plan of salvation was shared. The memories of seeing new brothers and sisters meeting our Father still gives me chill bumps. Oh yes, there were plenty of "OLD cheesy" worship songs at least by today's standards.

Kerry said...

I loved Camp York, the bonfires, movies in the mess hall with the bats flying at the screen. The rotten food fights/shaving cream fights and how Pastor Shull would create his sermons just for us so that we could understand. That was all so much fun!

Allan said...

Camps: YMCA, Church, 4H, and Boy Scouts were a huge part of my growing up. Like Cliff, I didn't understand homesickness, I cried when I had to leave.

One story was when I was first on a waterfront staff giving kids a swim test was the little guy who took about 4 strokes and sank to the bottom. I picked him and said I thought you said you could swim. He said "I thought I could. It didn't look that hard" It was his first time in the water. With that attitude he was a breeze to teach.

Sherry said...

As a young girl, I loved everything about Camp Marietta - everything EXCEPT the bathhouse that was down in the woods. I'm not a big fan of bugs, to say the least, so I didn't take very many showers (but I did get in the pool, does that count?)and my teeth were greenish when I got home. Other than that, my friends and I had such wonderful times.

The first time I ever led anyone to the Lord was at camp. Wow! That really changed my life, and my way of thinking. I'm so glad that my girls get to know first-hand about Camp Marietta! - Sherry

Claudia said...

My boys went to Camp York last fall with Boy Scouts, but they went with Daddy. I opted out. It's a little too much nature for me now, but I loved it back in those days. I remember one year at Camp Harmony when Terry was new to our youth group, and we had a really long prayer time where we all just got honest with each other and honest with God. It was a great time of worship and a really emotional and growing time for our group. It's great to see God take a week of fun and turn it into something eternal.

Mills said...

Camp for me is all about Boy Scouts. I did Marietta a couple of times, but it was never quite the same as Old Indian and Philmont.

My most vivid memory of those experiences was seeing two grizzly cubs running near a troop's campsite because they were being chased by a couple of morons from that troop. Even a 14 year old suburbanite like me knew to think, "Holy Freakin' Crap!!" And, sure enough, within 5 minutes, we found out that Mama was hot as a match.

I think the most valuable lesson learned at camp was that guys around you sure are a lot different when you spend 24 hours a day together.

Jennifer said...

Camp Rawls, GA camp (before the fancy Camp Lavida). For years people signed the floors and walls.
In 4th grade, during nap time (didn't understand why we needed naps but would love to have required nap time now!) I didn't want to sleep so from the top bunk, I leaned off to read the floor. Of course that wasn't so smart, I fell and scraped my back so bad I couldn't go in the water during afternoon swim.

I have so many wonderful memories of was really the 1st place I really experienced worship.
Every kid should have to spent at minimum of one week at camp.

Jamie said...

I burned the tip of my nose at camp one year when we were "roasting" (aka burning) marshmallows. My goal when 'roasting' marshmallows was to turn them into small fires that might actually need a fire department to respond and extinguish. Once, as the flaming torch was raised toward my face to be blown out, I got a little too close and ended up with melted marshmallow stuck to the tip of my nose. It scabbed and peeled for about a month.

Fun times!! Thanks for bringing back old memories, Cliff. I think I need to go to counseling now.


chip said...

Cliff, thanks for making me delve into my long-ago past for memories. I remember at Camp Marietta a girl in my cabin who must've been the original "Superstar!" She honestly would put her fingers under her armpits when she got scared or nervous! THEN she would SMELL her fingers!! OOOH!!! We were all grossed out! Guess we should've been more sympathetic!
ALso, I remember NEVER letting my towels get dry and they smelled AWFUL when I went home!