Steve, Josiah & I hit the road to join 400 teenagers (I almost said “screaming teenagers” but decided to be more positive in my approach…though that may be cancelled out by the fact that I told you what I almost said? Hmm…things to consider in my free time) at Wildhorse Canyon for Winter Camp 2008. We both got to speak and hang out with kids and meet some amazing people with really deep and passionate hearts who love teenagers enough to PAY to share their lives and cabins with them. I want to post some pictures and thoughts about this later, but for now, here are a few things I learned:
1) Dramamine. In spite of having been to Wildhorse at least 15 times prior, I still forgot to give my son – who gets sick in the car on the way to school – Dramamine.
2) Jr. High girls never fail to amaze me with their…um….fashion sense. One girl’s look could best be described as Marilyn Monroe meets Winnie the Pooh. Remarkable (and super cute in it’s own “she’s gonna hate looking at these pictures in 5 years but will still probably laugh really hard” kind of way).
3) Kids are hurting. I mean, not just the typical “growing up is hard” wounds but deep and defining things like a dad dying of brain cancer, parents who committed suicide…a kid who’s mom walked out on him two weeks before camp. Things like that flowed out this weekend in countless heart-wrenching stories. If we think this generation looks dark and brooding, it’s because they are, and with good reason. Their only hope for healing is Jesus and our only hope for the future is to help them find Jesus.
4) Parents who love their kids enough to send homemade cookies with them to camp are very rare and wonderful, indeed.
5) Parents who love their kids enough to pay the way of some of their friends to go as well are…simply put, heroic.
6) Don’t eat the scrambled eggs. Something just isn’t right there.
7) Though I speak in all kinds of places to all kinds of people, nothing in the world feels as weighty and important to me as speaking to 200 girls who are deciding what they’re going to do with their future, their bodies, their affections and their destiny. It’s just beyond beautiful to see them choose life. I determined this weekend to take – and to make – more opportunities to invest in this age group.
Those are my immediate thoughts on camp…I actually came home with my head just spinning with dreams and possibilities and ways to reach the young women of the next generation. If there are any other dreamers out there, let’s join forces and create something to equip these brave, beautiful ladies who are the moms and lawyers and school teachers and pastors and presidential candidates of the future.