Monday, August 20, 2007

Church Camp

I was listening to a CD of gospel music by the Forester Sisters this morning on the way to work and suddenly flashed back many summers ago to the several years when we would spend a week at the Highland Lakes Baptist Encampment. Two of those occasions stand out in my mind and one made me laugh while I drove along, so I decided to drag you along down memory lane once again.

The first year we went to church camp there were only 7 of us in our group. Daddy and one of the teenaged boys and 5 of us girls. For some peculiar reason our little group of girls was not combined into a dormitory with other church groups (I think we were late comers and there was no room at the inn, so to speak). Instead, we lucked into having our own dormitory for the week. Five of us in a room that was meant to house 30-40. We had a blast and sometimes I wonder that we survived without injury.

Off to camp

For instance, a couple of the girls hit upon the idea of running around the room jumping from top bunk to top bunk. How they managed to get through this exercise without one of them bashing their brains out on the concrete floor, I'll never know. This was my first experience with living with older girls and it was an education. From observing someone shaving their legs with an electric razor, something I had never seen happen before, to observing their casual nakedness in the shower room when I was a painfully shy 12- or 13-year old to listening to their frank talk about boys - well, it was eye-opening. The five of us became a strange kind of family that week and I will always remember those girls fondly. Marsha, Penny, Kathy, Linda and me.

Our little bunch with the camp missionary

We had a lot of fun together that summer and while we attended several more times, we never quite had the same feelings for the place that we did that first year.

There was, however, one year that stands out. I believe it was Penny's sister Susan who figures prominently in the story.

At the evening services there would be some kind of entertainment and one night was to be skit or talent night. The group of us that year wanted very much to take part, but none of us had an idea one what we could do. That year one of my father's preacher buddies was in attendance and he came up with a little skit for us. The details are very dim in my memory, but in essence it was a mother who was introducing to the preacher (my dad) her herd of children, each of whom had a name that ended in "fly". I'm assuming there was housefly, dragonfly, horsefly, butterfly, etc. (Maybe Linda will remember more of this and can refresh my memory.) Anyway, the youngest was to pronounce her name "letterfly" and throw a glass of water in my father's face.

We rehearsed and had our parts down pat. I was one of the middle children and I believe Linda was playing the mother. Susan was anticipating her moment and I'm sure a little unsure about splashing Daddy with the water. When her time came, she proclaimed her name as "LET HIM HAVE IT" and doused him. Of course the point of the whole thing was completely lost to the audience, except for the preacher buddy who nearly split a gut laughing.

We had good times at that camp. Despite the numerous classes and morning and evening revival style services. We also had swimming, boating, handsome life guards, and Kickapoo Joy Juice at the concession stand. And we had the experience of living with sisters for a week. It made all the hard benches, scorpions and heat minor annoyances for the privilege of fellowship.


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