There is a point in every staff orientation where we say “Camp has already started.” It’s the moment when all the 30-40 people who have come from across the country are together in a cozy classroom, huddled together to pray before going out to greet the campers and open up the registration desk.
So many things happen during orientation that neither campers nor parents know much about – from hours spent praying, to teachings on various topics and ministry policies, messages from the Precept executive staff, bonding games, and walking through the book of Ephesians together yet again and again until every aspect of camp has been addressed.
But that time of prayer is one of our favorite times, because we stake our claim on who God is as one body then follow Him out the door, right up to the faces of waiting campers and parents.
And what an exciting time yesterday afternoon was! Staffers were energized and excited by the hearts of the campers, even in the early stages of getting to know and welcome them into this home-away-from-home.
After getting settled into their housing rooms, the camp gathered on the field by teams to greet one another, pray for dinner, and receive instructions from the booming yet endearing “camp Dad,” Papa Dave. All the teams sat together during dinner to continue reinforcing relationships, and give opportunities to become known.
When it came time for the main session, there was a mixture of upbeat elements such as our wonderful videographer’s intro video (so the campers could get to know the staff a little bit better), to Carlotta running around the auditorium with the mic so everyone could hear students’ answers to the questions she was asking them.
Her message started out with a very basic question: “What is the Bible? What is it for?” We walked through lots of New and Old Testament passages to find answers.
These weren’t always happy or easy answers, and Carlotta challenged the campers to consider what this week may hold for us: “as we dig into the Word it might get a little painful…but the point is to see what the Word of God says and to see ourselves rightly before it.”
Carlotta also challenged us to view the Bible as a book that is God-centered, rather than self-centered. To illustrate this, she gave the camp three questions to help remember and look for this perspective:
— What does this passage teach me about God?
— How does knowing this aspect of God’s character change my view of self?
— What should I do in response? What do I need to embrace in faith about God?
Please pray for the students today! They are doing the overview, which can either be overwhelming or boring depending on how much the students engage with the Scriptures. Our hearts’ desire is that the Lord has His way with us all, that the staff leads the students well — straight to the presence of God and nowhere else. Because it is His grace that transforms, and His kindness brings about repentance and hope. Every. time.
Trusting His goodness, and thanking Him for YOU,
The Transform Team