For me, it’s not really camping!
I have camped at our district church campground at Chambers, NY; but only once or twice, the rest of my thirty years of ministry –I’ve only missed family camp once–I have stayed in rented cabins or retreat centers. We much refer the retreat centers, but cabins are cheaper. JoAnne has never cooked at Chambers because we always eat in the dining hall; the food is excellent, abundant and convenient. Some people do camp and cook out, etc. but not me. JoAnne and I very much enjoy meeting people around the district and denomination as we eat there. This year, for example, we were privileged to eat one meal with missionary Bethany Morse’s folks and caught up on Bethany’s missions plans.
It is a spiritually rich atmosphere!
The main reason for going is the spiritual food. Each evening a leading pastor or national church or para-church leader speaks in the evening worship. Each morning there is a Bible study usually led by a college Bible teacher. In between, one can spend some extra time in devotions, prayer and spiritual retreat; time you often do not get to spend during the rest of the year. There are also seminars on topics of interest and inspiring worship leaders. JoAnne attended a very interesting seminar this year on creation by a creation scientist. The first night message was a wonderful challenge to open ourselves up to God’s Spirit and invite him to take us deeper in our spiritual lives. Our Bible study teacher this year, Dr. Oswalt, has spent his life studying the OT prophets and was explaining Ezekiel, not an easy task. I took notes on my smart phone and transferred them to my desktop computer when I arrived home.
Fun times are numerous!
Over the years, we have done so many fun things while at Chambers. At the campground itself we have played games with friends—this year we learned a new one, swam in the pool, watched birds, hiked, played par three golf next door (closed this year), played horseshoes, volleyball, softball, bicycled, listened to concerts and eaten at lots of late night campfires. At Watkins Glen nearby, we have taken the boat tour around the south end of Seneca lake, swam in the lake, toured antique shops, eaten out, eaten at the ice cream shop, hiked Watkins Glen, attended the light show there, and golfed several times. We haven’t been to the race track yet. In the Corning/Elmira areas we have eaten out, gone to the Arnot Mall, watched the gliders, visited Corning glass, visited Market street in Corning, and gone to Friendly’s for ice cream. We’ve often been at camp over the 4th of July and have watched fireworks in all three places.
It’s a quiet time I look forward to that is seldom long enough to suit me, now that I’m not in charge of family camp. At least when I was in charge, I had a reason to stay the whole 10 days. Now I feel like I need to get back to work way too soon.