Bumps, Scrapes, and Faceplants

For one or two weeks each year I get to run around with a bunch of teenagers more than half my age. I get to pretend to be 15, 16, or 17 again. I play as hard as I can and I never regret a moment. These kids are amazing. They are willing to try new things, new challenges.

They get on the back of a tube behind a boat and they hold on for dear life. They do it even if the water is cold, or rough. They do it because of the thrill of being alive.They put on their life preservers, jump into the dark water, and climb onto the large tube… then with a thumbs up they begin to ride. They ride through the water holding on with all of their might. They slide from one side of the boat to the next and then back again, over bumps and turns. They try to hold on and not lose their pants. They try to hold on longer than the person before. They try to prove to the driver that they cannot be thrown, but they will be thrown. And so they fly. They fly through the air and land on the water, down they go and then pop back up. When they pop up they catch their breath, wipe the water out of their eyes, thumbs up and do it all over again. I love these kids!

They get on a jet ski, they take their time and learn how to drive it. They are careful at first, slow. They learn to ride the waves and to stay away from others. They listen and watch and drive cautiously. And then? Then, not much later, they see the leader take off and follow as best they can. After a few minutes, they find their courage, they find their speed and they race across the water; their faces covered with a smile. Dolphins are spotted and everyone slows to a crawl and watches, waits, looks for more. There, again, there’s another dolphin! What beauties! Such freedom! The dolphins swim by, ignoring us all, but we saw. What a delight it is to watch them!. And then I look at my kids, for they are mine for the week, and I see the smiles, the awe, the wonder, and I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Fireworks. Thunderstorms. Which do we watch? Fireworks of course, there’ll be storms again tomorrow. Across the river we find a place to sit and wait. People are everywhere, kids and parents, elderly and dogs, boats in the water… everyone waiting. The sun sets, the lights go out and then the fireworks begin. How do they do it? Such colors, such patterns! The beauty created in the night. The storms on the other side of us are dancing with lightning, far away; but in front of us? In front we are mesmerized, each beautiful display, the people as one, oohs and aahs and applause. My kids again, hope. Hope and peace. No one is upset, all are enjoying the night. How is it to forget the troubles in this world? How is it to know that right now, just for a moment, everything is good?

These are the reasons I volunteer here. For a week, I get to help these forget their troubles, I get to play with them and to love on them, I get to provide them a new way to express themselves. I get to be there when they learn something new, try something hard. I get to do it alongside them. I do it for me and I do it for them, for we are both blessed.

thank you for reading,



C’s Summer

Hey everyone! This is the daughter of the author, I’m going to take over for tonight. This summer I haven’t been home very often so I’m gonna tell you about the camps I’ve been at and what they mean to me instead.

Week 1, MTYC- MTYC stands for Mountain Top Youth Camp and I have been going to this camp for the past eight years and its changed my life in so many ways; Its where I have gotten a better understanding of God’s word, its where I have made so many friendships that I hope last a lifetime, and it’s where I got saved. The speakers and counselors each year have helped me grow in my faith as well as an individual. This camp means a lot to me and I hope to continue going there for as long as possible.

Week 2, Camp Old Indian- This is the first year that I’ve gone to this camp and it was really fun. Old Indian is a boy scout camp in SC that our Troop attends every 4 years. During the week the Crew and I did different high adventure (HA) activities each day. We went rock climbing and rappelling, mountain biking, caving, white water canoeing and rafting. It was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone (especially the HA program).

Week 3, ACS- ACS is only the BEST CONFERENCE EVENT EVER!!!!!! ACS stands for ‘Annual Conference Session for Youth’ and basically it is a week of church politics, resolutions, and awesome growth groups. During the week there is a talent show, a dance, and an amazing communion. Also there are opportunities to lead worship and read scripture for the speaker. There are interest groups as well, this year I took SCI and Faith, and Health (physical, mental, and spiritual) in college. Both were amazing classes with amazing teachers. I made loads of friends and got to reconnect with some of my old ones.

Week 4, MYRTLE BEACH!!!!!
I had so much fun this week, we went to the beach (of course) but we also went to a water park and Margaritaville. I got to hang out with SH all week and we had loads of fun at Karma. But of course what comes with SH is DH and what comes with DH is SS, so I had to deal with them all week 🙂 but we still had fun and it was definitely worth it.

Week 5, Dance Intensive- Think of it this way, 30 hours, 5 days, 1 amazing week. Each day started with an hour and 15min of Ballet, after that we got to choose which class to do, I chose to do Pointe, and Jumps, Leaps, and Turns. Then we had Jazz until 12:30, then lunch until 1. After that we either had Hip-hop or Bollywood (Indian) and after that was everyone’s favorite part of the day… Yoga 🙂 We all loved Yoga, and we all had a favorite pose, the relaxation pose, basically you lie on your back with you eyes closed and relax AKA fall asleep 🙂

Week 6, Camp Deer Lake- Well I am leaving for this camp on Monday so I can’t really say much about it except that I went when I was younger and had lots of fun, so yeah that’s basically it.

The End