The call went out. A camper was missing. Five boys out of sleeping bags, bed head all glorious, toothbrushes in hand were ready for the showers. But where was the sixth? The counselor acted quickly despite his lack of sleep. Leadership was put on alert. Within minutes – seconds – the boy’s height, eye-color, clothing descriptions, medical history even was taken note of. And just as abruptly the camper was found. The sleeping bag on his upper cot began to wiggle. Like a reluctant, sleepy-eyed turtle, he emerged. Tucked into the far reaches of his cocoon, the little camper was so curled up, he simply looked like a disheveled sleeping bag. The counselor was of course later teased and mocked by his beloved co-counselors when he shared the story. Despite such humiliation, the counselor took the time to nominate the same run-away (or tucked- away) for Deputy of the Day. With the bestowing of this title, comes the privilege to walk beside the marshal on night duty. He/she is also given responsibilities above those of his/her fellow campers. It is quite the honor. To be chosen for the position, the camper must demonstrate a care and concern for others, responsibility, and an attitude that reflects Christ. The counselor shared that this camper, the night before his disappearance, had given his only flashlight to a fellow bunk mate because he was afraid of the dark. He showed him how to use it inside his sleeping bag to make a safe haven and assured him everything would be alright. And even though it was only the first night of camp, upon hearing that his fellow teepee member did not know about God’s love for him, the tucked-away camper shared passionately how Jesus was not only his best friend, but his Savior. He went on to explain what Savior meant. This camper seemed to know deeply what it means to be lost and then found!
It is during the counselor devotional times, that the staff is able to share such stories. It is a chance to praise the good things they see in the campers. How often do we take those moments in children’s lives? Take a moment to brag on a child now! Share a story in our comments.