She came back. With twenty-four fresh stitches on her knee, she returned to camp. The night before while chasing the counselor with who held one of the most sought after marbles, eleven year old Alexa tripped and landed on a jagged rock, deeply splitting the skin on her knee in two distinct pieces. Quickly the nurse applied pressure and immediately the ambulance was called. Although no ligaments were torn (exposed but not torn), she was required to wear a knee brace and use crutches because of the position of the cut. She insisted though on coming back to camp. “I want to make a memory out of this,” she said. “Besides, I don’t want to miss out on anything!”
Ironically, the theme of Sun Valley Community Church’s pre-teen camp is Collide. They even brought up a totaled car for décor and placed it outside of the chapel. Challenging the kids to consider what happens when they know what is right collides with what the world offers, the leadership presented discussion points each day. Thinking about our adult lives, how often have we found ourselves headed in one direction – a seemingly smooth and clear trajectory – when we come colliding into reality? Do we pick ourselves up like Alexa and insist on making a memory of it, a positive moment, a turning point? Despite the pain, do we still insist on not missing out on anything God would have for us or do we check out of the game?
Last week in our summer camp in Frontier Village, a young eleven year old Chris stood to the side of the water games, hunched over in pain. “I just have a kidney stone, that’s all,” he explained as he grunted. My face must have expressed my shock and concern because he went on like an old veteran, “Oh, I have passed five before. It’s not passing now. I will be fine.” Of course, I walked him over to Doc Mom to have a look. His parents had informed the camp so she was aware of his condition. He was given lots of water and reminded that he knew his body and must be honest when it was time to go to the hospital. From Utah, Chris came to camp with the knowledge that this pain was simply a part of his life and there was no way he was going to miss out on the week with his friend and an experience at camp. Nathan is making a memory. His childhood would not just be marked with pain but with wild-west fun and crazy hair and uninhibited worship.
No doubt many people will ask Alexa about her scar in her future, perhaps at an ice-breaker her freshmen year in college. “Tell us a story about a scar,“ they will ask. “Oh, this one,” she will say as she points to her knee, “This one I got at camp. You should have seen it. It was awesome!”
So do any of you have a good camp scar story to share?
Post it as a comment!