Saturday, October 15, 2011

Soap, Shoes and a Dialysis Machine

Frontier Village Campers 2011
It’s a common question. What should I pack for camp? Just this morning, a man from the men’s retreat found himself in such a packing quandary. He came to the office looking for the laundry facility since his wife only put one pair of jeans in his bag (though my husband wonders why that is a problem). So clothes, yes, you pack clothes, shoes -suitable for the woods, toothbrush, soap, etc… But what about a nurse? A doctor? A dialysis machine?  Last week we hosted Phoenix Children’s Hospital where all of the children who came to camp have kidneys that are no longer doing an effective job. Periodically, they receive dialysis treatment so packing for them required more, much more.  The Phoenix Children’s Hospital bought many staff and volunteers as well as a U-Haul full of equipment and medicine. For many of these children, this was the first time they were away from home and family. And because of that, they were able to be – in a sense- away from the limitations of their illness.  Here at camp they could be children! They could explore the woods. They could go on the zip line. They could play on the low ropes. They could dance the night away in the MAC. They could be campers. 
A teacher from one of our participating Outdoor Education schools wrote the following in an email to us:
“I personally believe that camp changes lives. Really. Whether it is a church camp or a school camp, this might be the first time for some of them to shine outside of the classroom or athletic field. What if you aren’t the brightest or the fastest? Maybe you can build a mean shelter, or get us out of a dangerous situation with your compass skills…I am tearing up as I write this because we need so much compassion this year. After the 8th grade suicide on our campus this year we are more aware than ever of the need for acceptance and guidance. I want everyone who touches their lives to believe in kids and want to be with them…”
And Prescott Pines does believe in kids and we believe in camp! No matter where you come from or who you are, here at camp you can soar across valleys, face your challenges, and –quite literally-climb over walls- all with a big smile on your face.  When it is time to go, you leave with so much more than you came with, a moment in life packed full of lasting memories.   

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