Posted by Sally Johnson on September 04
Have you ever been homesick? I have. It was my first year, I was 8 years old and extremely nervous about going to camp. I had begged my parents to let me go. I don’t remember the drive to Mentone that day, but I do remember not being in a cabin with my friends from home. According to my parents (I don’t remember this) I got my pillow and got back in the car and locked the doors. Yes, I locked everyone out of the car! I’m not sure what went through my mind and why I thought locking the doors would do anything, but apparently I unlocked them and moved in my cabin. Again, I don’t remember that part of my first year. I was so homesick that first summer. I would cry and I would visit the director frequently to let her know I was packed and ready to go home. In the end, my parents made me stand by my decision (and my begging) to go to camp. I learned a lot from that! I, also, realized when I got home that if I hadn’t cried so much I would have had a lot of fun. I can’t imagine what the director thought when my mom signed me up again!
This past summer I experienced some of those same feelings. I wasn’t homesick, we live on campus, I was camper/counselor sick. You will be happy to know I didn’t lock anyone out of my car, but I did cry. I would wake up every morning knowing what session it was and what we would be doing that day. I am sure many of you did, too. Opening and closing days were the hardest. Everyday at 3:30 I would have been teaching Bible Study and I missed that. It was unlike any feeling I have ever felt except being homesick.
So how do you get through being camp sick? We talked about camp with each other. We relived many funny stories and went canoeing, swimming, played on the new part of the ropes course, we worked outside and did a lot of things in camp to help make it look and function better. Everyone worked hard! It still wasn’t camp, but we made it. I have even held a meeting with the other admin to talk about what we have learned from this experience. Believe it or not, we have learned sooooo much. There are things that we will implement and things that will change all for the better because we didn’t have camp.
The only thing my 8 year old mind could take away from my first year was if I hadn’t cried so much, camp would have been fun. My 50 year old mind (thank goodness I have grown and changed some) has gleaned so much from being camp sick. Would I do this all over again….NO, however, God deemed this time for me to learn and trust Him more!
So what about you? What did you do? How did you cope with not having camp this summer? What has God taught you?
Can’t wait to hear your answers and can’t wait to see all of you next summer!
Sally is a Rome, Georgia native and started attending Camp Skyline in 1977. She loved the camp experience so much she wanted to give back, so she became a counselor. In 1997 she and her husband Larry purchased camp and haven’t looked back!