Goodnight and Not Goodbye

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It is crazy for me to look back on the past five weeks and think that Main Camp is coming to an end. These last five weeks have truly flown by. In the past five weeks the campers have experienced so many great things. They have learned new skills and sharpened up old ones, they have passed levels and created beautiful pieces of art. They have blobbed and swam and rolled down the hills, laughing the whole time. They have posed for photos and skipped down the road with one another. They have learned about how God loves them, and in turn they have learned how to love one another as they’ve eaten together, worked together and played together.

As a member of the staff, I have experienced and learned a lot as well. I have learned to celebrate things that are good. So often it is easy to focus on the hard, the hurtful, the seemingly impossible things that may lie before us, and it isn’t our natural response to celebrate even the small things in life. Here at camp I have learned to celebrate a rain shower during rest hour or to cherish a piece of mail from a friend back home. I have learned to celebrate others, too. Having a cabin full of girls going into ninth grade has taught me to rejoice with those around me. For example, just this week two of my campers performed in the Senior Play. Seeing their hard work pay off and watching their faces light up on stage as they sang, dance and spoke caused me to tear up. Additionally, three of my campers participated in the horse show and all did a fantastic job. My campers cheered on their cabin-mates, celebrating them and focusing on the good work they have accomplished.

As I spend the last few days with my campers, I am reminded of how wonderful of a place Greystone is. These girls love it here. They love it because they are free to be themselves and they are loved just as they are. I have been so incredibly lucky to spend the last month with these girls. They have caused me to smile even when I’m exhausted, to look at things in a new way, and to enjoy life every day. They are beautiful inside and out, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have learned from them this summer.

As we spend our last hours together, I am reminded of the unique situation of camp. As we have our Banquet together, it dawns on me that I probably will never be with every single one of these people (staff and campers alike) in the same room until we are reunited in Heaven. What a sweet and special thing to be given the chance to grow with one another in the last five weeks. On Banquet night I will sing “goodnight” to my campers, but I know that it is not really goodbye, because the memories we have made with one another will continue to live on for us throughout the year. Thank you for sharing your girls with us these past five weeks!