I never thought I’d like mornings. Besides the sunrise and promise of breakfast, mornings were completely unappealing. On weekends, I’d snooze ’til noon (only to retire to bed a mere ten hours later), and on weekdays, I’d often arrive late to school because of my inability to roll out of my sheets. I considered early birds crazy, and whatever worm they’d get was NOT worth ripping myself from my bed for.
That’s when camp surprised me. By showing me that mornings harbor beautiful, chilling mist on Lake Edith, the BEST praise and worship opportunities, and groggy cabin mates brimming with excitement for the day to come, Camp Greystone not only showed me I could like mornings, but even look forward to them. (I even find myself waking up early on weekends to enjoy the morning with a cup of coffee and the Greystone Daily Devotional!)
It seems silly, but my newfound appreciation for mornings is one reason why I continue to return to camp.
Greystone teaches me to try new things no matter my predisposition towards them. Even though I have yet to make friends with the Blob, I discover entirely new sides to myself every year I return to camp.
It all started with that infamous “greystone bite” my picky self was forced to take at Junior Camp (where I learned that flank steak and cheese grits were, in fact, NOT poisonous), and it continues in my friends’ encouragements to try synchronized swimming for the first time during my junior-senior year. I’ve learned to find the joy in competing against actual gymnasts in gymnastics (terrifying - I can’t even do a cartwheel!), and I’ve discovered my love of the stage after my shy self found the fun in cabin lip syncs.
But most of all, because of Greystone I have learned how to me a more caring and compassionate friend, sister, and daughter rooted in Christ’s love for me.
I never really knew what having a relationship with Christ would look like for me. I mean, when I was little, I did love reading the Jesus Storybook Bible, and I aced Sunday School. But at camp, I have been surrounded with Christ-loving girls who have taught me the importance of actually having a relationship with Jesus.
I learn this through so many ways: through Bible Class discussions, devotions from counselors, DMC’s with my friends, and through the simplest examples of kindness everyone demonstrates. I can visibly see the effects Christ has on my friends because they are unlike anyone I’ve ever met – the girls at Greystone are full to the brim with love, joy, and radiance.
At camp, I can have simple, honest conversations with friends about life and faith, and those conversations carry our friendships through life. I still keep in touch with girls who no longer come to camp, and now that I’m getting older, I’m even looking to live with some of them in college!
Speaking of getting older, this year is my Senior-Senior year. I’ve grown up looking up to the Senior-Seniors, aweing at their radiance and maturity. Now that I’m entering my own last year, it’s weird to remember how my littler self would be blown away by the sheer fact I’ve made it this far. I’ve known since I was little that I wanted to go to camp until the very last year I could, and this is it now.
Thinking about this being my last summer as a camper makes me a bit nostalgic.
This seems like the last summer of my childhood, and now that I’m closer to becoming an adult, I am so grateful that I can come back to camp summer after summer to just be a kid and enjoy life as a child of God. At camp, there are no worries. I am looking forward to really enjoying my last time as a camper this summer, but I know it means an end of an important era in my life.
I have so much to thank camp for, and I just hope this summer I make the most out of my last year as a camper.
I want to try everything I can this summer, have fun, and grow closer to Christ and my friends. This summer, I am looking forward to Sunday mornings on the Castle porch, afternoons filled with Lake Edith water, and cool nights bringing rainstorms.
But most of all, I am looking forward to spending another summer with God, great friends, and childhood. Thank you, Greystone, for being my summer home!