Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Camping and Kids

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the National Council meeting for Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers (ECCC): Our own Peter Bergstrom, executive director of Camp Stevens, also serves as the executive director of ECCC. Yes, he is a very busy man!

The Council meeting was a particular gift for me for two reasons. First, I learned a great deal more about the richness of our Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers which span from Hawaii to Puerto Rico to Olympia to Maine. Secondly, the council was address by Peg Smith, Executive Director of the American Camp Association. Peg comes to her work from a background in early childhood development. In her presentation, she hooked me by suggesting that the great benefit of the camping experience is to help kids be kids. Too many kids in our communities and churches have stolen childhoods through poverty, divorce, unreasonably high expectations, and busyness. The spiritual costs from this curtailed childhood are high.

Camp Stevens is a treasure for childhood in our diocese. In the woods and meadows, around campfires and on ropes courses, kids can be kids. And all of us can rediscover the rejuvenative quality of play.

Come to Julian; Come to Camp Stevens:

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