Every summer for the past 12 years I’ve enjoyed teaching at least a week at a Christian camp. Back in the late 90’s and early 00’s it was at Camp Impact in Oklahoma City, one of my absolute favorites of all time. Those campers didn’t just sing, they (insert TX twang there) S-A-N-G. No group has ever sung “Every Time I See a Cross” more beautifully. Now days I teach a Camp Hunt, between Hubbardsville & Hamilton, NY.
This year my topic was “Got 2 Be Tru: I gotta be livin’ what I say I believe” (inspired by the title of an old Steven Curtis Chapman song). We talked about the importance of character and integrity in our Christian walks. We studied some heavy passages like Ecclesiastes 10, Isaiah 58-59, Galatians, Romans 7-8, and several passages in the Gospels. We have plenty of laughs in my classes, but we don’t avoid the heavy lifting. The laughter is, as Marshall Keeble once described it, a pressure release valve that keeps people from getting so burdened by the heavy truths that they think they can’t handle them. One point I strove to drive home at least a couple of times was that sooner than their parents will pay off the family car, they will be adults, faced with some hard choices, and that they are blessed to know Christ now, with opportunities to build up their spiritual strengths before some of those pressures come. Along with that we talked about the myth that peer pressure and temptation are greatest in their teen years, and that in truth those pressures are just as real, and often greater, as adults.
After talking about integrity in areas like honesty, compassion toward others, priorities and decision making, purity, listening to our consciences, etc. we closed out on Friday by looking at Romans 8, and the promises that remind us that even though sticking to our guns can be difficult, God is setting us up to thrive, not fail. In Christ, we have all we need to be true to ourselves, and our relationship with God.
It was a good week, and the campers were a great bunch. I thoroughly enjoyed those that were in our classes, and look forward to next year.