Hello everyone, Today we welcome Mathew Wood as the first "Wednesday Words" Guestblogger of 2014. Mathew has quite a long history in the world of Day Camps. I distinctly remember him once saying that he would like to be a Team Leader "forever". Well that has not happened, but as you will see, Day Camps has shaped his adult life, and obviously continues to have a place in his heart. Thanks, Mathew, for sharing with us!
Observations, Experiences and Lessons Learned From a Life in Day Camps
I have had the pleasure of living almost every aspect of Day Camp life. I’d like to share some of my experiences from being a camper over 30 years ago to becoming a parent with two children that participate in days camps.
Day Camper: I loved being a day camper. I was a committed day camper. I mowed my lawn just to rake up the grass clippings in order to dump garbage bags (plural) over Lamb’s wall. It was great to know that fun stuff could happen at church. Pray, read, think, act.
Family that billeted a Travelling Team Member: My parents would agree to host a travelling team member when Day Camps “came to town”. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what a blessing it was to see the ministry of a team member continue outside of the actual Day Camps.
Parish Team Member: Now being too old to participate as a camper but being too young become a travelling team member this was the natural next step. A sense of community is a very attractive thing. Watching and working with the travelling team helped foster that sense of Christian Community, and helped foster a greater involvement in my own church and youth group.
Travelling Team Member: This section could go on forever, but I will keep it short. I was able to meet incredible people, travel the country and build very strong friendships. The first year that I was on the travelling team, I was 16 years old and travelled to Toronto for a very eventful summer. Not only did I get my ear pierced, but I experienced many moments where God spoke to me. Our team had a very challenging summer, but we were constantly reminded that we were not alone. Throughout the entire summer, every challenge was followed by a rainbow… a reminder of God’s promise to us that we will not be overcome by flooding waters. My return train ride home featured 12 different rainbows over the course of a 4 ½ hour trip.
I also met my wife when I was a travelling team member… now that is a blessing!
Day Camp Committee Member:What an amazing way to get a different perspective on the impact of the Day Camp program. It was a great opportunity for me to give something back to something that had given so much to me. I understood the efforts that those unknown to me had contributed to my experiences as a Day Camper and more.
Parent: Because of the many blessings I have experienced through Day Camps I send my daughters to them, hoping and praying that they too will be blessed as I was.
It is amazing how Day Camps continue to bless me. Just by going through the process writing this blog submission I have been blessed. I continue to use the term “People Before Program” and continue to apply the simple principles learned at residential training to my business life.
I pray that Day Camps will continue to bless you and those in your life, no matter what stage you find yourself at.