The summer camp season is over. School is right around the corner. And it seems like a good time to reflect on how good God has been these past few months. Hundreds of children have been able to come to camp, and many had a life changing experience. I want to tell you one story that reminded me how important Camp Gifford is, and what a meaningful experience it can be for many children, including Steven.
A couple weeks ago I was cooking about 200 hundred hamburgers for our Thursday night cook out. When you cook that many hamburgers it takes time, and the smell draws many kids to come by say hi. I know they really want to eat a hamburger, but I try to use the opportunity to have a conversation with those who are willing to stay.
Steven was around 8 or 9 years old, a bit of a loner, and he really wanted to talk. He proceeded to tell me how he has earned over $1000 in my lifetime. I thought wow, that’s pretty good for someone your age, so I asked him how he was able to make so much money. Mowing lawns. And then in great detail he told me how much he charged for a super large, large, medium, and small lawn. Steve was a very thoughtful young man.
So to keep the conversation going I asked Steven what he did with all his money. His answer was pretty much like any boy his age, “I buy Legos!” Without much thought I asked him why Legos? And simple conversation turned rather profound when Steven said, “Well Mark, in Legoland everyone likes me.”
We aren’t a make believe land, but I knew exactly the very real hurt Steven was sharing. We see that as opportunity in real life to walk along-side hurting children, and to invest in making a week of at Camp Gifford a place where kids can feel loved and accepted.