This week, our FLY (Faithful Lutheran Youth) youth group attended Camp Lutherwood for a mission trip/camp week. We took Jesus’ advice to “Get Outside” (more on that later). Boy was it good! Here’s how the idea came about – our group fundraised and attended the ELCA Youth gathering last year – really great but very expensive. We also went on a Youthworks trip the year before – again great, pretty expensive. We wanted to continue to fundraise this year, but take a trip that was less expensive, and of course, the group LOVES Camp Lutherwood! Pretty amazing place.
So, we went for a combo platter – work on mission trip projects while at camp. We stained two entire cabins as a group on Monday, then Tuesday journeyed to Zion Lutheran school in Corvallis where we painted the science room, removed and painted lockers, then reinstalled them, and added a beautiful calligraphy bible verse to the school walls, and attached ceramic butterflies in the entry all. oh, yes, and painted door jambs. We earned our sore muscles. Wednesday was Habitat for Humanity. You get the idea. Lots of projects!
But camp means connection – and we connected to the forest, and to the camp counselors and leaders, as well as the younger kids. I noticed more than once, the confirmation camp kids would look up to our kids, who were a bit older. It brought a smile to my face.
The downside of the week? The only one I can think of is that the bathrooms are 1/4 mile from the cabins. Yes, that’s right. But we did it.
This week, in church, our reading from Matthew is about Jesus praying with his friends. Here it is –
Matthew 26:36-40 Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?
I summarize this reading this way today – Jesus says, when times are tough, get outside (he went to the garden) Pray (he prayed because he needed to share his burden with God), and Be with your friends (he took three of the disciples with him). Don’t you think this is what Camp is about? Get outside, my friends. However you can, and be with Jesus. Amen.