March 31, 2023

Rufus’ Week at Summer Camp

It’s Rufus’ first summer as a camper at Gilmont! He is nervous about being away from home for the week and is worried campers may make fun of his bright orange hair, purple bowtie, or 8 limbs. The check in process is quick and smooth because his guardians made sure to review the Welcome Packet and come prepared. Rufus quickly joins his cabin group, sets up his bunk in an air-conditioned cabin, and plays games to learn the names of other campers and his Counselors.

That evening, the whole camp goes to Chapel in the Sky for the opening ceremony. They gather around the campfire, sing silly songs, and perform group skits. Rufus forgets about his worries and finds himself laughing and joking with the other campers.

As the Spiritual Advisor, who is an ordained minister, talks about Moses recognizing he was on Holy Ground in front of a bush that was on fire but not burning, Rufus realizes he too is on Holy Ground at Gilmont and that this is a safe, sacred place. In the evening, Rufus thinks about his first day at camp and realizes it was good.

On Monday, Rufus starts to feel homesick. His counselors tell him that it is normal to miss home, listen to what he loves about his family, and encourage him to write a letter to his loved ones. He also receives mail from home – even his pet beaver writes to him! In Bible Study, the Spiritual Advisor and counselors talk about how God heard the misery of the Israelites in Egypt, was concerned about their suffering, and sent Moses to help. Rufus agrees that God continues to notice when he is sad, cares about him, and sends people to love and support him. In the evening, Rufus thinks about his day and realizes it was good.

On Tuesday, Rufus’ family group goes to Prayer Stations and spends quiet time with God. Rufus walks the labyrinth, writes a few poetry prayers, and enjoys the sand tray meditation. He even learned a few practices that he can do at home to continue to build his relationship with God. The Spiritual Advisor and counselors talk about Exodus 3:11-17 when God reminded Moses about how God has always been by his side, is currently with him, and will continue to be with him. Rufus knows that God is always with him too and that God loves Rufus for who he is. In the evening, Rufus thinks about his day and realizes it was good.

On Wednesday, Rufus canoes Lake Kilgore with his family group, hits the target at Archery, and even throws his discs into the basket at Disc Golf. He feels accomplished in his newfound skills. In Bible Study, the group talks about how Moses was uniquely qualified and skilled to be the one who led the Israelites out of Egypt, even though he doubted himself. Rufus became even more excited about the talent show so he can show off how skilled he is too! Everyone laughs and cheers him on during his stand up comedy routine on aquatic life, which makes Rufus proud. In the evening, Rufus thinks about his day and realizes it was good.

By Thursday, Rufus has bonded with his family group and cabin mates. He makes them all friendship bracelets (and, of course, a melty-bead octopus for himself) during Arts and Crafts. During Bible Study, the Spiritual Advisor and Counselors talk about how God sent Aaron to be by Moses’ side to support him when he was worried. Rufus thinks about all the loved ones in his life, both at home and at camp, who loved and cared for him. In the evening, Rufus thinks about his day and realizes it was good.

​On Friday, Rufus can’t believe it is already the last day of camp. He is excited to see his family, but is sad to leave his friends and counselors. The Spiritual Advisor and counselors talk about all the good things Moses and Aaron did when they left the mountain top. Rufus realizes that he can’t stay at camp forever and that God is sending him back home to show love, encouragement, and care to others. He knows he was brave this week at camp as he tried new things and he feels inspired to go home to do more big, brave things. His counselors also help him remember that God is present everywhere he goes and that Camp Gilmont is not the only Holy Ground in his life. As Rufus leaves camp, he thinks about the week he had and realizes it was good. He can’t wait to rest tomorrow!