Reflections on My Son’s First Camp Experience

A few weekends ago we had a first in our household.  Our 8-year-old son went off for a 3-day, 2-night camp weekend for church.  Kaden had stayed the night at people’s houses before, but this was a significant step.  He was going to be on his own more than he ever had been before.  He came back and had a great experience.  As I pondered the experience, several things resonated with me.  I think too often we take for granted what should breed gratitude.  We need to say out loud what we are grateful for:

  • I was proud and thankful for Kaden’s courage to want to go into a strange environment with lots of kids he does not know.  We applaud courage at our house, and I am grateful he showed courage to go.
  • I am so grateful for every young adult and adult worker who went to camp to serve each of those kids.  These are people who took off work, went away from their own families, and sacrificed time to hang out with a bunch of 3rd-6th grade kids.  That is incredible.  You are all rock stars.
  • I am appreciative of Erica Shelton, the Director of Children’s Ministry here at Grace, and all that she does to make an experience like this happen.  Her gifts and passion are incredible and are on full display with this type of event.
  • I am eternally grateful that the content of a weekend like this drives my kid to think about loving God and loving others.  He is learning things that can shape eternity.  Our church loves kids and wants to see them impacted in real ways.  We do not babysit.  We plant the anchor of the gospel in the souls and hearts of kids.
  • I am thankful for a wife that has not been a helicopter parent and has released our children early on to go into new environments.  She did not hover and she did not live in a constant need to have her child close by her side.  It makes Kaden brave and opportunities like this easy to say yes to.
  • I am also grateful that moments like this remind me how short my time with my kids really is.  These types of events say “holy cow” he is growing up.  Time is short and I need to get it right.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on My Son’s First Camp Experience

  1. Good for your young man that he was allowed to, and wanted to, “step out of the boat”. I also appreciated your compliment to your wife about her not wanting to be a Helicopter Parent. That tendency is strong these days, Keith, and is harmful to our future adults. God bless you and your family!

  2. You are so right Pastor Keith. I felt it big time when I realized my first born baby was going to be 60. Holy Cow what happened. Did I lay down and sleep for 60 years…then all the regrets started to creep in…the times I couldn’t rock him to sleep anymore or couldn’t see him bound down the drive with his fishing pole in hand to go fishing with his dad. Well long story short he turned out just great. He loves Jesus has a beautiful wife and daughter so all is well. I buried one son who had DS but God gave him to me for 58 years and he taught me unconditional love. I have another one who is 57 who needs much prayer. He loves Jesus but I fear is fighting some demons. And then there is my baby and Holy Cow he is going to be 40 in a few months. As I look back and ponder all the questions I asked my Father when I discovered He was going to bless me with another gift…Lord do you really know what you are doing… but praise the Lord he loves Jesus and has a lovely wife and daughter and is a great spiritual asset to me every day of my life. God is good and the gifts He gave me have blessed me many times. Now I just want to be a grandma to all the little children. They make me smile as I watch them at play while I sit in my rocker and count my blessings. Love them and hug them but let them be who God wants them to be and everything will turn out just fine. Didn’t mean to ramble but your post made me stop and think. God Bless you and your lovely wife and enjoy those little ones all you can.

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