Just back from a short week at our diocesan camp, Bishopswood, for the summer diocesan youth event, BION. It was a really intense experience, definitely worthwhile. Perhaps easier that I'm an old camp hand (emphasis on OLD--I expect that the last time I worked at summer camp was long before the campers (certainly!) and most of the younger camp staff were born. Sigh. But seriously. My experiences with co-ed Christian camping have not been very positive, but this was GREAT! It was incredibly well organized, planned, directed, and the youth participants (and leadership trainees) were incredibly nice, kind, and inclusive. A GREAT camp culture. Also, a major point of the culture of our diocesan youth events in main is "No Dating Behavior" because it's exclusive. Guess what, there's No dating behavior! Really!
I confess that I always forget how basically superfluous adults are when there are high schoolers around--not a bad thing, altogether.
Oh, yeah, and my inner high school adolescent--a highly competitive boy-child, I think--came out like gangbusters when we played all camp capture the flag Tuesday night (the first night with the youth there). I'm kind of surprised I sustained neither a concussion nor a sprained ankle!
Anyway, my "Focus Groups" (sort of classes--we had a 40 min period each of the three middle days to focus on a topic--I did two using Godly Play stories--one for High School, one for middle school, and one onPsalms and Song of Solomon, looking at sex and violence in these two books--well, violence in Psalms, sex in Song of Solomon. Apparently, Song of Solomon was a huge hit. We went off on all these tangents, but largely had good conversations. Another counselor later mentioned that LOTS of kids were looking up Song of Solomon in the Bible.
Oddly, another topic that came up was same sex marriage. Another contrast with my previous camp experience, the kids really didn't find gay issues to be a huge deal. Refreshing!
Will be lovely to get caught up on sleep and laundry, but it was great!