Picture a 65-foot climbing wall: 6 tall and imposing stories high. Imagine a 12-year-old girl clinging with all of her strength to the grips, purposing to race her older brother to the top. Part way up she looks back…
When I was up there and I was looking down, I got so scared. I tried to grab the rock, but I slipped. Everyone was encouraging me, saying 'Don't be afraid.' I felt like God was there, and He was encouraging me, too. Then I felt confident... When I reached the top, I was so happy!
Bailey*'s experience at the climbing wall is a beautiful microcosm of all that happened at family camp.
Instead of a campus vacations to a "big" city like Dallas or Denver, this year we took all of our kids and most of our adults to experience a campus-wide "family camp" in Bonita Park, New Mexico.
Family camp was the very best parts of the camp experience. With the primary goal of building relationships and community, we created mixed up teams with kids from various cottages along with Family Teachers and staff who don't normally work together. There were awkward situations to take us out of our comfort zones, ridiculous games and tough challenges to give us ample opportunity to laugh together and struggle together and cheer each other on. There were wonderful worship services to encourage the spiritual growth of the kind that only happens in such settings. There was silliness and laughter, joking and playing, peace, quiet and reflection.
Camp was certainly a time of new experiences and individual growth, but it was also distinctively a time of bonding, of coming together, of unity and oneness of heart.
There is so much we accomplish on campus at Amarillo Children's Home through the ins and outs of everyday life - so many battles won simply by going through life together. But sometimes... sometimes you need silly games, you need to get out of your comfortable group and you need 4 nights straight of worshipping with family. Sometimes you need struggle and encouragement and hard-won success. Sometimes you need to climb a 65-foot wall to gain the ground you're striving for.
from an interview with Assistant Family Teacher Jennie Dunn *name has been changed