Church Camp | My Family Travels
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I sat in the backseat of the car feeling my heart beating in the back of my throat.  Here I was staying one week at a primitive church camp in the back woods of Beckley, West Virginia.  The gravel road to the camp was riddled with pot holes and was barely wide enough for our small car to drive on.  The cabins were in desperate need of a paint job and I noticed I didn’t even have one bar of cell phone service.  Now of course there was electricity, but that was about it.  I had left all of the comforts of my home 25 miles behind me.  I wanted to do a quick check on my clothes, hair, and makeup so I walked into the camp’s bath house and noticed a spider crawling up the wall.  All I could figure was that it was trying to find it’s way out of this place!  I looked at the ‘barely there’ plastic shower curtains that obviously didn’t do their jobs as well as they were meant to.  I looked at my mom with eyes that begged silently just to get back in the car and drive me home. I knew there was no way out.  I had to somehow get through six days of this.   

I knew noone and it felt as if I had to make a self introduction everywhere I turned.  It seemed as if everyone knew everyone else and I was the ‘new girl’.  Day 1 was pretty much just that.  People getting to know me, me getting to know people.   The first evening’s chapel service made me realize that I was going to get through the week and enjoy myself in the meantime.  We sang Acapella music and worshipped God through devotion.  There was something about sitting in an open pavilion, staring out into the deep woods that God had made, that made me realize I was right where I was supposed to be.   

As the week progressed, so did my need to give my life to God.  On Day 4, I am proud to say that I was baptized in the mobile baptistery that the church camp provided.  The water was frigid but the warmth in my heart made up for that.  My parents, brother, sister, grandparents, uncle, and cousin all got to share in the experience with me.  They all stayed afterwards for that evening devotional and we all had an amazing evening.   

The last day of camp came too quickly, and my mom came to pick me up early that morning.  I packed up my belongings, walked out to the car, and held back tears of sorrow at the thought of leaving this wonderful place.  I was amazed at the change in myself and once I got home wanted once again to feel the peace that came along with Surprise Valley Youth Camp.  I cannot wait until next summer when hopefully I get the chance to attend once again.  I only wish I could take my full length shower curtain with me!

 

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