So, when I was 18, I worked for a single summer as a junior counselor at Camp Arrowhead
in Lewes, Delaware. I'm writing this post because the alumni association for the camp has been asking for volunteers to visit area churches and talk about the camp. Well, it's not really local for me, so I can't do that, but I thought it would be worthwhile to share my thoughts about it with you lovely people.
I'll start off by saying that I would completely encourage anyone who lives close enough to send their children here, no matter what form of religion or spirituality you do or do not believe in. Technically, the camp is episcopalian and they do have a chapel and a "Christian Education" block during the camp activities. However, the Christianity you'll find here is unlike anything I've seen in any church that I've ever encountered. The teachings and activities are heavily influence by American Indian spiritual beliefs and practices. The summer that I was there, the sermons were about living harmoniously with nature, the music was about taking joy in life, and in Christian Education we made sand mandalas and medicine bags. I can't find my mandalas anymore (we glued them down so the kids could take them home) but I do still have my medicine bag hanging on the wall next to my bed.
Making the bags was a lot of fun - During five day sessions, the first day, we made the bags, then each day after that, our CE focused on one of the four elements and everyone got a token to represent the element of the day for their medicine bags; a shell for water, rock for earth, feather for air, and a mirror to represent fire. Ironically, I think this camp may be what really ruined me as a Christian. The sheer wonderfulness of the people and experience there made the attitudes of "real life" Christianity seem that much worse!
This was the start of me realizing that there were valid non-christian ways of explaining the world and even though I was only there for one short summer, so much of what makes me who I am came from there. I will gladly be sending my daughter there next summer (first year she's old enough) and every year after that she wants to go. If she has half as good an experience as I did, I expect it to be every year until she's working as a counselor there.
So, thanks for reading past "christian summer camp" and if anyone is inclined to send their 7-year-old daughter there next summer, let me know and maybe we'll run into each other during drop-off