Summer in the Trenches


Perhaps you’ve asked yourself, “Self, where has lyseofllyr been this summer? She hasn’t posted anything.” So glad you asked!
Black Balsam
That’s where I spent the summer. Well, not literally at Black Balsam Knob, but in the Blue Ridge mountains. I was counseling at a Christian camp for 10 of the most fantastic weeks of my life.

I’ve grown up attending this camp pretty much every summer since 6th grade. My dad worked there back in the 70’s. My sister worked here. You could say it’s a special place to my family. It has been life-changing for all of us.

You may wonder what’s different about Christian camp. Honestly, I don’t know, because I’ve never attended a secular camp. I can describe it to you though. We play games (intense, energetic, highly competitive ones) every day. We have lake days and hike days (to 3 major waterfalls) and tubing in a creek. We have a water slide, a zipline, rock climbing, a giant swing, archery, rifle, and slingshot ranges, soccer, basketball, volleyball, mini golf, obstacle courses, a craft shop, a game room, a coffee shop, a snack shop, and a camp store. We have skits and competitions and goofiness. We have flag raising and pledges every morning. We eat a lot.
Oh. And we have daily chapels, devotions, services, and cabin devotions. We have a Scripture memory contest. We have counselors, not just cabin leaders. Everything else we do is to enhance the Christian aspect of camp.

Why, you ask? Well, I didn’t understand it until this summer either. But now I do. Because I counseled approximately 100 girls this summer. Many of them come from broken homes, broken relationships, and otherwise unhappy lives. They cut themselves, drink, smoke, have sex, and are miserable. They don’t understand why “blank” happened to them. And I saw the peace that resulted from understanding that there is an all-powerful, loving God Who has a plan for their lives and knows their pain. I’ve seen the joy when they realize that they can have peace through circumstances they can’t control. I’ve seen change.

I understand that many people see Christianity as a hoax, a fairytale, or worse, a horrible conspiracy. I could argue with that, but, honestly, I don’t like arguing very much. I know the truth of my life and the lives of my girls this summer. I know the comfort and healing that I’ve seen come through truth.

I spent my summer loving others, giving truth, and watching girls come to peace. What did you do?

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2 thoughts on “Summer in the Trenches

  1. Love to hear that you’re content and doing something meaningful with your summer! It’s inspiring that you’re devoted to your actions no matter what other people might say, and it’s great that you’re keeping yourself active while working to improve the lives of those young girls. Hope to hear more from you in the future.

  2. Pingback: Poems to Share: Mary Oliver | lyseofllyr

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