Stories from Camp Appalachia
Last July many women from the Charlotte Women of Vision chapter traveled to Barbour County, West Virgina to lead an annual girls enrichment camp. Today we share three reflections and stories from that week.
What a privilege to grow in Christ this week and love on these girls. That is what one hears in mission trips, to be relational and just love them. I am more of a Martha who is busy doing and working, but hope many of you rubbed off on me to be a Mary and sit by His feet and those girls more.
Hayley was my buddy and she wanted to work with her music. She is a sweet 14 year old who said she was always tired, never wore a camp shirt, and didn’t want to sing. The good thing is: she was smiling by the 2nd day and texted me on Wednesday night to tell me she is coming back next year!
I want to share what my buddy, Hannah Swick, told me was her favorite thing about camp. Hannah’s favorite part of camp was spiritual nurture. I was so surprised because I was afraid that my delivery of the material might fall short since Hannah’s father is a minister and her mother is a worship leader. She attends church regularly and goes on mission trips and knows the Bible. Hannah really liked that the material was geared to her age. I found that the time we worked together in spiritual nurture helped me to bond and opened up conversations in areas of her life that she has concerns.
When I was partnered up with my camp buddy Abby (who I’ve had over the past few years) I was aware of a shyness and yet an ability to converse. This curly topped redhead would just blow me away with some of her stories and love of her three sisters. Abby is the 3rd of four girls. (I also have 4 daughters and have a special spot for my 3rd because they seem to be in a peculiar position within the family dynamics. They aren’t the youngest, therefore getting the attention, nor are they the ‘middle’ child. They tend to be more introspective than the others.)
Abby is such an incredible writer. When we were at camp she would often tell me of her diary she keeps. She reads voraciously and she speaks using very good English and grammar. She would often share with me some of her insecurities and socially awkward moments. But she’d also talk as though she just goes in the direction God leads her. I always encouraged her to continue her writing. And I am sure other Women of Vision did as well. Two years ago she came to camp and with such excitement (I can still see that sweet face) she presented me a copy of the book she’d written and self published! She even illustrated the front cover! I asked her to please autograph it for me.
What joy this girl brings to camp each year. THIS year she surprised us all by getting up in front of all the camp counselors and sang and played her guitar. Then she and her best friend, also a camper, Justina, got up in front of the parents, counselors and fellow campers at the last night and performed a song, both singing and Abby playing her guitar. I have seen so much growth in Abby over the years. She continues to blossom.