A short piece about my favorite place on earth--Backwoods Christian Camp
The Old Iron Bunk Bed
There is a place I go to find rest and healing for my soul. It is not found on a sandy beach, or in a sunny meadow. It is not even accessible from atop a mountain peak with a splendid view. My favorite place is not a stream where the water laughs and giggles as it dances over the stones in its way. I go back to an old iron bunk bed that sits at the end of a row of beds much like it. Near the bed, hangs a rickety screen door, all that stands between the bed and the woods nearby.
In the summer months, this cabin fills with the laughter and chatter of campers and counselors, who visit and revisit this wonderful place to add another layer to their collage of memories. My favorite time follows lunch. It's "rest time." I peel off the sweaty outer layer of camp-approved clothing and slip into a loose-fitting gown, if only for an hour. I sink into my bunk and feel the coolness of the pillow beneath my head. A nearby fan blows warm air across my bed and cools me off as it evaporates the perspiration from the morning's activities. As I listen to the familiar clanking of the fan blades, I hear the gleeful sounds of old friends catching up on the news, friendships budding and growing, suitcases shutting and slamming to the floor, and hair dryers whirring--all mixed in with conversation and laughter.
Before long, I hear the clatter of footsteps and slamming screen doors as campers rush out to gather for sports time at the foot of the hill. I stay behind for just a bit, enjoying the solitude and entertained only by the sounds from the woods nearby. A chorus of birds sings to each other; I don't know their names, only that their music soothes me. Mingled in, is the croaking of frogs gathered to visit at their favorite spot in the stream and an occasional bee buzzing by to say hello. I savor the moment and say a prayer of thanks for the joy this magical place brings to me and for the many lasting friendships that started right here.
This is not just any camp. It's Backwoods Christian Camp—a place where children can play and enjoy good, clean fun. It's a place where children are loved, accepted, and treated with dignity and respect—a place where they can learn about their Creator and the love He has for them. Even the counselors are rejuvenated and blessed during the week they attend. This very special place creates friendships that can last throughout eternity. When summer is over, and I have added a new layer to my own collage, I find my thoughts wandering back to that bunk. When life is hectic, and my mind is burdened with too many decisions, I lie on my favorite bunk near the screen door. I find the peace and serenity that I've come to associate with this camp.
April 23, 2008
Revised August 30, 2011