Wednesday, September 20, 2006
We're back from our first church weekend camping retreat. We all had enough fun "roughing it" that we hope to make this an annual event. Added to the pleasure of being with one another, was the absolutely beautiful weather that we had! God was very gracious to us.
Our weekend started - well, it started Friday morning as we worked at packing everything up - but it formally began with a campfire Friday evening (though most of us had been there since mid-afternoon).
That Friday night campfire was perhaps one of the most memorable moments of the weekend. We started off singing some old songs: old gospel songs, choruses, hymns, and even Old Hundreth. Then as it grew darker, and the crowd around the fire began to swell we went around and introduced ourselves. No, our church isn't that big that we don't all know each other, but we did find out we don't know everything about each other, as each person was required to share a little known fact about themselves... VERY interesting! :-) Laughter was very abundant as stories were shared, peculiarities confessed, and our very own comedians entertained us in their very own styles!
Saturday night's campfire was a little too hot to handle for those with the high dollar front row seats - notice the face shields on the front road fellas! As on Friday we sang songs and told stories, only they were of a slightly different genre than the night before. While we did sing "Count Your Blessings" and "Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?" We also sang some of the old classics like the song about the old farmer named, MacDonald; the infamous dog, Bingo; good ol' John Jacob; and various other nonsensical songs learned by some of the older members of our crowd in their youth... To keep the song moving amidst the laughter, we had rousing accompaniment of guitar, mandolin, and harmonica. Thanks, guys - it was very fun!
Ah, but we didn't just sit around campfires all weekend.
The early morning sunrise on Saturday morning saw us climbing from our tents onto the heavily dew-laden grass all bright eyed and bushy tailed.
After a short early morning visit to the volleyball court, all our families gathered together with hymnals and bibles in hand. After raising our voices in praise and thanksgiving to our Lord, we read and discussed a Psalm, and then broke into three smaller groups to study through a list of verses prepared by the elders. A very obvious thread carrying through the verses was the use of the phrase "one another" in each and every verse. Through the lunch hour we read, studied, discussed, and prayed together - that evening at the campfire we would take some time to share with 'one another' what we had read and learned.
The afternoon was spent primarily at the volleyball court, on the basketball court, sitting and chatting, walking through the woods, napping, fencing, playing a bean bag toss game, and generally finding enjoyment from being together!
Nathan & Jeanine and Jeremy & Sara wisely refrained from camping with us over the weekend, but they did come up and visit us with their little ones.