YPTT at Camp Ithiel

July 7 – 15, 2013

A reflection on Camp Ithiel from Heather

Camp Ithiel.

Just another way of saying “God is with us.”

A little bit of harmony in the midst of city life.

A small group of Jr. Highers came to camp and tried to leave behind things from home as they discovered what it means to follow Jesus. We were part of a family at Camp Ithiel. We played “9 square in the air” and sang about how God makes beautiful things. We saw snake friends and marveled at the grey color that the lake turned when the rain fell.

We wondered,

Does an alligator really live in there, and when had we seen a brighter double rainbow?

Campers and staff learned about peace and being connected with one another.

Camp Ithiel.

Camp Shepherd’s Spring

This week we were at Shepherd’s Spring in Maryland. It was a busy time for us because we led three peace sessions per day everyday, but the campers enjoyed learning about peace and made goals for how they will be peacemakers when they return home. The campers were little kids (8-11 years old), and our patience was tried at times, but we loved teaching and spending time with them. Besides leading peace, we had fun swimming, worshiping, hiking, eating, canoeing, and playing four square with the campers and counselors. Shepherd’s Spring is a gorgeous camp, and we saw God do great things here in the staff’s loving care and the campers’ growth.

Orientation 2013

Heather Gentry, Jacob Crouse, Amanda McLearn-Montz. Photo by Marie Benner-Rhoades.

Heather Gentry, Jacob Crouse, Amanda McLearn-Montz. Photo by Marie Benner-Rhoades.

All was quite tranquil at the Brethren offices in Elgin
until early that first of June
when arrived a white van filled with Mss’ers from afar
who’d come to town the previous afternoon.

Lectio Divina – a divine reading –
not the fictional incantation you might think
prepared our minds and hearts each day
for thought, reflection, and key theological links.

Then, around a big table we would attend
sessions packed to the gills
with hermeneutical triangles, 16 pf’s,
Brethren living peacefully, together, without frills,
ethics, logistics, tradition, vocation,
liturgy, worship, and praise,
teaching, leading, and jamming to some scripture
preparing us to go on our ways.

After long days, the food would taste great
at the homes of our gracious hosts.
We’d fellowship cheerily before our daily examen
to discover where God has touched us the most.

From swimming in the hotel pool and playing contact
to singing about rain on a TARDIS,
of all the things we did in just a few days,
saying ‘good-bye’ was the hardest.

This thought inspires hope as we spread across the country
to do the Lord’s will as we may
because it shows the great love in our hearts
that we will share with all we meet
through peace, joy, and grace.