Back to School. The three words kids dread hearing. Early mornings, long days and homework all begin to crowd our thoughts as we eek out those last few days of freedom in the sun. The one part of back to school I LOVED was the back to school shopping – and I am sure there are plenty of our campers out there who would agree. New clothes, shoes, backpacks, etc. My favorite shopping though was for school supplies. I was like a kid in a candy store when it came to purchasing new pencils, pens, highlighters, paper, binders and all the necessary containers to organize it all in. I couldn’t get enough. To this day I still get excited when I walk into an office supply store or through the back to school section at Walmart. Now don’t get me wrong, once the first essay was assigned, those supplies began to lose their luster for a time, but I still loved highlighting notes with different colors and finding new ways to organize all the information I needed to retain.
I recently had a similar experience in a fabric store. I am looking to cover several chairs and had some time to browse the local fabric store to get some ideas. Like school supplies, the options seemed endless. Only in the fabric store my senses were overloaded with colors, patterns, and textures. I started taking pictures of my favorites and asking for samples of those I thought most likely to work and I ended up with a handful of swatches and over 30 pictures on my phone. It was exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.
I am not really gifted in the crafty/artistic department, but when I walk into stores like that or even for school supplies, I am immediately inspired and have this overwhelming confidence and desire to create something beautiful and unique.
As I thought about my time in the fabric store and how much I enjoyed that hour and a half I realized it goes beyond my desire for stylish furniture or to embark on some amazing DIY project. What those stores offer is the opportunity to create. Through their array of fabric, thread, tassels, pencils, notebooks and highlighters they communicate that the possibilities are virtually endless, that with the right tools you could do anything you wanted. Then it hit me, this is what camp seeks to offer.
When our girls arrive at Hollymont we hope that they immediately sense an overwhelming opportunity to explore who they are and take creative risks in a safe environment. We want them to step out and get to know new people and places with no fear of failure. This is why we offer so many different skills, trips and activity options. This is why we purposefully place girls in their clusters with new friends from all over the country and world. This is why our counselors and staff make a point to get to know them as individuals and point them towards our perfect Creator, God, as they begin their own faith journeys.
Camp provides the tools necessary to learn and grow and discover all that they are capable of doing and being. We have seen girls take courageous steps of faith throughout the summer through these opportunities and know that God will be faithful to continue to develop that confidence and boldness throughout the year.
Our theme this year was trusting God in new places. Our prayer is that they would continue to see every place as a new opportunity and they would know the endless possibilities of becoming who they are created to be. We hope that the tools they were given at camp, would be instrumental in their ability to continue to look at the world with wide eyed wonder and possibility. They are surrounded by so many colors and textures – we pray they would be inspired and challenged to create and pursue life wherever God calls them.