By Carole Beisel, National Alumni Board
It was the summer of 2000 and my older daughter, Chelsea, was heading off for two weeks of summer camp at the A/U Ranches. I have to admit, I had mixed feelings about my eight-year-old going away for two weeks. At the end of those two weeks, though, when my husband and I picked her up, we both agreed it was the best gift we could ever have given her.
Two summers later when our younger daughter was ready for her first camp adventure, we were thrilled to have her go! To this day, my husband and I agree that the gift of camp at the A/U Ranches was one of the best decisions we ever made. Why? Well, for a number of reasons, but as I write this, what stands out to me most is the sense of independence and confidence that their summers as campers and staff instilled in them.
It all started at a pancake breakfast and camp show, where we learned about the Ranches and camp. When it was over, Chelsea announced, “I’m going!” I remember telling her she would be away from home for two weeks, to which she promptly replied, “OK!” I soon realized it wasn’t her concern that needed to be handled, but my own.
What a wonderful opportunity to examine my own thoughts about motherhood and what I truly believed! Was God her true Mother-Father? Could I really let go and trust? It took some praying, but ultimately the answer was yes. I could absolutely trust in her Father-Mother God to provide complete protection and comfort and to bless the entire experience. What a gift to learn this lesson that summer. It has stayed with me through both of my daughters’ many adventures. And what a gift for them, too!
There’s a song that is sung at the end of each camp session called “Whither.” It’s taken from Psalm 139 and goes like this:
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Yes, God’s protection is everywhere! So, if you’re reading this and pondering camp for your child, do it! The blessings for your child (and yourself) are too many to count. Your child will discover who they are and what they are capable of, and will make those special friendships that last a lifetime.
Those friendships and experiences will be shared this summer as Adventure Unlimited celebrates its 60th Reunion. Come to the A/U Ranches August 21-24, 2015, to play, catch up with old friends and make new ones. Join us in singing “Whither” as Adventure Unlimited celebrates all of our unlimited adventures.