By Trisha Holden, Dean of Discovery Week at Camp Latgawa
“Love! Joy! Peace! Patience! Kindness! Goodness! Faithfulness! Gentleness and Self Cont-ro-oh-OHL! HEY!” (Repeat!) Sung in unison, with exuberance, and complete with the hand jive is a scene you may happen upon if you are at Camp Latgawa during Discovery Week. It was the theme song for the week a couple of summers ago and has quickly become part of the annual tradition at the insistence of returning campers and counselors. It’s probably the most joyful way I’ve ever memorized a bible verse (Galatians 5:22-23).
Part of the fun, joyful part is that the song starts with asking if the campers want to be an actual fruit - with whole body movements to go with any fruit you could name. It’s all sorts of good, silly fun as we bring home the point that living in the Kingdom of God means embodying these traits.
There’s never any doubt at Latgawa what the embodiment of those fruits looks like, because it’s in the interactions between campers, counselors, staff and leaders throughout the days’ activities. The joy is celebrated from the exuberant grace before meals to the playful splashing in the pool. The joy is felt in the energetic evening programs to the adventurous creek walks in the cool water on a hot day. The joy is renewed as campers and counselors gather together for evening campfire and worship. I feel this joy the most deeply as I look around the benches at those campfires and see campers sitting with arms around each other, singing with all their hearts, and the emotion of the words shining on their faces. In these moments, I know that God’s Love has been shared in this sacred space, during this shared time and in these wonderful ways.
I would like to invite you to join us this summer at the camp you call home and experience the joy that abounds at camp!
- Trisha Holden