Memories sometimes randomly pop into my head for reasons yet unknown to me. This time it was a memory of one summer that I was forced into going to “Bible Camp” by my loving parents. I can’t remember what year or even what southern state the camp was in, but I do remember that I hated almost every minute of it. This was not the first of these camps that I had been forced to go to, but it was definitely my last.
The only difference between that camp and the ones that I had previously attended was that I was chosen to be a “cabin mother” to about a dozen little 8 to 10-year-old girls. I know you’re probably thinking that I would make the worst camp counselor ever. You would be correct. I have no motherly instincts, no love of children that aren’t related to me, no patience for children, no nurturing nature, no outgoing bubbly social butterfly type personality and the list goes on.
I always hated church camps because they made the girls wear long dresses in 100 degree heat and expected us to actually participate in the worship services. By participate, I mean if everyone was raising their hands in praise & worship, then I was supposed to also, otherwise everyone looked at me like I was a freak. I usually just refused completely and sat there looking at everyone else like they were the freaks, not me.
I guess it wouldn’t have been so bad if I weren’t always known as the “Preacher’s Daughter” and therefore expected to behave perfectly and be the shining example of a Christian girl for all the other poor young souls. Admittedly I was a pretty good example of a good preacher’s daughter until my late teens. I went to church, even after moving out of my parents’ house at seventeen. I played the bass guitar at church, even after they left and moved out-of-state. The church that I attended after they left was an all black church, well except for me (Oreo cookie flashback), and it was the best time of my life. I learned some killer bass licks and had a great time with great friends. Unfortunately I never went to church camp with that church.
My times at church camp were usually spent in those of the Assembly of God or Pentecostal denominations. Long skirts and dresses, long hair on the women, no good music, and no fun to be found. I’ve tried to remember some actual things that I did while at church camp, but the only thing I really remember is one year at an Assembly of God camp. I only remember because I had a huge crush on one of the boys there. He had visited our church with his father a few months earlier. He was a trombone player like me. A few of the other details that I remember are that he was a couple of years older than me, he was tall, thin, dark hair, was very cute and his name was Clark, as in Clark Kent. So this little Superman won my heart and didn’t even have a clue. I tried without success to catch his attention during that week. Probably my four-eyed redheaded geeky preacher’s daughter look just wasn’t what he was looking for.
I eventually got over him and found another guy to crush on, but that was probably my fondest memory of church camp, lurking in the shadows stalking Superman.