Freedom Summer

Oh hey there, blog!  I suppose I should start by apologizing for cheating on you (and the rest of technology) with nature, but now I am back and full of stories and lessons from these past 9 weeks as a camp counselor.  Saving the more serious stuff for later, here are just a few of the moments and letters that made me laugh and miss “my” kids all over again!

ImageOne night, my co and I decided to tell our campers that we were married, just to see if they would believe us.  We drew hearts with our names on each other’s arms and then went to bed.  When we woke up the next morning the girls “ooh-ed and ah-ed” over my marker “tattoo” and fake relationship.   But when we went outside to meet the boys, we found Kevin (7), who had a cute crush on me, loudly telling my co: “You are not good for her!  Get away from her!”  Then he came running over to me: “Are we going to lake swim today?!  Because I need to scrub that heart right off of your arm!”  So funny…but that declared an end to our little joke!  We told the kids that actually we were only trying to trick the other staff, and they could be in on the “secret”.


“After 2 days, I will go to NY. I am sad. While we stayed at camp, I saw you every day, but when I’m not at camp anymore, I will never see you again.” -Korean camper

Another week, I had 14 campers straight from Korea!  They learned a lot about American culture from us; for example, that just because a girl hugs a guy doesn’t mean that he is her boyfriend (“Teacher Emily, you very many boyfriends!  You bad girl!” said one, with a teasing snicker).  After I finally persuaded them that I didn’t have any boyfriend at all (“Why not, Teacher Emily, why not?), two of the boys disappeared for five minutes.  The next thing I know, they come back and one saunters right in front of me with his shirt off and slung over his shoulder.  His buddy sits down next to me and starts an obviously rehearsed speech in broken English: “He the full package!  You know what that is, Teacher Emily?  He has six-pack, very good in studies, AND he’s rich!”

ImageIn yet another unit, I had a 5-year-old camper named Lulu.  As she bit into her s’more, she reminded me that: “We’ll have to brush our teeth after this, so that we don’t get sweet tooths.” (I’m never calling them cavities again…)

Another week, a camper named Sam broke our hearts when he interrupted bible study to ask “What is praying?”  We explained what it was as simply as we could, but he still seemed pretty doubtful.  I was surprised then, when, two days later he started telling me about things he was praying for.  They were such funny little prayer requests (“I prayed that it would rain so that we could leave our bags at the picnic table!   And it *did* rain!”), but it was still such an encouragement to witness that those seeds we had planted were starting to sprout!


(All names were changed).




If I am always anticipating the moment my pain will end, I will live in cycles of depression.

If I live dying for the next phase of life, I will die without ever having really lived.

But if I cling to God’s promise of His perfect plan, I can be confident that nothing is more beautiful than the moment I am in.

Then I can live!  I can be free!