Saturday, June 7, 2008

There's a place I love

I haven't been there for years, but it's still a part of me. My time spent there was a major contributing factor to the person that I am today. So much so that I still think of this place every summer and am now counting down the days until my children can and will be sent there.

No, it wasn't juvie.

It was Lakeside Bible Camp on Whidbey Island and this is a camp like no other. (if you ask me)

And I can say that because I have been to one other summer camp in my life. I don't remember the name of that camp, it was somewhere in Alaska (I lived there until I was 9). I vividly remember the night I fell out of the top bunk and landed on the counselors HIGH HEEL SHOES. Seriously folks. Who brings HIGH HEELS to summer camp?

Now back to Lakeside, or LBC as it will lovingly be called from here on out.

LBC is on Deer Lake, which is on Whidbey Island which, for those of you not from these parts, is the Pacific Northwest's answer to Hilton Head or Mackinac Island.

Or maybe not.

But it is a beautiful island here in the Puget Sound.

I started going to LBC in middle school and instantly fell in love. Summer camp was just my gig.

There was so many fun things to do, lot's of people to be around (including boys) and it was away from home! I'm not positive how I actually ended up at LBC in the first place, because it was quite likely way out of the family budget for me to go. I'm pretty sure someone else outside of my family paid for me to go and I am very strong in my suspicions of who that was. At any rate, LBC was where I belonged. I started with junior high summer camp and retreats in the winter and by the time I was in High School I was going to high school camp for a week, TCL (Training in Christian Leadership) for a four weeks, and working as a counselor one or two other weeks each summer. TCL was the most impactful program for me at LBC. It was only open by application with two letters of recommendation to 24 (12 girls and 12 boys) high schoolers per session, with two sessions per summer. And guess what TCL'ers did? We worked. Seriously, it cost $100 dollars to participate in TCL and we went for the month and worked. We served the other campers that were there for their camp sessions. We served meals, did dishes, cleaned toilets and showers daily, did full cabin cleaning after each camp left, and each TCL program worked on a major camp improvement project. To this day, if you go to Lakeside, you quite likely can find my name along with the names of the other TCL'ers carved into the baseball backstop, the soccer goals, the fence around the dumpsters and the boat dock.

That's me, circa 1990, with a very dear friend, Mrs. Trudy, who came to visit me for Family Day.

This is the place that I discovered God's amazing love for me. I had grown up going to church and Sunday School, but it was only at LBC that I learned that God's Word was applicable to MY life, not just a good book that you carried to Sunday school each week and that God desired a personal relationship with me.

My last visit to LBC as a camper was about 12 years when Dave and I took our then four year old nephew to LBC for a week of Family Camp. We had a great week, but it was hard for Dave to understand my deep, deep love for that place.
These days my nieces and nephews go to LBC! The girl on the far right is my niece (we call her Peanut) at High School camp last summer.

She wasn't even born when I was going to LBC!

I am now counting down the days until Skippy can go. And guess what? He is just over a year away from being able to go to Jr. Boys camp, or as we often called it "smelly boys camp". That was the week that we dreaded to serve because those boys NEVER showered and rarely remembered to flush the toilets that we had to clean! Thank goodness for the lake to swim in, otherwise some of those boys would be filthy beyond recognition when it was pick-up time.

Come next summer you can bet that I will be making the four hour drive to deliver my son to LBC for a week of "smelly boy camp"!

I can't wait.........

Do you have a favorite summer camp memory?


Gina said...

Jesse is going to Big Smelly Boys Camp this summer and next year Caleb can join Ben at Little Smelly Boy Camp! I hope it means the same thing to them that it meant to us.
I know what you mean about where you learned that the bible was applicablke to your life. That was where I made God the Lord of my life. Right there at LBC- even though I had all the head knowledge before that.

Eryn said...

I have too many fun camp memories from Great Escape, and lots of them have you and Dave wearing aprons in them! Me and the fam were just looking a mom's scrapbook pages from our houseboating trip after camp in 98...Dave sharing the gospel with little fish, Amy walking in on Dave on the potty, Janie, our storm refugees, and many other fun ones... all BC (before children) if you can remember back that far! That was such a fun trip.

Melissa Lee said...

Oh, I love love love that you have camp memories like I do. For so long I thought I was just a sap. So I'm glad we are of like mind. Of course mine was located in North Texas. It was 183 degrees in the shade. There was no "mixed bathing" and I never won camp queen (I'm over it. Seriously. Sorta.) But man did I ever love it.
But as far as memories go...I'm far more interested in hearing why your friend Eryn up there meniotned "Amy walking in on Dave in the potty." Huh? I'm gonna need more, my friend.

Thanks for visiting me. Hope to see more of you.

Kat said...

Thanks so much for introducing yourself over on my blog -- love new bloggie friends! My fav camp memory - will I be voted mother of the year for this one?! - is from last week - when both of my girls were at camp :-) I sent off my little girlies...and got back smelly girly with nasty, matted, crispy hair. They apparently didn't offend the smelly boys...because my 10 year old got a call from a boy she met at camp today! Ack...we are in soooo much trouble!

Mrs. R said...

I tried to vote for your picture, but I think the move made the link invalid?

Lula! said...

I never went to camp as a teenager ('cause I was unwilling to leave the comfort of our pool and the boys that eventually made their way over to use it--the POOL, not me!), but when I was 12 I did spend 1 week at Camp Wahsega (a 4-H camp) in the mountains of North Georgia. Their one claim to fame? One of the Friday the 13th movies was filmed there. (the 2nd or 3rd one, I believe.) HOW COOL IS THAT? I roamed where Jason slayed many horny teenagers. Rock on!

Meagan said...

There were a handful of summers during jr high and high school when I went to Riverview Bible Camp in NE Washington State. I loved it and have such great memories. I was baptized there in the Pend Orielle River...such an awesome experience! After graduation I was a counselor there a couple times and also went to that same camp for weekend retreats and other events. Oh how I miss the Northwest!!

Karen said...

I went to a Christain camp at Gig Harbor. I learned to ride a horse there, made awesome friends, and learned the fun game of Suck and Blow. OK now that I'm a parent, that is a horrible game that the teenagers played!! HeHe