For the past 12 summers, I have worked at some form of summer camp. Each morning I have been greeted by little voices and prayers and my days have been spent making sure young campers have the best experience possible. This summer, for the first time, my summer camp wasn’t filled with students running around, playing games and worshipping Jesus. At first it seemed impossible to imagine what Covenant Pines could even look like without Trailblazers, SWEATs and a full summer staff of college students. But much like everything else in this COVID-19 world, we had to pivot, adjust, be creative and trust that God would work.
One weekend at one of our Summer Getaways, I got the chance to catch up with a couple that I worked with on summer staff “back in the day.” They now have two children, and told me how excited they were to come up to camp. They explained to me that the two weekends we have traditionally offered for Family Camp never worked with their schedules, but this allowed them to come up to Covenant Pines in the summer – something they have always loved. We made jokes about how they packed their cars with more stuff for the few days they were here than they did for an entire summer on staff and how tie dying t-shirts is like riding a bike – the technique will come back to us. It brought me so much joy to witness this young family enjoying time together at a place that is so special to them – and it was a gentle reminder that the pivots, adjustments and creativity we had spent so much time discussing earlier in the spring would come to fruition. God was at work.
That following Monday, I was looking through our evaluations from the weekend and stumbled upon my friends’ response. I was immediately struck by the generational impact that Covenant Pines can have. When asked the question, “The mission of Covenant Pines Ministries is to encourage campers to take a next step in the Christian faith. How did you experience Christ at camp this weekend?”, my friend responded with this, “It was a joy to see our kids enjoying camp and looking forward to being at camp on their own some day. It is our hope that camp can be a place for them to encounter Christ and grow in their faith as it has for us. Being together as a family in such a special place is such a blessing.”
Sure, Summer 2020 was different. I was saddened to not be surrounded by campers….but I gained a new appreciation for the ways we at Covenant Pines can minister to families.This was such a helpful reminder for me to notice how God is continuing to work in this unique and challenging season of life. As 2020, COVID-19 and the pivots continue, I know God will continue to reveal to us new ways to appreciate and honor Him.