These last two days at camp have been a lot of fun. I’ve played disc golf with Luke and Davis from cabin 6, watched campers play Star Wars, traveling to the planets Dantooine, Tatooine, Naboo, and Alderaan trying to become Jedi Masters. I’ve gone down the zip line with the other Camp Directors in red, white, and blue for the 4th of July skit at Retreat, among many other fun things. Even in our work of summer camping, being outside playing silly games, learning classic camp skills like canoeing, or eating hamburgers on the 4th of July, our work can feel a part of the laborious technological rhythm. It takes a lot of energy and thought to run any one of our daily programs at camp. And we depend on technology to support these programs.
The outlook of a fun day of Tribal Activities or skills means time spent in front of a computer to make sure that game rules and skill rosters printed and distributed to the right people. These are necessary things. They can however, like in any vocation, sometimes feel like the job themselves. We all, I think, can recognize our dependence on technology and its helpful systems. However, there takes a certain resistance to perfecting document formatting and relentlessly organizing files to better streamline things the next time the computer is opened. This is summer camp! As our work has blended like most others to accommodate technology, I think we must push back against it at times, dropping things to be a buddy on the waterfront or pinch a pot in ceramics with our neighbor.
Our common story from the lectionary today was of Jesus calling Zacchaeus out of the tree, for he was coming to Zaccheus’ house. Scripture tells us that, “he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.” Even though it happened quickly, I do think that Zaccheus questioned the order of his house at least on the way. Jesus was coming over, after all. This was the Messiah, the one who was bringing new life, revolutionizing our systems, changing things. Zaccheus must have considered the state of things at home, felt some pressure to see if there was anything left to be done to make it perfect before welcoming in Jesus. I think Jesus wants us to just leave things sometimes, put them down, and welcome what is.
That’s what this week has been like. Our campers and staff do it every day as they navigate new friendships, fun experiences, and growth all without their cell phones or laptops. This has been a liberating thing for our community. Never is a Tribal Activity stopped, a paddle-board not taken out on the lake, or a meal interrupted because of that beckoning from our phones or laptops. I am grateful to be in a place that supports this kind of radical connectedness. As one in the community helping to run just one of our many programs, it’s encouraging to see this freedom to be a part of the fun and less concerned with making sure that every document is at once uploaded to Dropbox. We do need these systems, but sometimes we’re called to leave them for another time and get in the lake.
Jesus didn’t ask if everything was perfect before he came over. He went trusting that being in the way of people is right where we need to be, where God wants us, regardless of whether we formatted that document to look perfectly.
Grateful to be fully connected,
Bear Camp Director