I went to sleep Monday night, still feeling the sensation of flying on the zipline. It had been alarming… for a moment. But after the initial shock, I had found that there was nothing more fun than going on the zipline at Twin Lakes Camp.
On Tuesday morning, I woke up excited for what the day might hold. I was beginning to find that, even though I had come not knowing anybody, spending this much time together had bonded our cabin in a way that I had never experienced before.
That morning, we prepared for the mud pit. When our counselor told us that we should wear clothes that were not our finest, my first reaction was panic, because I hadn’t brought any clothes that I wanted to get dirty. Then, as my counselor explained what the mud pit was, my worry turned into disgust.
“Do we have to go into the mud pit?” I inquired once Brenna had finished giving an account of her past experiences in the mud pit that had apparently been fun.
Brenna raised her eyebrows. “Well… you don’t have to. But it’s a lot of fun, even if it does seem kind of… nasty.”
Good, I thought. Because I’m not going.
Joy must have noticed my expression of relief, because she took two deliberate steps toward my bunk, stopped, and placed her hands on her hips disapprovingly. “You’re not going to go into the mud pit?”
“Nope.” I turned back to making my bed. When I glanced back at Joy, she was still there. Obviously, I wasn’t going to get out of this quite so easily.
“I’ve been in the mud pit, and it’s so much fun!”
“She’s right, you know,” Lauren, our CIT, added. “You might as well wear clothes that you could get dirty, just in case.”
I climbed down from my bunk bed. Five minutes later, I was dressed in my possible mud pit clothes, ready to go to breakfast. “There,” I said to Joy and Lauren. “Happy?”
A smile broke out on Joy’s face. Her smile was contagious, and I couldn’t help but imitate her.
My disposition lightened during breakfast. At the Sassafras table, it was hard not to have a good time. By the time we were walking down to the mud pit, I was talking and laughing just like everyone else in my cabin.
So, when we arrived at the giant puddle of brown water and mud beside the field where we played games, I found myself joining Sassafras at the edge of the mud pit, ready to get in as soon as we were allowed. A bit of mud couldn’t hurt me, I decided. And I didn’t want to be the only one Sassafras who didn’t get into the mud pit.
In the mud pit were a series of objects, such as balls, buckets, and more. In the center of it was a long rope that went all the way across the pit. We were divided into two teams, and on the count of three, we ran into the mud pit and grabbed as many objects as we could. I immediately slipped and fell. I was now half-covered in mud.
Two of my cabin-mates, Mia and Kristen, took hold of my arms and pulled me up. I quickly went for a few of the objects sitting out in the open.
I began to notice, though, that people from both teams grabbing were onto the rope. They began to pull. Tug-of-war had begun. I joined our team in the pulling. After putting up a good fight, we pulled the rope onto our side.
This was the end of the mud pit. When I stepped out, I realized how dirty I was, splattered all over with mud. I also realized how fun that had been, and how glad I was that I did it.
We ran down to the lake and jumped in to clean ourselves off.
Joy splashed through the lake toward me. “Aren’t you glad you went in Aubrey?”
“Yes!” I answered. “It was fun.”
“More fun than the zipline?”
I contemplated for a moment, then decided resolutely that there was nothing as fun as the zipline. But the mud pit had been pretty close!
That evening, as the sun set behind the trees and a dusky light overtook the camp, we strolled down to the ARC where we had chapel. We sang a few fun songs and a few more serious songs of worship before our speaker came up onto the stage and began to pray. His words sent a chill down my spine. He prayed for those who were unsaved. He prayed about our week, that it would be impactful. And he prayed for those who were saved, that they would not fall away, that God would re-ignite their passion for him, that they would live to follow him daily. By the time he had finished the prayer, I was free of any previous distractions and listening intently to what our speaker had to say. This man was worth listening to.
That night, Sassafras sat in a circle on the floor of our cabin. What had begun as a fun conversation had slowly turned into a more deep, serious one.
“What did you guys think of the chapel message tonight?” Joy asked after a long lull in the conversation. We all were silent for a moment as we pondered the question.
“It was good,” I answered finally. “I felt a bit convicted, though, when he talked about having a passion for God. I’m passionate about a lot of things. But when it comes to being a Christian… I think I lost my passion a long time ago. It’s buried somewhere deep inside. I should be more passionate about Christ than anything.”
In just a few days at this camp, I had come to learn so much about myself, other people, and God. I could never have expected camp to be this great. But I couldn’t help but wonder how I could go back to life as normal after an experience such as this.