What I want you to know. Which is everything.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Betrayal and Church Camp
Lots of people get ideas for what to write on their blogs from current events in the news. I get mine from other blogs. Mike Cope asked a question about people's summer camp experiences.
Let me start by saying that I lived for nothing more during the summer when I was a kid than going to camp. From the time I first went after my 5th grade year I was hooked. There was just such an incredible feeling while I was at camp that I was accepted, liked, popular...All the things that I really wanted to be at school, but didn't feel, even if I was. I wasn't the type at school to cower in the corner and disappear. On the contrary, I always felt like I was in the way. Especially in grades 8-10. But at camp, no matter how old I was, no matter how horrible that past year had been I was the BMOC* of camp.
This was made all the better by the one thing that I looked forward to most at church camp: girls. At camp girls liked me. My ego was just a little greater in the woods for some reason. I don't know why this was, but I had all this confidence when surrounded by my church youth group, and it paid off in friends, respect, and most of all, girls. I rarely went to camp and didn't have a summer romance; a week long relationship. There was even one year that I had a girlfriend back home who couldn't come on the trip. She was in the youth group at my church and had wanted to go, but she couldn't. I don't remember why. This was a girl that I spent a lot of time with at church and on the phone. We had, just a week earlier, admitted to each other that we liked each other and wanted to be girlfriend and boyfriend. We had been friends for a long time, had fleeting crushes on each other, but the timing had never been right until this particular summer. But when I got to camp the whole camp atmosphere kicked in and I ended up liking another girl. On Friday of that week she came up to camp to attend the banquet with me. All hell broke loose. In the eyes of my 9th grade head I had made my choice, and as horrible as I felt, I felt justified. The romance of the woods and the dark candlelit devotionals were too much for this hormonal 15 year old to handle. (Youth ministers, this kind of atmosphere succeeds in pulling focus to God, sure, but there's just something about confessing your cuss word problems or that you have a friend at school that tells bad jokes that is very sexy. Just saying you might want to watch that.)
The girl and I remained friends, somehow, and we had many more conversations on the phone, all of which seemed to contain the phrase, "I am so sorry" in there somewhere. The last time I talked to her was when I was home from college and we hung out at her sisters house as she sat with her nephews. She brought it up again. "I know, I know, I hurt your feelings. Geez, that was a long time ago." It was water under the bridge, I think. I invited her to my wedding, but didn't hear from her. Then she didn't invite me to hers. She probably figured that you didn't invite people that you hadn't talked to in more than five years. I guess it's true. But for a long time, and during some of my toughest times she really was my best friend. It's kind of sad to loose friends like that.
*Big Man On Campus