Posted by: Matt Rice | 07/26/2009

Camp Willow Run

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I have dreamed of being a camp pastor. I went to Lakeside Christian Camp from 7th grade to 10th grade in Pittsfield, MA. It was a great experience. The camp speakers had a profound impact on my life. I have to say it was more than the emotionalism of the activities, being away from home, the campers (ok girls), or the smores at the campfire. I was so challenged by the counselors, speakers, and to live for Christ.

Dreams do come true. I was able to be the camp speaker June 14th – 20th. I preached 9 times during this time. I had 197 middle school boys and girls. They blessed me incredibly. My two favorite parts of Camp Willow Run:

1. My daughter Mollie got to go with me the whole week. Dana and the kids came up for two nights and Mollie stayed with me. We had a blast. We ate oatmeal cream pies, ate ice cream at the canteen, did devotions together, rode the red shark around Lake Gaston and just loved on each other. Mollie said to me everyday, “Daddy I just love you. You are so cute.” I love my boys but I am sure glad God blessed me with Mollie.

2. My Buddy Alex. I met Alex early in the week. He walked with a limp, is very articulate, and always added something insightful at the end of my lessons. On Tuesday I was playing a game with the campers to help them review our lessons. I asked a question to the girls who got it wrong and then asked a guy to answer. I said, “I am going to call on my BUDDY, Alex.” He was raising his hand like Arnold Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter. He stood up and answered correctly. At the end of camp he came  to me at the traditional campfire and said that this week started really rough for him. People were calling him names like dork, nerd, Steve Erkel, and telling him he walked funny. He said, “Matt it all changed when you said, ‘I am going to call on my buddy, Alex.’” He continued, “This week was great and I learned a lot. Can you please hug me?”

This week was a defining moment for me. Thanks Mollie and Alex.

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