Don't underestimate what a good summer camp can do for your child! It can be such a great and wonderful experience in their life that they will cherish and remember forever. When it came time for summer camp each year, my family just didn't have the money to send me. I always wanted to go so badly along with all of my friends but just couldn't. A very kind hearted man from our church; who I will call Mr. T., decided to begin a contest for our Sunday School. I think I was around ten, so that would have been way back in 1970! The contest was to memorize as many Bible verses as possible. I don't remember how many weeks we had to do this in, but I know it was over a period of time, maybe a month or so. The ultimate prize was a free week of camp at Camp Tapawingo in New York! I could hardly believe my ears. I always wanted to go to camp and now I had the chance! I began memorizing with a fervor from day one, determined that I was going to be the one to win! I never told anyone this, I just kept on memorizing and hoping that I would out memorize every other kid there!! Not exactly the right motive for memorizing God's Word, as I think back on it now, but those verses have really stuck with me through thick and thin over the years. Needless to say, after much hard work and determination that nobody else was going to win that free week to camp but me!; I won!
I will never forget the feeling on that Sunday when it was announced that Kathy Searles won! I was going to camp like every one else! I had never been away from home, never mind to camp, so I packed up the bug spray, sleeping bag, and all of the things on my list, and headed to camp! This camp was for girls only and the only way to it was by speedboat. So after a car trip from Connecticut to upstate New York, we jumped into a speedboat and took off across the lake. By the way...we really took off across the lake! I also had never been in a speedboat so that was quite a thrill in itself for me, with the water spraying in my face, and just the excitement of the whole adventure! The week flew by almost as fast as that speedboat, for it was so filled with activities like I had never experienced before. There was a craft everyday, devotions, swimming,games,singing, and campfires. I think it is where I ate my first s'more! Sleeping in a bunk in a cabin with a bunch of giggling girls was something totally new to me as well. It was such a great time, I didn't really have time to be homesick. I owe a big thank-you to the man I call Mr. T., for creating the Bible memory contest so long ago, that gave me the opportunity to have this experience at camp that I would not have had otherwise, and for helping me hide God's Word in my heart. Thank You Mr. T. for giving to the Lord!