Current weather conditions

Click for Dexter, Iowa Forecast

Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



The kids came home from summer camp this weekend and as I was listening to their stories and looking through photos of the week posted on line it made me think how much camp has changed since I went many years ago. Their week at Summer Games University was held on the Grinnell College campus and is a non-denominational camp for middle and high school students that brings home the messages of Christ’s sacrifices and God’s grace and love.

Max and I talked for a long time about the different things he saw and took part in, and yet it all came back to how good the meals were, which made his week extremely happy. It wasn’t as much about the lessons learned but that he could eat Cheeseburgers and have Mt. Dew with every meal.

I remember well my first time away at summer camp. I had signed up to be a junior counselor at Camp Quest which was held at the Okoboji Methodist camp. Camp Quest was designed for children with Down’s syndrome, although most of the campers were much older than I was at fourteen. It was probably my first true lesson on giving to others with my time and talents and one that shaped many summers to come.

Meal time for us was never the college experience that my kids have had, as most mornings it was a not quite finished bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and a good lunch and dinner that had to be substituted after ten o’clock at night when the older counselors would sneak into the kitchen freezer and the stash of monster cookies it held.

There were campfires and quiet evening walks with another cute counselor down on the old trail that lead along the lake from the old dock to the new one. There were games and study and songs and more than enough laughter to fill the week. There were early mornings ringing the old camp bell to wake up the rest of the camp for the day, something I was very proud to be asked to do. There were late nights in the now gone tabernacle with singing, laughter and a strange ritual of hog calling that made each of us wonder if we hadn’t truly lost it by that point.

As parents we try hard to let our kids do the things they want to, as though by offering them some other activities will somehow lead to years of therapy, but sometimes I wonder between sports and county fairs and the lack of free time in the summer our children are losing out on those wonderful memories of summer camp. Just this morning in church the pastor gave us the parable about the seeds and the soil and it made me think about what preparing the soil really was about. Are we as parents preparing the soil in our kids properly? Are we in church with them? Is the Bible something that is a functional piece in your home and life or is it just something that sits on a shelf in case your Mom stops by to see what you have been up to lately? Of all the lessons we teach our children and all the ways we try to prepare the soil in our children’s lives, preparing their soil to have a life filled with Christ is probably the most important thing we could do. See you next week….Remember, we’re all in this together.