I remember when Ty announced the theme for the summer of 2016, Let There Be Light. It originally seemed so simple, but as the staff dove into it, I realized the true depth of this simple phrase. During Staff Orientation, Ty directed us to think beyond the creation story and consider the kingdom of light versus the kingdom of darkness. Very soon, the staff began to embody that theme as we prepared to share it with the campers.
Though I cannot possibly describe everything that happened that summer, it was definitely one for the books. It was full of the usual camp craziness: mud fights, creek wrestling, cackle laughs, fervent prayer, spiritual growth, and more. As one of the Pee Wee Mamas, I had the joy of working with the youngest campers. Each day was filled with crazy activities like hunting unicorns, searching for trolls, meeting the hermit, and dancing at Pee Wee Prom. But beyond the fun activities, there was a spiritual drive. We shared Bible stories with the little ones about being a light and using your light in the world.
During hymn time, I loved listening to the excitement in their voices as we sang, and sometimes screamed, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” Seeing them wildly wave their arms around as they sang at the top of their lungs brought me and everyone nearby immense joy.
The counselors sought to kindle a relationship between the children and our Heavenly Father. In doing so, we learned many lessons ourselves. Pee Wees may not have yet experienced the dominion of darkness, but they sure are testaments in the kingdom of light. Their innocence and joy bring light not just to camp but to the world.
As Christians, we let our light shine brightly every day. However, we must also recognize the battle between light and darkness. We are ambassadors of lights in this dark world. As Colossians 1:3 says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” This is the lesson that God left in each camper’s mind, whether five years old, or seventeen. We once were living in darkness, but we’ve seen a great light. Now we take that light to the rest of this dark world.