Tulsa Summer Camps : No Fear
Michael Staires: Hello, my name is Michael Staires. I’m the Summer Camp Director at Camp Loughridge and we’re here today talking about Tulsa summer camps and what we have to offer at Camp Loughridge; one of the finest Tulsa summer camp.
It’s Christmas time and I was watching Charlie Brown Christmas the other night and I’m always blown away by what I believe is the very best Christmas moment in any of the Christmas specials that you may want to watch, and it’s the moment in Charlie Brown Christmas where Linus gives his recitation of scripture from the stage to Charlie Brown. He says, “This is the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown.” Of course, he reads that great passage from chapter two of the book of Luke.
In that passage, he talks about as the angels appear to the shepherds and the first thing that he says to the shepherds– that the angels said to the shepherds is, “Fear not. Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news that will bring a great joy to all people. The savior, yes, the Messiah, the Lord has been born today in Bethlehem, the City of David, and you will recognize him by this sign. You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth lying in a manger.”
I was just intrigued because the first thing he said is, “Fear not.” It’s interesting too that this is one of the few times in all of Peanuts, and all of the Charlie Brown characters where Linus actually let’s go of his blanket. You remember a security blanket that his big sister tried to get away from him all the time, but this is when he actually drops it. He drops it when he says the words, “Fear not.”
Now, you may be asking, “What does this have to do with Tulsa summer camps? What does this have to do with Camp Loughridge? What does this have to do with the camp experience?” Well, I want to tell you, camp is a place where kids learn not to be afraid. Oftentimes, we’re afraid of the unknown. Oftentimes, we’re afraid of those things that we don’t know, so our mind builds up all kinds of scenarios of failure. We don’t want to let anyone down. We don’t want to fail. We always want to succeed.
Camp is a place where kids discover new things, it’s a place where they try out new things. It’s a place where they learn new skills, they meet new people. Every day is full of opportunities to be scared, but when matched with a loving counselor, they’re taught and led in how to battle that fear. Can you imagine what a great lesson that is to learn young in life? To be able to learn to face fear. Number one; to either learn to overcome that fear or number two; to learn to do it afraid, Tulsa Summer Camps that I know I’m scared, but I’m going to do this anyway.
Imagine being a 10-year-old kid, being up at the top of the 30-foot pole, standing on a little platform, harnessed in and connected to a cable that runs to another pole that’s several hundred feet down the valley, and stepping off that platform when everything in your mind tells you not to step off of the platform that’s 30 feet in the air, but to overcome that and ride that zip line down to the other pole.
That’s quite an experience for a 10-year-old. It’s quite an experience for a 30-year-old, or a 40-year-old, but imagine being able to do that at 10 and imagine the confidence of what that’s like to step off that, to be brave, to choose to be brave and not to be scared, to step off that platform, and then feel the exhilaration as you rush through the woods about 30 feet high on the end of that cable. That’s quite an experience. You couple that together with discovering, maybe for the first time that you have an ear for music, or maybe for the first time that you happen to be pretty good at putting things together, building things in the crafts cabin.
These are discoveries that kids make. They learn how to build their confidence over new skills that they develop. They meet new people. Every camper that comes to Camp Loughridge is put in a tribe with other kids that are close to her age, that are either boys or girls, and they learn to meet new people.
This is a big deal. There are some kids that have trouble getting out of the car on that first Monday, at the first camp. They may have trouble getting out of the car and they have to be encouraged. We have counselors that love kids and they love to surround that car and help that camper out of the car, make their way down to the K-dome, which is our big pavilion, and immediately they are immersed in a lot of energy, in a lot of music, in a lot of chants and singing; all that kind of stuff that we kick off our day with.
They share these experiences with eight, or nine, or 10 other kids in their tribe and they learn what these kids are all made up of. They may not be able to tell you what that kid’s last name is, they may not even be able to tell you what their first name is, but because they experienced the zip line with them, or because they’ve gone through a bible study with them, or because they’ve done an art project with them or gone swimming with them. They’ve made a friend Tulsa Summer Camps.
They can tell you how that young person, how that camper handles fear, because “fear not” are a couple of very, very powerful words, whether Linus is speaking them or an angel in the sky, or whether it’s God whispering to that little one as he’s standing on the edge of that zip line platform, those words that whisper in his ear, “Fear not. It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to learn something new. You’re going to have a new experience here, a new discovery, and it’s going to change your life.”
Now, one of that most interesting discoveries that a kid makes when he’s at camp is he discovers himself. He discovers new skills that he didn’t know he had. He discovers what he’s like without mom and dad right there all the time. This is an important step of independence and different kids take this step at different times Tulsa Summer Camps.
Oftentimes, kids first start taking this step when they’re two, or three, or four. Sometimes, this step doesn’t actually happen until maybe they go to school for the first time. Even then, maybe it doesn’t completely happen until they come to camp. When they come to camp, they are in an environment where they’re doing things like singing and worshiping God, and making friends, and doing some of these activities that I’ve talked about.
They’re doing these things without mom being there, without dad being there. No one’s there to tell them how to think. They are experiencing life much more independently and this is an important step in the development of a young person.
Now, there are a lot of great Tulsa summer camps, but Camp Loughridge is intentional about capturing these moments. We’re intentional about keying on these moments to help a kid through these times so they learn how not to fear. Our theme this summer is trust, and of course, that’s the opposite of fear is when you’re able to say, “You know what? I may be fearful, but I’m going to trust that this is going to be okay. I’m going to trust that I’m going to be okay because I know it’s worked out in the past.”
That’s an incredibly important tool for any of us who call ourselves Christ followers to have in our toolbelt, to be able to trust God and overcome that fear, to fear not just the way Linus said, to be able to cast aside that security blanket and say, “I am going to trust. I am not going to fear.”
This is what camp is all about. They’re not only hearing this in a bible story. They’re not only being taught this and being shared– scripture verses shared with them on this subject, but they’re actually able to experience it through the activities we do at camp.
So, this theme is woven through every part of our program all day long. This Christmas, you can give the gift of camp to your child. If you go to camploughridge.org and click on summer camp, and then register now, you can get Summer Camp 2017 for 10% off as a special we are running. You can give the gift of camp which, of course, camp is different than just a bicycle. You’re giving an experience. You’re giving an opportunity. You’re giving a potential for kids to learn more about who they are, to discover new things, and to learn how either not to fear or to overcome fear.
Thanks for joining me. My name is Michael Staires. We’ve been talking about Tulsa summer camps; camploughridge.org. Thank you.
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