Tulsa Summer Camps : Perfect Moment
Michael Stairs: Hello, my name is Michael Stairs and I’m from Camp Loughridge in Tulsa, here to talk today about summer camps in Tulsa. The best thing about a camp experience is, it opens up the kids mind and I want to talk to you a little bit this morning about that. Again, we’re talking about summer camps Tulsa’s specifically, about Camp Loughridge located just about five minutes west of Tulsa hills. You’d be surprised how much country you can get that close to town, it’s a great location.
Camp Loughridge offers a classic summer day camps for kids ages 6 to 12 years old. I want to tell you a story this morning about, Timothy. Timothy was a young guy who last summer he was nine years old, his first time he’d ever been to Tulsa Summer Camps and he shows up about 8:30 in the morning and he’s the only one in his family, only sibling that is coming to camp, his other siblings aren’t old enough yet.
We’re sitting in the backseat and I still remember his mom drives up and try to drop him off but Timothy didn’t want to get out of the car. This happens from time to time, when you pull up, the counselors are all around the car greeting each of the cars and there’s lots of music going on and there’s a lot of activity and Timothy was just a little bit overwhelmed by the whole experience. He’s kind of a more of a shy guy and was just a little overwhelmed and nervous, it was his first time to ever come to Tulsa Summer Camps and he wasn’t sure what this was all about.
Well, we have a counselor, Melody, who right away picked up on the fact that Timothy was overwhelmed, and so that all the counselors backed away from the car, gave him some space, and Melody was able to lean in and have just a short conversation with him and with moms help, Timothy found the courage to go ahead and get out of the car. So, he gathers his stuff and he gets out of the car and Melody escorts him down to the [unintelligible 00:02:29]. The [unintelligible 00:02:29] is a big outdoor pavilion where we are set up for morning rendezvous. This is the morning time where we come in together and we sing and we have some skits and do a lot of chants and it’s just a lot of fun. It’s the way we kick off every morning.
The first thing on Monday morning, the first thing we do is make sure that all the kids get in the right try. Now, at Camp Loughridge, is probably a little different than a lot of summer camps and Tulsa. Summer camps to Tulsa a lot of times we’ll split up kids into different groups according to their age and according to their gender and Camp Loughridge is no different, we just happen to use Indian tribes and Timothy was going to be in Comanche. This was going to be a tribe with other boys who are also nine years old and Matthew, is their counselor.
Matthew is a senior in high school, he’s from Broken Arrow High School, he just graduated last year and Matthew, is a leader in his youth group at church, is a part of FCAs’ stellar athletes in high school and he has chosen to spend his summer with kids at Camp Loughridge.
He could have done a lot of different things but he chose to be a Camp Loughridge. This is a guy who’s got an academic scholarship to University of Oklahoma and so there wasn’t a whole lot of pressure on him this summer to earn a lot of money and so he knew he could spend his time and he’s been on a few mission trips with his church so he’s definitely a missional guy, he thinks missionally which is perhaps different from a lot of staff from a lot of other Tulsa Summer Camps.
So Matthew leans in real close, gets to know Timothy over the next few minutes there during the morning rendezvous and immediately Matthew picks up that Timothy wants to belong, he wants to fit in and he really sticks close to Matthew side, he feels like he’s found a friend and they have a good day today. They had good day at camp that first day. They work through their activity schedule together, they have lunch together, of course, Matthew is sitting or I’m sorry, Timothy is sitting right next to Matthew all through lunch and then they do their afternoon activities and they’re swimming and they’re doing archery and that afternoon when it was time for Timothy to do the trust walk, he wanted to be paired with Matthew.
Trust walk is pretty cool, they team up into pairs and one of the pair put on a blindfold and the other of the pair leads the blindfolded one along a trail through the woods by holding hands sometimes and sometimes they let go of hands but it’s all about trusting the person who’s leading you and Timothy wanted to do that with Matthew so they did it.
Of course, Timothy thought it was so fun when they got to switch roles and Matthew was the one that had to wear the blindfold and Timothy was the one that was leading out.
They had a great time doing that, ended the day with a story from scripture about Samson. It was just a great day and Timothy charges the car, when his mom pulls up he’s grinning ear to ear and he just had a great day Tulsa Summer Camps.
Well, days go by and by the time about Wednesday, Timothy’s mom drives up to pick up Timothy from camp only to realize that Timothy is– that he’s nowhere to be found. I mean he’s down there in the in [unintelligible 00:06:28] and he is throwing the ball, and he’s playing with friends, and he’s got his backpack out showing his friends some of his favorite comic books and stuff like that and he’s really beginning to fit and chill and he’s really beginning to form a deep relationship with his counselor, with Matthew. This is really part of what makes camps so very special.
By Thursday, Timothy had been camp all week and by Thursday there was a quiet moment, in the afternoon they were doing activity where Matthew took his tribe of boys up to the tree house. We have a tree house that kids can go up in and they can sit and talk and they can ask questions and they tell stories and things like that. Timothy, just ask Matthew some real probing questions about spiritual things, about the role that Jesus played in his life, in Matthews life, about the role that church play.
You see, Timothy had come from a Christian home and his mom and dad or devout Christians who love the Lord. Timothy had always felt a love for God and understood God’s presence because he’s been raised in church and been raised in this Christian home but he’d never really accepted that for himself. He had adopted that from his parents.
Tulsa Summer Camps This is where we find so many kids who are coming to camp, we find them right in that very spot where they are beginning to ask some of the those critical questions about themselves, about who they are, about who God is and about and the whole– why they were born, why they were created, what’s their purpose in life, all those kinds of things. Matthew was in the perfect moment, he found himself in that tree house with Timothy when Timothy said, “I think I need God, I need to ask Jesus to come into my heart.” And so, right there in the tree house, Matthew and Timothy were able to pray together and Timothy was able to trust Jesus to be his Savior. He understood his own sin, he understood that he needed Jesus in his life, he needed to trust Jesus and he walked away from camp on that Thursday with a salvation experience and it really defined that whole week of camp for him because his heart opened up, was open to the things of God. God came and had Matthew who is a great mentor and guide, who was in the right place at the right time. Timothy was ready, Matthew was ready, they prayed the prayer and Jesus became Timothy’s savior.
That is such a cool story, of course, he had another story to tell mom that afternoon when mom picked him up, and it was a great time. Of course, on Friday we made the announcement to the rest of the camp that this is what Timothy’s decision was. This happens all the time, this is what camp is all about. There are a lot of great summer camps Tulsa, there are a lot of great Tulsa summer camps but there are not a lot of camps that put that intentionality on spiritual things and that’s what happens at Camp Loughridge, we’re very intentional about leading kids to be open to the things of God.
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