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Trying new things

When I visited camp this week, I was on the beach as a camper climbed into a canoe for the very first time.

She was scared. This was her first time doing something new. She was worried. She had some physical health concerns, and she didn’t want to get hurt. She was nervous. This was in full view of about 50 other campers. She was also a bit older than your average camper, because she was one of the grandmothers at our Grandparent/Grandchild camp.


But she wasn’t the only one trying new things. I saw a grandmother spend time playing pedal kart basketball with a bunch of teenage boys. She didn’t move as fast as they did, but her smile was just as big.


I saw a grandfather diving into the dusty ground of the Gaga pit, playing just as hard as the young campers. I don’t think he won, but he stayed in until the last few rounds.


According to American Camp Association research*, “children became more adventurous at camp, and that enabled them to try new things.” My entirely unscientific observations at camp suggest that perhaps the same is true of grandparents. Camp makes us more adventurous. For some, that means a first-ever canoe ride. For others it means doing the silly actions to songs at campfire. And for others it means being brave enough to share a story or insight during Bible study.


In Joshua 1:9, we read, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

At camp, we are blessed to spend 24/7 in a setting of intentional Christian community. Our days are infused with our faith. Lots of campers tell us God is easier to see and hear at camp. Maybe that’s why we’re more adventurous at camp. But this word from Scripture reminds us that we can be brave wherever we go, because God is indeed always with us.

*Henderson, K.A. (2012). Challenging activities and camp. ACA Briefing Papers Series. Retrieved from