It’s been a long five weeks, and a lot has happened, but I’m glad to be back home with Joe and my cats even though it was sad to leave the mountain and all the new friends I made.
Food-wise, there were ups and downs. Generally, the conference center was good about preparing a vegetarian option for me, but they also forgot to make me something several times. It was also evident that they didn’t really know what kind of food vegetarians need to eat, especially after being active all day. Starch plus cheese doesn’t really cut it. I did supplement with peanut & almond butters, some trail mix, and oatmeal packets, but I was really craving greens and beans by the last week. Or a meal like below: grilled tofu marinated in a mango curry sauce, local lettuce with cilantro dressing, and whole wheat curried couscous with almonds, green onions, and golden raisins.
Food aside, I had a wonderful time. I didn’t run as much as I had hoped, but I did sneak some in, including a 10K trail run on the Sewanee Perimeter Trail. I was more consistently active than anything between hiking and walking back and forth from the cabins and chasing kids on the playground. Looking in the mirror, I’m shocked at how tan I am from spending time outside.
Of course, the natural beauty of the mountain is incredible: so much green, waterfalls down into cold, clear waterholes, rock outcroppings, and natural overlooks off the plateau. I’m looking forward to going back with Joe and doing some more hiking. Particularly the last week, when I realized that I was going to be leaving soon, I was more intentional about acknowledging what a blessing it was to spend time in God’s beautiful creation.
source: Camp Gailor-Maxon Facebook page
I can’t say enough about what a great month it was. I loved the staff, loved the campers, loved the location. I learned a lot about myself, about the kind of minister I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and about God. I learned camp songs and games and the funny ways that kids will surprise you. I learned what it feels like to let go and have the Holy Spirit provide me with words and responses to questions that seem silly but are serious at heart. The staff gifted me with a title (Mama K!) and their friendship and their help and suggestions, and I only hope that I get to work with a group as creative and faithful and fun as they were in the future. And I would absolutely love if God called me to college chaplaincy sometime in my ministry.
While it’s looking like I might be otherwise occupied until the end of next August, I’m hoping that I’ll get to drop by camp next year, perhaps to celebrate an opening or closing Eucharist!