I was able to visit Abigail at The Wilds Christian Camp in North Carolina a few weeks ago. Although she is busy helping feed a thousand campers each week, she is enjoying it. This is her most recent update of what she’s been doing and what God has been teaching her.
I’m think most of you have never even heard of The Wilds except for what I’ve told you about it. I wish you could have the opportunity to see what I’m seeing and experience these beautiful mountains, but since you can’t, I want to give you a little bit of an idea of what camp is like.
Each week of camp I have a prayer partner cabin. So when I’m not working as a waitress I go look for my prayer partner cabin for that week. I usually go tubing down the creek with them or play volleyball in the sand to get to know the girls a little bit. This week I hiked to 4th falls with them. The falls are breathtaking, but it’s a long difficult hike to get there. Fortunately, there’s a pool at the bottom of the falls that’s about 12 feet deep. It’s so rewarding to get to swim after being so hot and tired from the hike. Here’s a picture of 4th falls.
The 4th Falls
I also got to ride on The Giant Swing with a girl. We got harnessed into a full body sling, and then was slowly raised to 65 feet high. The whole time you are looking down at the concrete realizing that the drop is coming, but never knowing when it will be. You can hear the campers down below yelling “5, 4, 3, 2,1!!!” But they usually count too early or too late just to throw you off. Here’s a picture from the top of the swing looking down at camp (you can see the putt-putt course and basketball courts).
A view from The Giant Swing!
After the drop, you get the ride of your life. It feels like you’re going to splat into the pavement, but right before you hit, the sling catches you and you soar up like Superman!
Viewing The Giant Swing from below. (Personally, I like this view better!)
Another Wilds attraction I got to experience with my prayer partners was some fun at the lake. You can go boating, kayaking, catch and release fishing, or enjoy the water park. They have a rock wall, a lake trolley, The Blob, a tube slide, and a high jump. I’m kind of scared of heights, but I feel like I have to suck up my fear in front of the campers. This week, the girls were a lot braver than I was! They actually made ME do things I didn’t want to do. The high jump and the lake trolley are two things I’ve always been uneasy about, but peer pressure got the better of me and I couldn’t resist the “I will if you will” plea. It was a lot of fun. 🙂 I’m always glad when I try things that scare me.
So that’s just a little bit about the fun I get to have here. 🙂 I loved getting to know the girls this week. I was able to counsel one of them about her daily devotions. I knew the right things to tell her, but I also knew I needed to follow my own advice.
This whole week, Pastor Jeremy Frazier talked about what it means to be a true disciple. Jesus was not a people pleaser. He didn’t want followers who weren’t all in. He told them to count the cost. He wanted them to know ahead of time what they were getting into.
They would have to “take up their cross.” That phrase had so much more significance back then when people saw that kind of torture up close every week. He didn’t sugar coat it. Being a disciple will cost everything. But it’s worth it.
Being a Christian in America is not actually very hard to do. It’s just a decision. I know what I need to do to be closer to God. I say that I want to be closer to Him, but I don’t always prove it. I’m willing to do big things for God, but am I willing to do the small things? Do I spend the time it takes cultivating the relationship with Him? Do I constantly practice dying to self every day? Do I wake up and start my day with God, or do I press snooze? I have so much to learn. Most of the time I feel like these campers are teaching ME rather than the other way around.
God bless you all this week!
Abby and Gaye