I almost always come home from summer camp a different person than I was when I left. I am not sure if it is the change of scenery, the change in schedule, or the change in my mental mood. Whatever it is, I am changed, at least for a while.
I will let you in on a secret – I was privately worried that I would not make it all the way through camp without having to retreat from the retreat. With my medical issues, life is hard to predict from day to day. Surprisingly to me, I not only survived the entire week of camp, but I thrived! I only had to take four pain pills, and two of those were during the same day. I struggled a little, but way less than I thought I would. Maybe it was combination of adrenaline and the power of God…
Rabbit Trail For insight on health and wellness
Now why did I get through the week without major issues when I can barely get through a week at home without major issues? Who knows? I do know that I am willing to try making some changes that at least seemed to work during my camp week. Will it help? Who knows? The least I can do is try it out for a while and see.
In adapting my church camp lifestyle to my home lifestyle, I thought of these thirteen areas that I handled differently at camp.
I had a fairly strict schedule at camp, and duties that had to happen at certain times. I didn’t have just any old time that I could veg out playing a word game on my iPad or peruse Pinterest for hours. I had places to be and jobs to do and people to see.
The first part of each day was devoted to Bible study and prayer for about twenty minutes. This did come after a shower and getting dressed; otherwise, it was top priority. Getting with God first thing in the morning – is there any more positive way to begin a new day?
- Diet: Meals and Snacks
I ate. I ate more. I ate better. This eating habit was an important part of the daily schedule. Breakfast at 8, lunch at 11:45, snack at 3:15, dinner at 4:45 (that was a little tough), and another snack at 8. I paid attention to what I was eating and added what I needed to add (i.e., extra protein or iron, again due to my health issues). Today, I didn’t eat anything until after I took a bath, which I didn’t do until 1:15. An entire morning wasted away…
From 9:30 to 11:45, I taught lessons and led the campers in making a project each day. At home, I equate this to my writing and my online income. It doesn’t contribute much to our bank account, but it does contribute a little money and a lot of accomplishment.
Missions time was in a morning time slot, but we addressed it throughout the day. At home, my main mission and service is to my husband, my home, and our house guests. Housekeeping, community concerns, and my extended family and friends are my focus of ministry and service.
This should be a no-brainer. The problem is that sometimes, I can be a no-brainer. If I forget to take my meds, I have difficulties and if I have difficulties, I forget to take my meds. Since my medication are important to my health, I need to be sure I take them at the appropriate times. At camp, I had my camp nurse that helped me remember to take them. She never had to remind me; just seeing her hanging out would remind me. I plan to figure out some trigger that will have the same effect here at home.
I did not have an exercise plan in place when I went to camp. Just being at church camp tends to be an exercise in itself. Walking, doing the motions to worship songs, just hanging out with faculty and campers gets me much more exercise than I am accustomed to getting. Incorporating a walk and maybe a worship song or two into my day will go a long way.
I am often saying or typing “Get out and play out.” There are some very good books written on the topic of the nature deficit of modern children. I tend to forget that adults need time in nature too! Even if it is as simple as sitting out on my deck enjoying the outdoors, I need some nature in my life. So do you.
I was surrounded by friends this entire week. At home, I tend to sequester myself inside my own four walls. It’s not that I don’t like people. I just don’t go out of my way to be where the people are. (Cue “The Little Mermaid”) Everyone needs that human connection, including those of us who consider ourselves introverts or ambiverts.
- Delegation of Duties
Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody!
Trying to do it all by myself is exhausting. Doing this with my health is even more exhausting. The past few years, I have started delegating more and dropping duties less. At camp, I had others lead two nights of group games, others led campfire, others led meal time prayers, and others led all kinds of things. This helped me then and it can help me at home. Instead of leaving things undone because I cannot do it all, I will ask for help when I need or want it.
- Rest Time
A rest and relaxation time was built into the camp schedule after lunch. I tended not to get much rest at this time because of other duties. Instead, during the campers’ swimming time that followed, I was able to get an hour of rest, sometimes even sleep. Recharging my battery is very important. How can I help others if my own battery is running dead?
- Me Time: Creativity
“We were created by a Creator to be creative” was our camp theme this year. During the day, I was able to get my camera out and practice using it. I was able to doodle in my notepad. I was able to write out thoughts. I was allowing God to speak to me through my gift of creativity.
- Greater Good
I think the most important part of the camp week was that I was focused on the greater good. I was there to serve, to lead, to show by example, to experience God and help others to experience God. Sometimes, I feel my life has no focus, but that never happens at camp. Maybe my camp mindset is one I should carry year-round.