Last night (Tuesday), we took some time to help our campers reflect on the idea of bondage and freedom, a topic we have been living into through our confirmation intensive bible story of Exodus, and how it relates back to their own lives.

Six groups had in depth discussion about what bondage may look like in the life of a middle/high schooler and created a skit that they shared with the community during our campfire worship. It was unbelievable. Although all of the skits were powerful two groups in particular stood out. The first group centered their skit on the idea of identity and how society molds us into who they want us to be. One camper looked in a “mirror” while her reflection, played by another camper, mirrored what she did as another narrated the struggles she was going through with self-image. At the end of the skit all of the mirrored characters broke the mirror and hugged “themselves” telling them they are perfect the way that they are. Wow. The other skit was completely silent aside from a drum and a guitar. A camper was blindfolded and different groups of campers approached her with signs depicting expectations such as “family”, “achievements”, “school”, “depression”, and we saw how each one affected the blindfolded camper. Finally, a camper walked up with a sign that read “Child of God” and removed the blindfold from the camper’s eyes revealing who she truly was. Talk about powerful.

If that wasn’t enough, onsite was blessed to have Pastor Terry Schjang, a pastor and chaplain at a women’s prison in Denver, come and speak with us after all of the skits were completed. Pastor Terry offered stories and shared some of the reasons as to why the women were in the prison but closed by stating that unless a woman shared her past with Pastor Terry, Pastor Terry never looked up what the crime was, instead wanting to see the woman for who she truly is and not what society claims her to be. Pastor Terry gave us insights into the challenges and blessings of her job. She touched on the idea of how difficult it is to share God’s love and freedom in a place that is so closed in and built for restrictions, but continuously reiterated how fulfilled and meaningful her work was in forming relationships and being there for the women and staff at the prison, not imaging anything else that she would rather be doing.

Both the skits and Pastor Terry’s offering were extremely powerful and started various conversations that lasted well into the night as cabins had devotionals. It is through these conversations that campers can start visualizing how the lessons they are learning up here can be taken back down the mountain. We look forward to these next few days of living into the Exodus story with our middle school confirmands and for more powerful nights like yesterday.

Grace and peace,

Hailey and Alexa
Onsite Coordinators