25 Things I Will Miss About the Summer - Part 1

In this latest two-part blog series, we are beginning to say goodbye to summer 2015. It's been a great season of ministry. Diane Windle takes time to talk about 25 things she will miss most! 

Dare I say it? Summer is almost over. In Northern Wisconsin the warm weather, the singing birds, and the wild flowers come and go all too quickly.  Because summer means I get to live and work at Forest Springs, summer is even more precious.  These are just a few of the things I will miss.

Walking to camp in the morning.  The only thing you really need in order to get around camp is a good pair of walking shoes. The trails are great, the view is lovely, and the quietness of the woods gives you another opportunity to pray about the day that lies ahead.

The camp cheers.  Enthusiastic voices echo clear across the lake as campers yell loud crazy rhymes, just for the fun of it.  Life is so serious these days; sometimes kids just need to have fun. 

Counselor meetings. What a delight to hear these young leaders talk about their experiences with their campers. They bless us as they talk about the ups and downs of living with a group of young people for a week. They are learning to lean hard on the Lord as they deal with challenging, and often daunting situations. By the end of summer most of them would agree that counseling is the hardest and best experience ever.

Great weather.  Did I mention that I love warm weather?  Summer is not always warm enough for me, and we might have a few days of rain, but at least in summer we can have reasonable confidence that it won’t snow anytime soon.

The boathouse roof. What a great place to watch the activity on the lake, read a book, visit with a friend, or pray.

Singing at breakfast. A week of youth camp closes with prayer and a time of singing at breakfast.  It’s a joy to hear the kids sing camp songs at the top of their lungs. Hopefully the messages will take root and grow into a fruitful life.

Campfires. The crackle of the fire, the smell of the burning wood, and the mesmerizing effect of the dancing flames bring people together to roast marshmallows and reflect on their day.

The Coffee Shop.  Can’t make it without your coffee?  You don’t need to! Specialty drinks and gourmet coffees are convenient and less expensive than in coffee shops at home.  The comfortable couches are great when you want to have your quiet time or a conversation with a friend. If it’s a little chilly, the fireplace will keep you warm. 

Families together.  For a few brief days, families can actually be together.  We see them laughing together at the puppets, singing together in worship, running together in a race, swimming together at the lake, crafting together at handcrafts—creating memories that help hold them together for a lifetime.

Water balloons. (Or any other fun thing you have on hand) Camp is a great place to use fun things to teach. When your classroom is outdoors, the sky is the limit.

Yelling and screaming.  On many afternoons, the typical quietness of the woods is interrupted by a shrill yell. No worries.  It is just a signal that someone has braved the high ropes course and conquered the giant swing. For a few brief moments they are questioning why they did it.  But for months to come it will bring a feeling of accomplishment and a reminder that when you work with others you can accomplish amazing things!

Neale Lodge. The aroma of FREE popcorn will draw you in.  The very affordable price of the ice cream will keep you coming back.  If you are still hungry there is always pizza.  It’s a hub of activity in the evenings, but there is plenty of room to play a board game or have a lively conversation with friends.

Summer staff.  Quality young people with servant hearts come to join us during the demanding summer months. We rub shoulders with them during the busy days, but often before we get to know them well, they are on their way back to school or another job. We miss them and hope they will come back when they can stay longer!  

Look for part two of this blog series on Friday!

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