Lessons and Notes from our Vacation
#1- The Drive: Consider your arrival a victory and call it a day.
“Overtired, I’d like to introduce you to Overstimulated.”
Have you been in that place? Holy cow…
It was wild being the only white people in the whole joint (and it was packed). It was awesome for so many of our stereotypes to be broken down as we saw many families together interacting in a positive way with their kids. We loved the diversity of this part of
#2- The Camp: If you liked camp as a kid, you’d love this camp
We drive down this beautiful road, to Beck asking, "What are all these sticks doing in the ground." I guess he's not used to seeing all these tall pines in Iowa...
We pull in to find college counselors screaming, jumping, and making a human tunnel over our van. We thought it might be a long week when we saw this suburban (decked out with camp stickers).
They took us around and totally unloaded our van for us. The serving begins. They took care of everything. They wouldn’t let us pour our own water or tea, they got us anything we wanted, whenever we wanted it. They tirelessly played with, amused, prayed over and taught our kids. They often broke out into cheesy chants (“We love Jesus yes we do, we love Jesus how ‘bout you)
I’ll have to tell you about the time one of my youth pastors (no names but his first name begins with e and ends with d and you can find his blog on our favorite links on the upper right) broke up a similar chant in the airport…
#3- Fun things
Zip line, trail rides, boat rides, skiing, endless eating, a whole day without the kids, pool (with high platform, blob, diving board, mushroom, slide), tennis, basketball, Frisbee golf, relaxing chairs in shade, soccer goals, sandbox, entertainment during meals (skits the kids just love- here it was Mariachi night with Mr. Verde)
#4- The Counselors
This camp interviewed about 2,000 college students and accepted just over 900, so these guys only take the best. Over the course of the summer, the counselors learn how to love and serve, along with getting discipled by incredible mentors. Leatha commented at one point, "I'd be such a better mom if I would've worked at this camp." I hope to see more
#5- The people
If you care about golf (I don’t- or didn’t until this week), we have been getting to know Bernard Langer’s (sp?) caddy. It’s fascinating talking to him about the golf life and the ins and outs of the golf tour. He talked about praying with Langer (who also brings his family to camp here) that a Christian would win the Masters on Easter Sunday. Zach Johnson, the
There are a ton of great people we’ve met here, including a professor who is working to help churches impact their cities by serving in the community. He had just met with Robert Lewis, whose book (The Church of Irresistible Influence) has had a huge impact on our church.
#6- The Facilities
Everything was so nice- the cabins, beds, rec equipment, dining area, lake, proximity of buildings, no bugs, camp setting and ethos.
#7 The inescapable reality: I’m not a vacation monk
I know some people are hard core about their vacations being an escape from technology, civilization (as much as possible), and all synthetic forms of entertainment (tv, movies, internet, etc.)
To me that's fasting.
But usually my goal on a vacation is not to fast. It’s to engage and enjoy all of God’s gifts- including redbox, WiFi, a free agenda to play with my kids, etc.
Over the years I've learned that if I go into a vacation thinking, "Great, now I can just think about me" things are not going to go well. At least not as a married man. And especially not with kids. The more kids you have, the more devastating selfishness becomes.
The camp did a good job of forcing me into leading my family into the Scriptures.
It was so funny when they said on the opening morning, "Okay, it's 9:15, we're going to send you to family devotions and you'll be accompanied by one of our counselors. See you back in 30 minutes."
I was thinking, "Great. This counselor is in for the lamest devotions he's ever seen."
Family devos on days 1-3 were pretty typical:
Me, reading Bible verses they don't understand, talking over their heads, then closing in prayer: "Let's go around and pray."
Ava: "I don't want to pray."
Beck: [Mumbles something]
Welcome to the Arant family devotions.
Thankfully, Leatha had previously memorized the Shema (from Deut. 6) with the kids, so we were able to save face. We started every day quoting that together.
But the last day was pretty amazing, I must say. Every blind squirrel finds a nut.
We were talking about the Matthew 7 passage, "By their fruit you will recognize them."
Me, going over to the tree next to us: "What kind of tree is this?"
I asked, "What would you say to this tree if it said it was an orange tree?"
Them: "You're not an orange tree."
Me: "Do you see any oranges anywhere on or near the tree?"
Me: "All we see are these pine cones. The fruit shows what kind of tree it is- no matter what kind of tree it thinks it is, the fruit doesn't lie."
Me: "What does this say about our faith if we claim to know Jesus but don't have any fruit?"
Them: "We probably don't know Jesus."