We’re leaving Echo Ranch today and headed into Juneau for our last day here. It’s been an amazing week in too many ways to recount right now. The counselors that seemed a little hesitant to connect with us at first have proven to be absolutely inspiring people. They’re actually very friendly and remarkably genuine. I think they get used to seeing a lot of people come and go and, on that first day, weren’t quite sure who we were or how long we were here for. Not to mention, I remember the exhaustion of working at a summer camp as a counselor. The weekends were your only break from the constant excitement and social chaos that is camp life. So, I don’t blame them for not jumping right out there to greet us. I have the utmost love and respect for each of them and for all that they are doing out here. They have an extraordinary ministry to these kids and they are truly extraordinary people.
The kids we got to meet were awesome and I really enjoyed being a part of their camp experience. It is a unique culture up here and it creates some unique kids. I loved getting to know them and it was a huge privilege to get to lead them in worship. Erin is right, there are few things that compare to standing in front of a room full of kids shouting at the top of their lungs about how much they are loved by God and how they want to “shout it out loud from the rooftops.” What an awesome experience.
After the campers left yesterday, we got to take some canoes out into the bay and ventured over to some new places. And with all of that, combined with the hike we took today, my mind has captured more stunningly beautiful pictures than could ever be held on a camera or computer hard drive. I’ll remember all of them for a while, some will slip away over time, some may remain forever.
I always wonder after a trip like this, what is the part of this experience that I will remember in five years or more. I think it will be this…. Sitting here next to the bay writing these little notes, speaking with God and reflecting on what He is showing me. I think I’ll remember the sights, smells and sounds of this spot. Saltwater, cool winds, snow-capped mountains, the gentle cries of eagles and the miles and miles and miles of otherwise silent wilderness. I really do love this place.
I know that’s a really introvert answer… but you’ve got to consider the source.