Several years ago, I purchased a DVD of a 2013 film called Camp. I was intrigued by the title, of course, but life is busy, and I never took the time to watch it until last week. My wife, Jen, and I were immediately spellbound. It wasn’t the acting, the special effects, or the cinematography that captured our attention. It was the story. It was so real.
Almost every scene displayed scenarios we witness every summer at South Mountain. There was the social worker pleading with the camp director to squeeze just one more child into camp, the staff member whose life had been changed when he was a camper himself, and the camper who was afraid to take his shirt off at the pool because everyone would see his bruises. We saw the little girl who was afraid to go to sleep at night because of abuse she had suffered. We watched the boy who contrived a fantasy world because he had been rejected so much. And we witnessed the all-too-familiar camper who pushed everyone away until love finally broke through his pain. Less than half-way through the movie, I looked at Jen and said, “This movie wasn’t made by Hollywood. It’s too accurate. It must have been made by camp people.”
I’m not one to get emotional watching a movie, but this one had me in tears over and over again because I know these kids. I realize that the actors were just acting, and the bruises were just makeup, but I’ve seen every one of these situations play out in real life at our camp. This is why the work that we do is so important. When you take kids out of their unstable home situations and put them in a place where they can just be kids—often for the first time in their lives—while being completely saturated in the love of God, amazing things happen. Hearts are touched, and lives are changed.
If you would like to help us to reach out to these hurting kids and give them the opportunity to experience God’s love firsthand, you can make a contribution through the donate button below, or mail your donation to South Mountain Christian Camp at PO Box 9, Bostic NC 28018.