The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

I love camp.

Jul 15, 2015 | ideas & inspiration | 13 comments

I do.

I’ve loved camp since I was 10, packing up my big blue trunk with everything a girl needs for two, three, five weeks away from home; kissing my parents goodbye, choosing a bunk bed (top please), swimming in the lake, weaving lanyards, learning dances, riding horses, laying a trail, idolizing counselors, eating in the dining hall, ringing the morning bell, roasting marshmallows, writing letters home, reading by flashlight, performing silly skits, catching lightning bugs, making Best Friends you will remember forever and ever. And then crying all the way home knowing Camp is over, knowing another year will pass before summer will come round again.

Camp is all that and so much more to the kids who come to Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Geogia. It’s a respite from the world for children who face difficulties I can hardly imagine, be it complicated home situations, significant medical challenges, life-threatening illness. It’s where my brave about-to-be-a-college-graduate daughter, Eliza, is spending the summer giving her all to children who need so much–children, she says, who give her way more.

 

CTL

 

We spent last Saturday there, Tim and I, and Eliza was determined to give us the full Camp experience. First we met her friends, fellow counselors I immediately loved who are changing the world one camper at a time with grand gifts of love and normalcy.

 

camp-girls

Don’t you love them?

 

Then we spent two hours on a golf cart traveling the entirety of Camp Twin Lake’s grounds. I was overwhelmed with it all, from the fabulous HGTV-style treehouse (my favorite) to a full working farm to two lakes to a boundless playground to the rock climbing wall to the ropes course to the arts and crafts building to the rimless pool. There is so much to see and do and the most remarkable thing of all is these activities are adapted for people with physical challenges.

I’ll never forget one of the first times Eliza called to tell me about camp. “Some kids may not be able to walk, Mom, but on our Zipline they can fly.” Yes, yes, yes.

 

campsigns

this is but a small sampling of their camp activities

 

We were thrilled to try our hands (legs?) at Paddle Boarding, something that’s been on my life list for a while. It was so much fun!

But the very best part of the day came when we visited Eliza’s cabin. At the last minute she pulled from a plastic tote this letter, which she’d just gotten from a camper the day before.

 

eliza-letter

 

I’m proud of my daughter, but I was even more touched by the words this child chose as she considered her Camp Twin Lakes experience.

You are important to me.

Isn’t that the most perfect way to begin a letter? Or a conversation? Isn’t it like having the other person look deep in your eyes to say I see you in there, and I mean this just for you. It’s a sentiment I love, and a phrase I vow to use in my own life in the future, just one of the many lessons of my day at Camp Twin Lakes.

You are important to me.

Yes.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I loved camp too. And my counselors. That letter made me gasp. Cathy and Eliza, y’all are important to me and I never met you. Thank you for doing and sharing.

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      Thank you, Rosie!

  2. Avatar

    This is so touching! Eliza is beautiful inside and out and you are a wonderful mom. She learned from you!

  3. Avatar

    This is so touching. Eliza is beautiful inside and out and you are a wonderful mom! She learned from you.

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      Thank you, friend!

  4. Avatar

    What a wonderful gift to give children, yourself! Thanks Eliza, I always knew you were special and would do great things. Thanks for sharing this Cathy.

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      Thanks to you, Jean!

  5. Avatar

    Beautiful and inspiring!

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      Thank you, Jill. So happy it spoke to you!

  6. Avatar

    Thank you Eliza for giving your heart to these incredible kids. Thank you Cathy for sharing how God is using you and Eliza for good.

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      Yes. Thank you, Cris!

  7. Avatar

    Cathy,
    My, how you are able to capture life’s experiences… and the inherent grace of life itself.

    • Avatar

      Thank you, Brad. It is quite a place.

Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

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