The naturalist John Muir, who was raised as a Scottish Presbyterian, spoke of going to the woods as "going home." Most who have visited, worked, played, and lived at Bethelwoods would surely agree with that sentiment. Ideally, a home is a place where you are welcomed and affirmed, where you can rest, play, and learn in a community that acknowledges you as a unique child of God. Bethelwoods has served as a home for several generations in that way and its valued ministry continues on today as well.
I grew up attending summer camp there in the 1980's and then returned to work as a counselor for four summers in the early 1990's. In those experiences, I crossed paths with those who I'd never see again but who left a positive impact on me that I still carry now. I also made friendships with others that have lasted throughout the years and that continue to shape and mold my direction in life. In our current age with the ephemeral nature of virtual meetings, text messages whizzing around, and social media feed updates, it's the tangible memories of gathering with others in a place so real and set apart like Bethelwoods that speak to me the most.
Sit back for a minute and try to imagine those memories in your mind's eye because I am certain that you too share many of them in your own way:
Director of Children's Ministry, EPC Columbia SC