In our over-scheduled lives, it can be hard to find stillness. Finding a moment to sit back and reflect, to think beyond the moment and dig deep into meaning is difficult, even for the best of us. When we do find the time, like Explorers Camp did a few days ago, there is time to say...
“Come Lord” or, as Explorers says it, "Maranatha."
In order to live into this stillness and develop a greater understanding of the world around them, Explorers practiced daily meditations guided by poetry, reflection and silence. Through these meditations, campers learned what it means to look at the world through new eyes. One camper described new eyes as, “When you trip on a rock and get annoyed that it’s in the way, you can look at the rock with new eyes and see that it might be a home to ants.” Throughout the summer, each session has repeated the mantra.
This invitation, “Come Lord,” wasn’t just for those moments of meditation, but welcomed into even the busiest parts of their days.
Liz Bartenstein, former Shrine Mont camper and counselor, visited the mountain to spend a day with Explorers and lead a mindful art project where campers were challenged to look at nature with new eyes by selecting sticks and leaves to make crafts.
By carefully stringing leaves and sticks together, campers created light-catchers in order to create space to observe light in a new way—with new eyes. Liz sent the campers into the woods around the Bear Wallow campsite to silently find things to make their light-catchers. After finding their supplies, campers sat together, quietly constructing their works of art.
No two campers created the same piece of art; each one was uniquely beautiful. Through this artful meditation, Explorers Camp was able to explore the Earth around them with the simple invitation:
By Katie Franzel
Katie Franzel first worked for Shrine Mont as a MAD Camp counselor in 2012, when she says her life was powerfully changed by the campers, counselors, and experiences. She knew then that camp was going to be a lifetime commitment. After spending the first half of her summer studying public health in Ecuador, she found a way back to the mountain this year to work as the Vienna House communications intern.
She is a rising senior at the University of Minnesota, where she studies sociology, Spanish, and youth studies.
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.