“Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”
For 13 days we played endless games of “Thing,” “What are the Odds?” “Ninja,” “Mafia” and way too many more to list. We swam and hiked, we had a giant pajama party in the Virginia House, we played King Ball and boogaloo, we became family and – oh, yeah – we took an extremely awesome show on the road.
Some of our campers were first timers, some “lifers” and some in-between. There is that teen registration that happens at, well, registration. Eyes darting around the Happy Pavilion, thoughts rising: “I’m not like her,” or “Do I belong here?,” or, as we discussed often in our time together, “Am I worthy … Am I enough?”
But fun and encouragement are great equalizers. Our incredible counselors worked hard at complete inclusion and blessed cheerleading. As days and nights passed in auditions, rehearsal, fun, budding friendship and stage swordplay, differences melted away, conversations became spontaneous and goofy – prayer became deep and heartfelt.
For 13 days, we got to carry each other.
Improv Night was hysterical. The Gospel according to Tina Fey became our inspiration for “Yes, and…” scenarios including ridiculous party guests, and portrayals of the worst lifeguard, doctor and camp counselor ever. Unguarded, inspired, sidesplitting performances ensued. It was very sophomoric and very holy.
Body silhouettes filled with “imago dei” character affirmations capped our discussion on beauty and objectification, moments typifying God’s grace. We dreamed strategically at the top of North Mountain; we examined power, anger, justice and our evolution as God’s people and we used found objects to build a new kingdom.
By Mary Beth Emerson
A vocational deacon, she serves full-time as St. Thomas’, McLean’s associate for family ministry, and assists Region V churches with youth and family outreach.
Mary Beth claims that she's neither musically nor dramatically gifted, and says she "learned a whole lot from MAD Camp's super-talented campers and counselors."