You can hear God when the soccer coaches call on the boys and girls from St. Sebastian Sports Camp to play as a team. It’s a form of community building that will become a topic for reflection during chapel time. You can hear God when the singers from Music and Drama Camp rehearse the lyrics of being “loved as I am” -- words that resonate with God’s unconditional love.
The bottom line is that God is part of the conversation at Shrine Mont -- unforced and natural. Without being spiritually pushy or trying to change children’s ideas about God, the counselors mentor in ways that reflect our call as Christians.
The Rev. Susan Daughtry, the chaplain to the camps’ staff, has been connected to Shrine Mont since she was a cabin counselor 15 years ago. She feels that Shrine Mont leaders are “putting renewed emphasis on the spiritual experiences that staff members have as they work in this intensely demanding role.” Counselors and directors are being invited “to engage meaningfully with their own lives of faith as they nurture the faith journeys of campers.”
In "Spiritual Leadership at Camp", a guide Daughtry distributes to counselors, she covers everything from preparing worship services to counselors’ own feelings of nervousness. Noting that there are no “right answers,” Daughtry encourages staff members to ask campers questions like, “Where did you see God today?” or “When did you give love today?”
“Transfiguration” is part of the name of the chapel at Shrine Mont, notes Daughtry. It’s a term, she suggests, that also applies to how “we see” the children of Shrine Mont as they journey through their time at camp.
Daughtry calls the staff “open-minded people passionate about building community ... and community is one of the places where we meet God” ... even when we’re trying to score a goal or rehearse a song.
By Ed Jones