Shrine Mont said farewell to MAD Camp Session I last Saturday, and after the campers had gone, while much of the staff was sitting out of exhaustion, they were also all basking in the amazing-ness of the last week. MAD Camp bears many similarities to the other camps that Shrine Mont offers each summer.
MAD Camp does many of the same activities as the other camps, such as field games and evening programs. There is daily pool time, the daily goof-off cool down, with it’s pool specific games, and the leniency of the only time the kids can climb on the counselors.
As with any gathering of more than two people at the camps, there are conversations had, smiles flashed, and bonds formed between campers and counselors alike. Not to mention the evening programs everyday that range from hay ride, to pool party, and then way off to a camp carnival. Which still leaves out the dance mentioned in my post from a few days back.
Not even in worship does this camp seem to differ very much from the others. There is still worship everyday after supper, it is still camper planned and led, and it does typically vary in it’s location and is heavily influenced by what the campers want to do and to offer.
And then it happens. Then you see these kids in action. What sets MAD Camp apart is that carefully woven through their days at camp is their show. Each year, every session of MAD Camp puts on a play for their closing. Session I’s play was Moses and the Freedom Fanatics. The campers plan the costumes, make the props, learn lines and choreography, and then perform for the other camps on the mountain and for their parents at closing. Just as will happen at any other camp, challenges arise and campers will require help, guidance and support. The show at the end of Session I is a result of about 15 hours of work, and is always impressive. Entire scripts are faced down, choreography is mastered, and stage fright is ground into the dust.
Often MAD Camp directors will weave a theme throughout the plays the camp takes on that summer. This year, the theme Jim Short brought is “show me, don’t tell me.” Living up to their mantra, these campers didn't need to tell anyone how much they had worked for that show. It was evident by what those 34 kids did up on the stage not once, but twice.
By Parker Benbow
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.