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Monday, August 6, 2012

Ode to Camp

I feel like an explanation is in order about all this camp business. The background story might be interesting for those of you who've never heard it.  Camp Cherith holds a very very special place in my heart.  And I haven't worked there since I started blogging... so let's blog about it!

Once upon a time my Mom had the opportunity to go to Romania on a missions trip.  So she got to leave her children behind and head across the ocean.  While on her trip, she got to know this amazing woman named Elaine.

Then Elaine found out Mom had daughters.  And the rest is history.  See, E worked at this AMAZING all girl camp and she convinced Mom to send me (the only one old enough).  Mom worked that first summer (with little toddler Bethany in tow) and many summers after.  We were hooked!  Stephanie even went to camp while she was still in Mom's womb :o) 

From then on there was always at least one Rawleigh girl at camp for at least one week every summer.  There were some years that the generosity of Elaine and her husband payed our way, and we are eternally grateful!  (three girls for a week or more of camp each year really adds up!)

My Brother's been an honorary part of the camp family, but even though camp became co-ed when I was in high school, he never really jumped in.  Maybe the fact that his sisters were insanely obsessed with camp freaked him out a little!

Camp Cherith of Western NY is a pretty magical place.  Stephanie describes it well - its all about nature, relationships, and God.  You learn and grow in all those areas and it's pretty amazing.  The camp's name comes from the Old Testament scripture describing Elijah being fed by the ravens at the river Cherith.  So all the campers come to be fed (spiritually) by the birds (staff) at camp.  All the counselor's have "bird names".  We're a goofy little cult and we LOVE IT!

A lot of who I am as a woman I can attribute to the time I spent at camp.  And a lot of who I am as a Christian, a leader, friend, mom, etc. comes from what I learned in the counselor leadership program (CILT) in order to become a counselor.  I met a lot of life long friends at camp.  And I LOVE being outside in part because of the time I spent in the woods at camp... building fires and hiking and sitting by the "lake".  Like I said, it's a magical place.  

So to say I was excited to be at Stephanie's CILT graduation would be an understatement.  As the youngest Rawleigh girl, she's now carrying on the tradition of investing in other young girls' lives at that magical place we love.  With me all grown up and a mom and living in Germany and Bethany all grown up and almost a nurse and having to get a "real job" soon... it does my heart good to know the next Rawleigh girl is on staff.  Shout out to Camp Cherith!  


  1. thanks for writing about camp Jess. its fun to know the 'rest of the story'.


    1. Aw I didn't know I'd never told you the story! I'm glad you enjoyed it!