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Carrying a Backpack Full of Rocks

Tuesday’s during summer camp is what we call “Sin Day”. It’s the day we help our campers understand the brokenness of the world and the sin found in their lives. We believe we have to share the “bad news” about our relationship with God before we share the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.

In an attempt to help their campers grasp this difficult concept, two of our staff from Storybrook (our 1rst through 3rd grade camp) shared with me this story from this past week. On Tuesday night during campfire they talked about sin and illustrated it by Gina, the area director, wearing a backpack full of heavy rocks. Gina explained that sin in our lives is like the rocks in this backpack, it weighs you down, hurts your back, gets in the way of truly living, and the worst part – there’s nothing you can do about it.

Then she went onto say that Jesus came into the world to take our sins away, to take our backpack of rocks off our backs. (On Wednesday, Jesus Day, the girls heard the Good News of exactly how Jesus does this incredible work).

The next morning, as the girls got their backpacks on and started walking towards their next activity, a camper with special needs started to walk behind one of her cabin mates and began holding up the cabin mate’s backpack. When someone asked “what are you doing?” she answered with complete sincerity “I’m helping her carry her sins”.

A tangible  lesson about a difficult subject stuck with this young camper, making such a strong impression that she felt compelled to do what she could to help her friend carry her burden. It’s also an example of why I believe so strongly in the life-transforming power of camp in the lives of kids.

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