Summer camps exhaust me. I love teens, and I love spending quality time with them. But by the last day of a full week at summer camp I just want to take my sore muscles, raspy voice, and weary eyes home from some much needed rest.
This last week has been different. By the end, I was still sore, raspy, and tired. But I could easily have stayed longer.
And I can’t quite figure out why. The language barrier made it difficult to capitalize on those spontaneous conversations that usually provide the best opportunities for meaningful interaction. So I’ve been at camps where I felt like I’ve had more of an impact. The camp facilities were smaller than I’m used to, which means there was also less to do. So I’ve been at camps that were more fun. And trust me, it wasn’t not the food! So why did I feel like I could have stayed longer?
Some of it may just be novelty of doing ministry in a new place with a new group of people. Maybe the novelty would wear off after a few more days and I’d be ready to go. Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t been at a summer camp for quite a few years, so I’m not as burned out on them as I used to be. And maybe it’s just because I’m here with my family, so there’s no need to rush home and see them.
Maybe. I’m sure each of those has some part in it. But I suspect there’s more.