It’s an old joke that educators teach because of June, July, and August. Like any good joke, there’s a grain of truth contained in the punch line. The months from September through May are emotionally, intellectually, and yes, physically grueling. The body wears out, and the mind yearns for pleasure reading. Even daytime TV becomes, at least for an hour, irresistible.
This year, though, summer has been busy. After some vacation time in southern Missouri, I spent a week at church camp—not far from our vacation spot. However, church camp with teenagers is most definitely not a vacation. It is, however, a welcome change from the normal school year. Somehow, the transition from the normal school attire to shorts and T-shirts makes grandmotherly professors a little more approachable. I made friends with younger teenagers, met faculty from other colleges, and practiced my dining room sweeping skills. Maybe the teenagers will attend my college; maybe they won’t, but I hope they came away with the realization that they are loved and valued by Christian grandmothers.
- Hours in a school van, including lunch at a gas station
- Looking up at campfire and realizing that you really can see stars—lots of them
- Listening as teenagers open up about their faith
- Helping my family group memorize scripture
- Watching younger people play Bonkers (you really have to see it)
- Morning shows with stupid songs and videos
- Watching 60 teenagers vow to follow Jesus and embrace the cross
Have I done pleasure reading? Absolutely, but I haven’t been able to keep up with my normal book-a-day pace. Have I watched daytime TV? Not unless you count the morning news show (I do have some standards). Have I made progress on my next recording? Not much, other than selecting the music.
Was camp worth the time spent (and the chiropractor bills from bad bunks)? You betcha. Today’s teenagers need the influence of Christian adults who are not their parents. Today’s grandparents need the influence of teenagers.
Next summer, volunteer for church camp or VBS duty. You’ll be glad you did.