Scripture: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Some of you may remember CBS News correspondent Charles Kuralt and his reports of traveling off the main road to find people and places in forgotten America. He once came to a small town where the owner of a cafe collected clocks. Each one was in working condition from a historical period in our nation’s history. Every seat and booth was adorned by the ticking time of a different clock.
While I enjoyed Charles’s travels, they did not prompt me to seek these places for my childhood vacations. Like many New Englanders, we drove to the beach aka York Beach, Maine every summer. Dad rolled down the car windows as soon as we hit Shore Road — to smell the ocean air. I did the same for my children years later and they got carsick.
Family vacations were a special treat. When my Dad switched jobs, his children went to camps during the summer: Girl Scout, Boys Club or church camp. Each was an outdoor oasis of lakes, rivers and streams for canoeing, hiking, and summer games with other children. From rural towns and major cities, there we learned lifelong values and gained friendships with children who lived differently than us.
I remember one young man I met at church camp named Billy. He enjoyed sports and discussions and was my sailing buddy. Billy told me he did not like girls. I said, “You don’t like them?” He said, “That’s not what I mean. It’s different with me and there is no one I can talk to about it….”
We remained friends for years and then lost touch. He did find a compassionate pastor to talk about it.
It was at a church camp that my eyes were opened to a friend who was different from me. I hope he has had a happy and fulfilling life. I hope he remembers the church camp experience fondly.