rfkc-pond

RFKC 2011: Wednesday

Thoughts from two staff, Lauren Owen on one of the more challenging moments of camp and Neight Gallenbeck on the innocence and value each child holds.

by Lauren Owen, RFKC Staff

My thankfulness overflows to be part of something so deep and rich and true as this week has been.

I am caught trying to put it all together:

the good, very very good,

the very hard.

Grieving lost innocence,

sitting in the questions with no answers

and stunned by gracious miracles with no explanations.

Silence, laughter, screams.

Never-sufficient tears for the suffering they carry.

The smallness of what I can do on the bigness of their need.

Hanging on to the hope that “God’s mercy and justice and compassion outrun all the needs of the world.”

A kingdom already-but-not-yet. A kingdom within us, a kingdom coming: small and hidden like a seed and utterly priceless. I cry out in the dark, in faith, for God to be true to his promises. I don’t need to see to believe, and I don’t need to understand, I just need to know He is coming. I just need to know the kingdom belongs to such as these. And I wait, with a sadness held honestly, and I wait with great hope.

 

by Neight Gallenbeck

“Brother, can’t you see the water is white?” This is a lyric from ‘Nightbirds’ by Jay J Mattot and the Arctic, who happen to put on a small concert for the kids tonight.  But as I sat there listening to the song, I was taken back to earlier in the day.  I was remembering swim time with the kids.  Though this is the second year we’ve had a pool since I’ve been at camp this was my first year participating in swim time.  It happens to be the most exhausting time for staff but also the time when the kids have the most fun.

Today, I had the pleasure of playing with three of the girl campers; which happens to be a completely new experience for me (having been a counselor my first three years, and camp photographer last year).  These girls are the epitome of innocence in appearance.  They are tiny, sweet, with smiles that light up the darkest of rooms and heaviest of hearts.  And I was able to play a simple game of chase in the pool with them.  Miraculous to be able to be a part of that memory for these girls.

Because they are at this camp, a camp for kids in the foster care system often due to abuse and neglect.  So despite these girls looking like the epitome or archetype of innocence, I know they likely have dark and troubled pasts.  And it breaks my heart that these sweet little girls had to go through such things.  But at least I am able to help them just be kids playing in a pool for a short time, able to help them enjoy a time of carefree fun and laughter.

So maybe the camp pool doesn’t have white water but it sure seems to wash these kids white.  It gives them a time to return to being kids where laughter, smiles, and joy are abundant and overflowing.  I feel so blessed to be allowed to be a part of this time and this camp, helping to provide positive memories and role models for kids who had their innocence shattered far too early.

You can read more about Royal Family kids Camp at the RFKC PAGE

Permalink: http://tnl.org/rfkc-tuesday-3

Categories: From The TNL Community, Royal Family Kids

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