Gratefullness Lived! 

August 13, 2014

For Lynnea and me, newcomers to Plymouth Family Camp at N-Sid-Sen, the sheer beauty of the week culminated in the Friday evening boat launchings, so embraced in tradition, the event did not need to be listed on the schedule.

Small sailboats, constructed by kids of all ages from blocks of wood with sails of cloth scraps or big leaves, launched after sunset, carried far out on the lake by gentle off-shore wind, then pushed northward along N-Sid-Sen’s mile-long shore. Twinkling crafts paired with shoreline twilight silhouettes—parents and older kids taking pre-launch photos of the lovingly crafted vessels, kids helping other kids make successful launches. Grown-ups gathered around the bonfire and sang camp songs accompanied by guitar and banjo. It was simply beautiful, and Lynnea and I remarked again and again how thankful we were that we had decided to attend.

We wanted to get to know people we saw Sundays but didn’t really know, AND we wanted to kayak on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Appropriately, gratitude was the week-long theme in worship and small groups.
I confess that I was put off by the pre-camp assignment to bring a cereal bowl to decoupage by me and present to someone at camp to whom I was grateful. I griped about doing something I don’t think I’m good at doing. Yet the bowl I made and the bowl I received ‘runneth over’ with beauty—and I am grateful!
Children delighted in showing us grown-ups how to make a joyful noise in worship.

The talent show revealed comedians of all ages among us. Cheers for Diane Jacobsen’s terrific clogging routine. We enjoyed sunsets from Spirit Lodge deck, lovely and safe swimming cove, overeating ice cream, hikes to Inspiration Points, bear and moose sightings, polar bear swims, excellent child care and excellent leadership.
An event of rare beauty: a church community, ages 1 to 80+, living together, committed to nurturing and appreciating the gifts in each person.

Praise and thanks to God, for Pastor Ford and his family who, 80 years ago, found and purchased land that became N-Sid-Sen. Thanks to God for Plymouth leaders who first conceived of Plymouth Family Camp.

Thanks to those who designed this year’s camp week: Cindy and Tad Anderson, Jennifer Castle, Susan Ford, Courtney and Rosemary Hashimoto, Diane Jacobsen and Ann Palmason. Gratefulness, indeed.

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