As the summer begins, I am left staring in awe of what lays before me. There are so many possibilities, so many opportunities, it can be downright scary. But most of my heart is bursting with excitement. I mean, it’s camp season after all! There seriously is very few things better than hockey camp. For myself, it will be close to eight years of involement with hockey camp. I have had the privilege of wearing many hats in my time at hockey camp, but none better than “camper”. I hope that many of you reading this post have the pleasure of being a camper, or have a child attending as one. You don’t want to waste your years as a camper (or a camp parent). Enjoy these years when you have them because they fly by all too fast! I look back at the friends and memories I have from being a camper and can only shake my head in amazement. I look at where God has led me and can only laugh and thank God for placing that cast of people together many summers ago. So many of us campers have grown up and parted ways, some of us have stayed in touch, but one things is certain: we all share one common memory of the times we spent together during the best days of summer...at hockey camp.
I think it is only appropriate to begin this summer of blogging with a favorite camp story of mine. I was, of course, while I was a camper. One summer I had my head down too long and got hit hard. It was one of those big open ice hits that happens so fast that no one is really sure what actually happened. The hit left me dazed and confused, yet managed to somehow bring contentment to my heart. And thankfully, I had people there for me after the collision. Now moms, stop panicking, it’s okay. We promise hockey camp is contact free. There is not hitting allowed. Your child will be safe in our care
The hit I am talking about happened off the ice. It was a hit that levelled me off my feet and onto my knees. I tried so hard to shake it off but couldn’t. You see, one night an on-ice instructor was speaking in chapel and it was not what he said that shook me up, but the way he delivered it. He was straight up honest about his life and the influence Jesus played in it. It was something that I was unprepared for. I grew up in a church attending home, but as I grew older, church and Jesus became increasingly irrelevant in my life. My focus was on things that I now know have little importance. But that night, Jesus caught me with my head down and gave me a much needed hit to not only my head, but heart. I pretended like it didn’t affect me, I even declined the invitation to stay behind in chapel that night. I went to bed like a tough guy, but sure enough I woke up in the middle of the night, realized the direction my life was headed was unacceptable and that I had to begin my walk with Christ. As it says in Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (ESV) That night shook me to the core. I finally admitted that I was sinful, and acknowledged that Christ died for my sin. Little did I know the consequence of that provoked decision to surrender my life to Christ would lead me to where I am now. Christ did though and that gives me great comfort as we head into the summer of 2015.
As we begin this summer together, I hope this blog and the camp stories it tells exposes you to the reason hockey camp exists. If you are a camper my hope for you is to join me in the excitement for hockey camp. If you are a parent of a camper, or simply observing from afar, my prayer for this blog is that you join me and the campers on this adventure. An adventure that is intended to go far beyond the ice surface level. This will be collection of stories intended to show you the intracacies and incredible ways that God works thought hockey camp. The activities, the programs, the events are things that you can read on the schedule. The important stuff often goes unsaid! I hope to share a small portion of the “unsaid”. So please grab your hockey stick, smelly gear (and parents - check your child’s skates before sending them to camp. the less blisters the better) and join me as we share the 2015 camp season together.
Until next time,
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