Monday, March 31, 2008
Camp Rainbow is a camp for mentally and physically disabled individuals. The camp only costs the campers $15-the same it cost them 49 years ago when it started. The workers are all volunteers. It's truly a unique camp.
This will be my 10th year volunteering. I can't believe it's already been 10 years since I was 14 and doing it for the first time. I still love it as much as I did then. Camp starts June 15th and I can't wait. At the end of the week the campers go home, wash their clothes, and pack for next year. They look forward to this all year, they talk about it at least once a week for the entire year. And really, I'm not much different.
People have often asked me how I can volunteer there, or why I keep going back year after year. I usually say the campers keep me coming back. I know they look forward to seeing me. And it's addictive....seeing them so happy and knowing you're making their day. My pastor was saying how he loves to go and just love on the children that come in from the bus ministry. He recognizes that it is very likely the only love they will ever get. When he said this it suddenly struck me that that completely summarizes my reason for going to camp rainbow year after year. Some of the campers come from good, loving, caring group homes or families, but many of them come from group homes that really don't care about them. They're just a job, and a badly taken care of job at that. At camp I can love on them and make them the center of attention, if only for a few days once a year. That is truly why I love camp rainbow. I know that I can make a difference in these campers lives and let them be loved.