Impacting Up CloseJuly 12th, 2013
Over this past school year with HeartSong I have met lots of campers at retreats, but rarely do I keep in close contact with them, with the exception of Daniel. Daniel and I have stayed in contact through Facebook since I met him in the fall, and this past spring he told me that he was coming to Lake Ann for Senior High Week 5. I saw him for the first time in six months on Monday afternoon when he ran up to me to say hi! We talked for a bit at the senior high mixers and hung out at the waterfront for the afternoon. I’ve been able to see him around camp and at all the chapels this week.
But my friendship with Daniel went beyond small-talk conversation. During senior high chapels when it was time for the music to start, Daniel always got his entire cabin to rush the stage right up to where I stood playing. Once they even started to chant my name as I walked up onto the stage, which threw me off guard until I saw Daniel standing in the middle of them smiling from ear to ear. As I played my guitar solo in “Set Free,” his cabin cheered me on and gave me spirit fingers! It made me feel less nervous about how I played, because I had relationships with these campers that did not depend on my ability to play guitar, but on the conversations we had during the week.
Sometimes as I stand on stage playing guitar, I feel there is a disconnect between the campers and me. I look out into the crowd and sometimes don’t know the names of any of the faces I see. But this week I knew Daniel, and he introduced me to his friends and cabin-mates, which made it easier for me to connect with them. I knew the names of a whole group of campers, and when I would smile at them from onstage they would smile back. Not only did I know their names, but I also knew where most of them stood in their faith as I had deep conversations with them throughout the week. They shared with me that sometimes they don’t like to sing in church, but seeing me stand onstage and sing even when I’m not on mic encouraged them to sing themselves.
For the remaining four weeks of camp, there will not be someone like Daniel to help me get the crowd pumped up or introduce me to other campers. But because of the love and encouragement I have felt this week from Daniel and his friends, I am encouraged to work harder at building relationships with campers in the coming weeks. Because of this week I am excited to begin building into the campers at Lake Ann while I’m not on stage, by eating lunch with them or talking with them as they come in for chapels, so that while I’m on the stage I can more easily connect them to God.