A place that holds meaning to me is a place where I grew up, where my mom grew up, and where my grandma grew up. It is part of my childhood and my home away from home. This place is Morning Star Bible Camp.
Morning Star Bible Camp is a Christian camp in West Kelowna, British Columbia. It is a small community, so almost everyone knows each other. It is a week filled with fellowship, games, and fun. Morning Star has its own place in my family’s (and my own) heart. There is absolutely no other place that can surpass the memories I hold of my childhood here. My earliest memories of camp that I can remember are treasured in my heart, and I’ve been going there every summer since I was only seven months old!
Every morning at camp, I wake up to the sound of the birds chirping outside my window along with the rustling of the trees from the gentle howling wind. As I open my eyes to the start of the new day, my family is usually still sleeping and dreaming their deepest thoughts. So I quietly slip on my clothes, tie my hair up in a ponytail, and walk out the door of the cabin. The brisk morning air always nibbles at my nose as the sun warms up my body. I greet my cousin at her cabin, and we hike up a path over a small hill where surrounding us are endless trees and plants all nestle together to make a beautiful scenery. The path leads to a fairly small area covered with soft moss and tiny pink flowers, and smelling of the ever-present smell of wood. As we swing on the swings, we look below at the entire camp. We watch the sparkling, clear water of the pool dancing with the wind, the kids playing and the laughter they carry with them around the field, the adults discussing their morning devotions together, with the faint sound of mismatched dishes clinking in the kitchen as breakfast is being prepared.
Soon enough, the bell rings. Everyone makes their way to the dining hall, finds a seat, and bows their head as the camp director says a prayer before having our breakfast. Every morning is a different meal, from pancakes engrossed in a thick layer of sweet maple syrup, to a delicious cinnamon bun with a siding of fruit. No matter what though, I always have a glass of freshly tarty orange juice.
A little while after breakfast, we head to morning chapel. Singing songs together to the Lord, and listening to the message while the kids are at kids chapel. After chapel, my cousin and I lay on the prickly, yet soft grass of the field with the wind sweeping across our faces, and the beautiful wildflowers on either side of us. Looking up, it is like a dream but with my eyes open, gazing up at the blue sky above us and soft little clouds dotting the skies. The busy leaves of the old trees rattling and murmuring above and around us, creating the most lovely noise. I think that these kinds of places are meaningful to people like me because they are natural and it’s their time where they can be away from their everyday life.
After lunch, the first thing I do is change into my bathing suit, pack some beach necessities, and run to the bus. Singing songs, playing eye-spy, and telling stories are the most popular bus activities of ours.
No matter how old I am, I will always enjoy the feeling of stepping out onto the soft, white, sandy beach. My cousin and I would spend the afternoon splashing in the water, tubing behind the boat, and jumping off the dock onto our pool floaties. Then we would lie on our soft damp towels and relax. It feels so good to have the bright sun blazing down on me. While desperately waiting for another turn on the tube, we would build sand castles on the beach together. But soon enough, the waves from the boat would come crashing in onto the beach, along with onto our sand-castles.
Skipping ahead a few hours, after dinner and evening chapel, we head to the dining hall where cookies were being handed out with a glass of ice-cold water. My cousin and I always sneak outside to the bleachers, away from all the business, munching at our warm, freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, and breathing in the moist air of the wet field.
Later that night, I sit with my family, singing camp songs by the blazing campfire, and the sweet smell of the marshmallows being toasted above the flames. Before bed, I open up the windows and fall asleep to the sound of the crickets chirping their melodies into the night.