The Blob, Turtle-time and God

03.10.16 | by Trevor Tankersley

The Blob, Turtle-time and God

    Trevor Tankersley, pictured left, performing at Camp All Saints. The 15-year-old pens a letter to diocesan youth about summer camp.

    Here’s what you need to know about camp: It’s a week in the middle of Summer, you make a bunch of friends, kick-back, have a blast and get closer to God. Yes, ALL of that.

    It might be that you think, “I’m not going to know anyone, it will be awkward.” Relax. At this camp, everyone makes new friends. When I first went to camp, I hadn’t been part of a youth group at church so I didn’t show up with a bunch of kids I already knew. It’s easy to make friends here. It’s inevitable because you share a cabin with several others, which makes it almost guaranteed. But more importantly, what I’ve noticed is that everyone is really friendly.

    Camp is a good time. The overall atmosphere is fun and friendly, partly because there are no personal electronics of any kind so when you are talking to someone they can’t be distracted by messages on their phone. This means conversations have room to breathe and you have the time and attention span to get to know others. Plus, there is a lot of bonding while swimming, canoeing, biking, rock climbing, and learning the ropes course among other activities.

    Swimming in Lake Texoma is interesting, because you have to test into different sections of the lake, depending on your skill level, for safety reasons. Passing the hardest test, which requires swimming five laps on your stomach and two on your back and additional time floating, means you and a partner can swim out to the blob – a giant, bouncy, floating air-mattress. You and a friend climb onto a trampoline in the water, one of you gets onto the blob and the other jumps onto it, shooting your friend up and into the water, which is so much fun. (Your turn to be blobbed comes when the next person jumps on.) Getting propelled into the air and landing in water is always a good time. Another thing that I highly recommend is waking-up early and going fishing. It’s not a requirement so some kids prefer to sleep in, but personally, I think early morning fishing is really great, but you can go rock climbing or do a host of other stuff.

    They also have a talent show that is of high-quality, of course, because you are in it. Most kids get together and perform skits. I was in six last year. In one skit, we didn’t talk we just played catch in silence and then someone let the ball drop and we all walked off the stage in silence. It was hilarious to see the confused looks on people’s faces. It’s fun because you get to take chances and be very creative.

    I know SOME camps get a bad reputation for their food. No worries here, they do a great job of cooking for us. They have breakfast days with muffins and little smokies – that’s good. They have taco Tuesdays on the best weeks and they have great cornbread. I’m not sure everyone likes cornbread – but I do. After lunch, everyone gets turtle-time, which is unstructured free-time in your cabin to do whatever you want, as long as you don’t disrupt the other campers. Also, we have campfires where we make s’mores - with a twist. Most people choose to make a s’more for someone else, which is fun. Those are delicious and should be part of everyone’s camping experience.

    While there are plenty of friends to make and fun to be had, we also get to work on our spiritual lives. We worship every day and we have lesson time with the camp Deans, who are really skilled at talking with people our age about God. The no-electronics rule works here as well, because there are no distractions making it an encouraging and safe place to ask hard questions about faith. If you are struggling with something, you can talk to the Deans and get answers. That’s why the camp exists. I hope you give a camp a try. It’s worth a week of your summer.

    From a seasoned camper to a potential camper, here are my top 10 reasons, in no particular order, on why you should go to Camp All Saints this summer: 

    Taco Tuesdays

    Cabin quality (good people, good times)

    Morning fishing


    Talent Show

    Camp fires


    The blob

    Asking Deans hard questions about faith

    Worshipping God