The rain has stopped! A bright and breezy day here today and perfect weather for the girls’ activities and also for drying tea towels! There is washing up to be done for 72 people after every meal, but what a view as you do it! Of course for some of these girls washing and drying up is a novelty and a new skill, as they have grown up as part of the dishwasher generation.
The ratio of adults to children on camp is high. This is partly because of how much work there is to be done when living under canvas, even though things are now much easier than when I first camped with GB as a child. In those days we used chemical toilets and tipped the contents into a pit twice a day; gas lamps had fragile mantles which disintegrated easily and had to be replaced frequently; we stored food in hanging larders and water troughs and later on in cool boxes.
Things have of course moved on, and we now hire in portable toilets and use electricity to light the marquees and to run fridges. As a teenager I learned to play the guitar so that I could strum along to camp fire songs and choruses, sung from memory or from a variety of books: today digital projectors and amplifiers are standard equipment, even in a field.
Camping with children can be hard work, but the rewards are great. This week shooting stars have been seen, flying ants have invaded tents, chores have been accomplished as a team and tonight there will be hilarity at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. They will worship together, and consider God’s offer of new life in Christ, just as I did all those years ago, and maybe some of them will set out deliberately on a Christian journey, as the result of a week in a field.