Dear Royal Family,
I am tired.
I’ve been pondering words to you about this week since Friday morning before the week was over. I wanted to take time to sit at the gazebo and write some words in my journal but, instead, my journal is filled with a couple pages of drawings from one of the LIT girls who needed a bit of space from her room.
I wasn’t really sure what to write honestly, because I am just exhausted.
This past week was full. It was fun. There was a lot of laughter. There was a lot of water. There were a lot of deep breathes.
And, right now, as I am typing this, I am getting tears in my eyes.
Because even though I’m exhausted and have no desire to be around people, I would do it all again tomorrow.
The moment for me this year at camp was during LIT graduation.
I turned to face the 22 LITs on the stage and I looked in their eyes.
And I saw it. I saw all the things that they had inside of them. I saw the leadership, the care, the encouragement.
I saw the courage.
I saw all of those things shoving down all the bad, all the hurt and the shame and the pain.
I saw a flicker of hope.
It was there.
Starting to burn a little brighter, starting to rise up out of them.
It might have only been for that moment, but they believed what I was saying.
It might have been only a split second, but they understood what it meant to believe in themselves.
They understood what it was to be believed in.
Obviously at camp, my goal, my reason for being there is to love the kids.
I want to show them love, out of the overflow of love I’ve been given.
But, in that love I want them to know that they have power inside of them. I want them to find the ability to believe in themselves.
I want them to know that we believe in them.
I got my 8th tattoo today (ironically at the end of my 8th year at camp).
This tattoo is for all who are apart of my Royal Family.
For you, the adults, and for every kid who has crossed my path at camp.
I got my first “picture” tattoo. A starfish.
It’s my reminder for so many things. To stop for the one. To remember that I have gifts and abilities that I can utilize. It is to remind me of the one week a year that impacts over 100 kids and over 100 adults.
It’s my reminder of you guys.
Because you guys are amazing.
On Monday, I was looking at everyone at devotions and thinking of the hundreds of work hours that were being missed, of the families still at home, of the projects put on hold.
All for the kids.
I had typed thank you. But that doesn’t seem big enough.
Because, yes, everything we do during Royal Family, is for the kids.
But, it’s also for each other.
We encourage the kids.
We encourage each other.
We cheer them on.
We cheer on each other.
We believe in the kids.
We believe in each other.
So, that being said:
I want you to know that I believe in you. I want you to know that I have hope for you and courage for you.
I want you to know that you might have things in your life that have been hard or traumatic or scarring but I want you to know that there is love for you.
You have things that are ready to rise up out of you.
We have 51 weeks out of the year to live life out of what we’ve learned at camp, 51 weeks to be a lighthouse for others.
So, let’s the do the damn thing.
I love you and treasure you guys more than you’ll know.
Meg (Gem, Junapera)