Each summer, I say to myself, "This is my 4th year, my 5th year. It'll be different. I won't be so emotional at the end of it all; I won't mind saying good-bye." And each year, I'm wrong.
This sixth summer was no exception. Though most of the campers I've been close to have graduated and moved on, other campers swooped in and claimed their own corners of my heart. I was amazed, yet again, at their capacity to love me and at the ease with which I loved them. It's a mysterious and strange thing - camp love - and if you haven't been part of it, it's virtually impossible to understand.
I cannot describe for you what it feels like to have a girl trust you with her deepest fears or to have a boy listen to your stories wide-eyed and open-mouthed for hours and hours. I cannot describe for you what it feels like to hear the kid who doesn't really believe ask questions about Jesus. I cannot describe for you what it feels like to have 70 teenage eyes fixed on you as you tell them how loved they are.
I cannot describe for you what it feels like to have children to whom you have devoted every waking moment of a summer sob in your arms when you say, "Good-bye."