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Well, the Bridge Camp Talent Show was enough to pull me from my blogging slumber.

This talent show tends to be the one you truly don’t want to miss in a summer at ECC.  There’s something about watching our campers with special needs positively shine on stage with dance routines, singing, ball spinning, drumming and more. In many acts their helper campers are by their sides, singing and waving and holding lyrics so they don’t miss a moment. It’s always so, so good. But tonight was particularly magical.

It would be hard to pick just one moment that made it so very special.  It might have been the one camper who played corn hole as his talent. It took 6 throws for him to land the bean bag in the hole, and each time the crowd got more and more excited, cheering him on. With his last toss he landed it, and the other campers and counseling staff went crazy.

It might have been when a camper who has joined us for years –  but has never even come close to the Little Theater for a talent show – jumped up on stage to listen to the sweet sound of her helper campers and counselors singing Amazing Grace. She swayed back in forth with a radiant smile on her face, and we stared in wonder that her friends had discovered that their singing brings her so much joy.

It might have been when everyone jumped up to create an aisle on either side of one camper who walked up and down the aisle while everyone danced and cheered as she sang her song.

There was no shortage of magic.

But what sealed the deal for me was the very last number of the Talent Show. As is often the case, the helper campers moved up to the stage to sing a song for their Bridge Campers.  When the music started I heard the opening notes of the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

Solid choice.

Here they are singing part of the song:

I admit to getting a little emotional.

I was sitting next to one of our Bridge Campers, and I noticed her getting a little emotional as well. She had been homesick here and there throughout camp, so I worried that maybe this particular song was making her revisit those feelings. I leaned over and asked, “Are you okay?”

“Sort of,” she answered.

(uh-oh)

And then she continued:

“I’ve just never had real friends like this before.”

 

I had to turn my head away from her for a moment to collect myself, and after taking a breath I turned back to tell her that I was glad she came to camp. I jumped up from the blanket so that when her helper camper returned they could embrace, and I moved away so that I could weep.

Lord this world we live in can be so very hard.

But this camp? It is so, so good.

 

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind – 1 Peter 3:8

ECC Summer Theme 2018

 

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