It's the first weekend of August, and I realized this morning that in my past life, I would be headed to campmeeting today. For those who don't know, campmeeting is when all the members of a church in the entire region gather together for a week or so. There are meetings, prayer groups, all that stuff, and most people camp or stay on the grounds for the duration.
The campmeetings of my childhood were held in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. It's an absolutely gorgeous spot. The campground has cabins and old army bunkers, plus meeting buildings, and fields for tents. As a minister's family, we got to stay in one of the "new" cabins. My cousin Jody always came with us for the week, and she and I loved sleeping in the tent trailer next to my parents cabin.
I know that the purpose of the whole event was to bring us closer to Jesus, have a spiritual revival, and return to our homes walking closer to God. Sorry Dad, but that is NOT what I remember being the highlights.
Campmeeting was when I only had to see my mother at meals. That was the biggest blessing to me. She would be totally distracted all week with her job as "perfect minister's wife", and with the constant audience all around us she couldn't afford to treat me the way she did at home. Jody and I were experts at making it look like we were following all the rules, and were being "good girls" while all along, we were skirting the edge of every possible source of trouble.
We went to the meetings, yes, but we didn't hear a word that was said. We were too busy passing notes to our friends, and giggling about boys. It was also very rare that we stayed for the entire "talk" part of the meeting. We weren't allowed to go swimming (except during public swim times), but Mom never thought to say we couldn't go down to the beach and lie around in our bathing suits all afternoon. Of course we attended evening campfire together, but we certainly didn't sit together.....how would we ever get to hold hands with a boy if we didn't sit next to one?!
I'm sure that this week, plenty of people will find the Lord. I know the singing will be fantastic, and the guest speakers will light a fire in the hearts of the willing. But I would bet big bucks that at least one girl will lose her virginity on the beach. Young hearts will fall in love, and out of love, and in love with another, all before Tuesday. Forbidden make-up will be shared, along with tips on how to make it nearly invisible to the parental eye. Older teens will drink vodka after dark on the beach (soo many rules broken right there!) and try to swim to PEI.
In ten days, everyone will go home, clutching their memories. Parents will think "She must have found the Lord, look at her glow." And teens will think "He must be a god...look at the way he makes me glow." Everyone will be happy, and look forward to next year, when they can do it all again.
Ah, the memories.