January 29, 2021

The Things I Miss

Family Campground
Submitted By:
Jay Rogers
Location: La Grange, KY, USA
Story Date: May 6, 2020

Affiliated Tradition:
Community of Christ
Gender: Male   Age: 52
Identity: USA

Perhaps the most painful sacrifice in the Community of Christ during the Covid-19 restriction has been the cancellation of summer camping programs. Community of Christ has a rich tradition of gathering all over the world in week-long camps. (Listen to the June 12, 2020 episode of the Project Zion podcast “Camping in Community of Christ“.) My youngest son was eagerly looking forward to his first opportunity to attend Graceland Spectacular, a summer camp for teens on the Graceland University campus. “Spec” connects CofC teens from all over the world in a structured experience filled with worship, sports, music, and art. They develop a network of friends and continue to keep in touch with social media long after. It was cancelled for 2020 and replaced with an on-line series of events.

Our family camps every July at the Brush Creek reunion, in Xenia, Illinois. My wife grew up going to this campground. It is the oldest continuous camp in operation since the mid 1800’s. 2020 was the first time summer camps have ever been cancelled at Brush Creek. It is a time to reconnect with extended family, the kids play with their cousins and come running to mom or dad for a few dollars when the canteen opens up. The week includes several guest ministers from the World Church who offer spiritual guidance.

Brush Creek also hosts events for youth, with Junior Camp, Junior High Camp, and Senior High Camp. At the end of each year, Brush Creek hosts Hydration, a New Years Eve 3-day camp for teens. None of these events were held in 2020.

Family Campground

As a boy, my family drove out each summer to the Blue Spruce Campgrounds in Cedaredge, Colorado. I have strong memories of singing campfire songs, watching baptisms in a nearby stream, and fly fishing with my dad in area lakes.

All over the world, Community of Christ members and friends gather at regional campgrounds to worship, sing, and eat together. Not being able to have these events in 2020 leaves us all with a sad space in our hearts. The joy will be uncontained when we are finally able to gather again!