Camp Meeting When You're 10
It’s a good day to be 10 years old. You’re at Gladstone Camp Meeting, outside Portland, Ore., and tonight the Reptile Man will be here!
Yes, the adults are having a good time too. You see them standing in line for a Pronto Pup from the Pathfinders who run the Snack Shack; they’re catching up on news, comparing photos of their grandchildren, and talking about the classes they took on prayer, preaching or food safety. (Some even carry chainsaws; this makes you wonder if adults do craft projects too.)
What’s more, some of the adults are pretty excited about the evangelism offering; that’s why they gave more than $78,000 to tell people about Jesus.
And even in the Children’s Amphitheater, you hear the adults as they worship — the loud strains of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" coming through the trees from the Plaza Pavilion, or Elizabeth Talbot leading the crowd in a shout of “woohoo!” And on Saturday night, you can hear the Oregon Adventist Men’s Chorus no matter where you are on the campground.
Then there are all the other things the adults do at camp meeting — the blood drive, the Evangelism Training Camp, the Fun Run on Friday morning. (You’ll join them for the Fun Run — in fact, you’ll finish the five-kilometer course in just 31 minutes!)
But even though the adults are having fun …
Do they have a water slide?
Do they get to hear the Mud Man (aka Rich Aguilera) talk about creation?
Do they go on hayrides, wave at people and count the number of people who wave back? (Double points if it's a teen.)
No, you’re pretty sure that none of these things make up camp meeting for most adults — and you’re really sure the Reptile Man doesn't go to the Plaza Pavilion and let adults hold a giant Burmese python.
Then again, there’s one thing you can always get from camp meeting, no matter how old you are. "I want everybody to go home with a passionate love for Jesus," says Al Reimche, Oregon Conference president. "I want them to go home with a love that leads them to share His love with others."
If you go home with that, then you had a good camp meeting … even if you’re not 10 years old.