In 16 years of involvement with camp ministry one thing has remained constant. My favourite part of camp is campfire, always has been. PArtly that has a lot to do with the fact that from childhood on I have loved fire. I was the one who would, when camping as a family, drive my mother mad by holding sticks in the fire and then writing in the air with the glowing tip. But more I think it touches something primal within me.
Gathering around the campfire for stories and songs is such a community activity. Granted, i will sit by myself and watch a fire for hours while thinking and praying and singing. But when 100 people are in the circle then something special happens. At campfire we are all allowed and encouraged to be a little bit silly. As a song leader I have done things that made me look or sound absolutely ridiculous and not felt self-conscious about it. At campfire something special happens, people who would never sig in broad daylight join in song by the flickering flames. In the camp I started at campfire was where we did vespers. AS leader, there was something about sharing a little bit of the faith around a fire. I could take a loud group of campers and hold them spellbound with a story. Fire is magical, I know no other way to say it. Fire is holy. Fire is spiritual. Camp without gathering around the fire just doesn't fee like camp. AS a song I have often sung to open evening campfire says:
The flicker of the campfire, the wind in the pines;
the moon in the heavens, the stars that shine;
a place where people gather, make friends of all kinds;
a place where all your troubles are always left behind.
SO! Give me the light of the campfire, warm and bright.
Give me some friends to sing with, I'll be here all night.
Love is for those wo find it, I found mine right here.
Just give me the light of the campfire, the songs we love to hear...