When Bobby first mentioned that this was something that he really wanted to be a part of, I was like, "sure let's do it!" Then as the weekend neared, I became a little anxious about going to an unfamiliar place and being around unfamiliar people. From the moment we walked into the roomful of former campers and faculty...I just knew this was going to be good. They were watching old video footage of previous camps and laughing...just having a great time. The lights were low when Bobby opened the back door and we walked in...everyone turned and hollered, "Bobby Maupin!!!!!!!!" They were all so excited to see him...I was excited for him. I've heard so much about these folks over the years, I felt in some ways, I already knew them. Bobby's friends that he has loved for so many years became my friends by the time the weekend came to a close. There is not enough room in this post to share how warm and loving everyone was and how they reached out to the "new kid on campus." This weekend gave me a glimpse into why their camps over the years were such a success...they are Good People.
When I think about the highlights of the weekend, one theme comes to mind throughout...appreciation! The campers and those that had been responsible for them had a heart full of love and appreciation for each other. One after another would stand and testify to how being a part of a loving group of campers had changed their lives and the lives of their children. They shared their successes, their struggles and funny stories galore. There was not a shortage of laughter, especially with Bob Robinson sharing his funny anecdotes and Tommy Oaks egging him on. Tommy would say..."tell them this...", and Bob would stand and in only the way that Bob could...share the information (most in jest).
I laughed and cried a lot this weekend...what a talent and blessing to be able to keep us both in tears and laughter. There were a lot of "inside" jokes or humor that I knew because I was married to Bobby Maupin. At one point, Bobby came running in the room with a woman's bathing suit on ready for a shaving cream fight taking everyone back to that time at camp when recreation involved mud, water balloons and shaving cream.
Tommy and his wife Pat (known to Bobby as Trixie), have been such an amazing influence on so many over the years. The continuation of love was displayed as we worshiped together too. When you add Bob and his wife Jackie to the mix, it is such a dynamic combination. They have been blessed with a God given talent of relating to others through stories, humor and worship.
During our worship times this weekend, someone would share a verse in the Bible that meant something to them or share a story and it would remind Tommy of a song...he would look at his son, John Thomas at the keyboard and say a few of the words and John Thomas would begin to play and everyone would sing. The open air chapel was the scene of dancing, singing, sharing and just loving on each other. The night ended with fireworks and the movie, "The Scream of Fear"...an old black and white movie that I had never seen, but thoroughly enjoyed every "cheesy" moment.
The worship on Sunday ended with communion and a jazzy version of "This Little Light of Mine". We said our goodbyes and again told each other how much we appreciated them. Everyone that was at the meeting lived out this verse from Romans 12:10 "Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor giving preference to one another" - appreciation at it's finest.
Below are some pictures that I took from the weekend. Thanks for letting me share about my experience at the Appalachian Christian Camp Reunion.