For the second year I am spending this week before Easter sleeping on a bunk bed in a camp cabin with 17 & 18 year old girls.

My day job is spent in the camp kitchen with eight other women (and one brave man) preparing and serving 3 meals/day for the construction team of 90 teens and roughly 50 tradesmen and adult chaperones.

For me, it’s a week of women – older gals, peers, and lots of those who will be replacing us in the coming years.

It is the best of both worlds … learning from and enjoying my elders as we work together to feed and sustain the crews. Their feet and backs hurt (truthfully, so do mine!) yet the joy of serving overrides the pain and discomfort.

I come back to my bunk and dream about futures of young women who are growing up in a world so different from my growing up years, and yet not so much.

Listening to them cracks me up — what to wear, fashioning eyebrows, braiding hair, college test scores, looking for socks and shoes …. the banter, the sarcasm, the giggles, the whispers.

I look at these future women, figuring which one was me at that age. Other future women remind me the current women in my world. I see future moms, deep thinkers, artists, business and community leaders.

But every morning this week, we put on our grubby work clothes, work boots, and bright smiles. We all have jobs to do.

The trades teach the next generation … building cabins, chopping wood, digging and laying pipes, whatever needs to be done to make the future of this camp brighter.

The older and the younger working and learning together for the future – this is how community works best.

The words of the apostle Paul to Titus reflects this same principle … the older teach the younger. (Titus 2)

I am not at the river this week. I am in the dark in a sleeping bag, my face illuminated with one of the few cell phones allowed at camp, reflecting with my thumbs, and dreaming and praying for a unknown and hopeful future for those still snoozing around me.

Have a great week and Happy Easter! Jesus Christ is risen and is the true hope for our lives and the future.

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