What I learned at summer camp..By Amber Strehle

I have this picture of myself with my group of camp friends from the year I went to 5th/6th grade camp. I remember it very distinctly, I had wonderfully rosy cheeks and freckles from a week of too much sun (sunscreen?? who needs it!) natural blond highlights from the sun, curly hair from no hair dryer or flat iron, a group of great kids gathered around, mostly boys, and no not boys in the boyfriend/girlfriend sort of way, boys from the lets just hang out and have fun kinda way. The best kind of boys.
We all had our camp t-shirts on, mine bright fuchsia pink that looked fab with my tan skin (even then I had a eye for fashion). Best part..I had this huge smile on my face, I LOVED that week of camp. I can't remember being home sick, but I do remember crying my eyes out the last day. I even still remember my camp counselor's name..Sporty. She sent me letters for about a year after camp..man she was good.

Fast forward about 20 or so years..

If I were to describe a picture of this past week I would say that my hair was about the same, even though I did bring my hair dryer and flat iron we had no power..there were very few options for nice hair and after a few days I really didn't care anyway. I did have highlights in my hair but not from the sun:) I still got too much sun although, all my freckles have sadly faded. I did have alot of boys around me at camp, but most importantly I had my husband.
(Just a side note on the husband..he was sooo WONDERFUL to have around, even after 15 years together I'm still totally smitten with him, he is just such a good man, a really good man)

I would see a bear that kept visiting the camp very early in the morning, luckily that meant that all of us counselors saw the bear and not the kiddos.

I would see that boys never really grow up or out of that "king of the hill" phase..no matter if they are a Youth Pastor/Costco Big Shot/Toxicologist/World Health College student, they will still Indian leg wrestle, race up hills, play with bouncy balls and push each other into lakes or other standing bodies of water just to be the coolest kid on the block.

The people in this picture were all new friends that quickly became old friends. Peeps like myself with the knack for getting shushed by those younger than yourself and laughing so hard you just might pee your pants (which I actually did..twice).

In this picture I saw my two eldest sons being baptised in a little creek, under a suspension bridge up in the mountains of California. I guess I always thought they would be baptised in the Sultan river or at Weidiger's pool where I was baptised..crazy the places our life has now taken us. It was sooo cool/awesome/incredible for us to watch our two eldest sons make this public profession of their faith and be baptised in the midst of almost strangers.. really beyond words.

Also in this picture I saw our family (minus two) finding a little bit more of home here, with people who get us. This picture shows us knowing that God meant for us to be in AZ and meant for this past year to change us.

This camp picture may show more gray in my hair but it also shows more heart from the Strehle family than I would have ever thought possible.

Let me leave you with this quote from Dylan.

"You know I'm glad we moved to Arizona, when we lived in Washington our lives were just sunshine and roses, in Arizona we learned to depend on God more..live free or die hard."

I could not have said it better myself:)


Wendy Girl said…
Well, I was hoping to see more picutres of you in your diggs?
I am so happy for the boys. So Happy..It is amazing were life takes us, and how far from our expectations it can be.
Miss Charity said…
Amber...your blog today actually brought tears to my eyes. I'm sitting here thinking of how much I miss you, but thanking God at the same time for this new adventure he has brought to your family. God is soooo good,isn't he? Your amazing words hit home with me this morning...I'm am abundantly blessed and undeserving of it...I can't quit smiling or crying :-) Thank you for your blog today!

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