On Friday, one of our beloved staff members, Erin, had to leave and go home. She’s off to get ready to start her first year of University, so she needed a little more time than usual to prepare, and she had to leave us early.
She’s never left during Family Camp before.
Typically, during Family Camp, if you’re looking for Erin, you’ll find her surrounded by a passel of children, and she never tires of them. She has a spirit that loves children deeply, and wants to see the best for them. She runs Bible studies with them, plays games with them, and leads them in skits and songs at each week’s talent show.
Going into our fourth week of Family Camp, she will be missed deeply, both by the kids she’s left behind, and the parents whose children love her deeply. If she’s not directly with kids, you’d likely hear several kids going “where’s Erin!? Have you seen Erin?”
I have never written a blog post before about the departure of a staff member, because as you can imagine, our staff come and go throughout the summer season. But the reason I’m doing so now is because I thought it was a beautiful thing to watch how sad the children were that she was leaving. I’ve never seen kids clamor after another of our staff members in quite the same way ~ well, I suppose not since the days of Krystle Todd.
As Erin tried to get into her Mom’s van yesterday afternoon, kids swarmed her, wrapped their arms around her waist, tugged at her arms, and begged her not to go. They can’t imagine a Camp experience without Aunt Erin. The impact she has on the lives of our Camp Kids is undeniable.
As her van pulled out of the driveway, a group of our staff and kids gathered on the shuffleboard courts to sing the kids’ camp departure song… “hey, hey, hey… goodbye.”
And then several kids ran up the driveway (at a safe distance) after the van, yelling “COME BACK!” and waving!
Erin, if you’re reading this, please know that you are loved deeply here and Camp would NEVER be the same without you! So while we hope that you thoroughly enjoy your first year of University, we also hope that you remember that you need to come back to us! If for no one else, for the sake of all those kids who love you! Though we love you too 🙂