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I Made These at Camp

Late this summer, while the campus was empty of the laughter and play of campers, Rev. David and Marilyn Swygert paid a visit to Lutheridge and took a stroll down memory lane. It was such a delightful visit, that the next edition of The LINK Newsletter will include a portion of their life and camp story. Here though, we want to share a different part of the story – the crafty part.

When they arrived, David was carrying a brown paper bag for Marilyn. First, she pulled out her camp photo album that dates back to the summer of 1951, the first summer campers came to Lutheridge. As we flipped through the pages, she shared story after story of campers and counselors who impacted her life. She even had a special page for all her camper certificates.

Part way through the album, she reached down into the brown paper bag and pulled out a tiny little brown jewelry box. It was in perfect condition, only showing its age from the browning of the paper.

“I need to show you this,” she said. She treated the box with such care.

Inside the box, laying on a pillow of cotton were three pair of tiny delicate earrings.

“I made these at camp,” Marilyn shared. “I made them for my mother.”

The earrings were made from tiny little seashells. It was a camp craft in her day. The earrings had been used, but also preserved perfectly. Marilyn clearly treasures these tiny little hand crafted gifts the way she treasures her memories of the life changing impact camp had on her, David and her own children.

The holy spaces of camp, the places set apart to form faith and grow leaders outside in God’s good creation, are not hidden away or limited by time or distance or Covid. They are, in fact, the very places we carry on with us in a life lived in witness. They are places and moments, activities and people, we remember for years to come. Marilyn’s first summer as a camper was 1951 – 70 years later, as summer camp sites closed because of Covid, the faith formed in her at camp lives on in many and various ways – and is sparked by the simple memory of making a special craft.

This month, we lift up all those counselors and craft directors who helped dip candles, start gimp lanyards, tape down beady bugs, and paint tiny little seashell earrings. Your work – your sharing of your own faith and passions lives on in your campers.

Show us your camp crafts. Post pictures on social media and tag your camp with #Lutheride #lutherock #luthersprings or #lutheranch.



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Want to share this story with your congregation, family or friends? You can download a PDF version here.


Click HERE to read another impact story.