Director’s Introduction to Summer 2020
When I was a child, my grandfather—I called him Pop-pop—traveled from Philadelphia with my grandmother for a week-long visit every October. By hand, during the week of his visit, Pop-pop “turned over” our large backyard garden in neat rows, working in the fall leaves as he went. Pop-pop was building the soil. He taught me that the promise of spring and summer depend on the careful preparations and the hard work we make in earlier seasons. When we work at nature’s pace our labor can have a cumulative positive effect. The best way to assure an abundant summer harvest is to care for the soil in the fall.
Now I’m “Pop-pop” to my own grandchildren. My Pop-pop’s love of gardening still lives in me. I’m the grandchild who received Pop-pop’s spading fork and every time I use it I think how Pop-pop connected me to the earth. Pop-pop demonstrated his love for me by sharing gardening with me. I understand how important it is to care for the soil.
Soil is the precious skin of our planet. Soil is the bridge between all terrestrial life and the inorganic. Formed from the weathering of bedrock beneath our feet over thousands of years and enriched by the residue of life. Life depends on fertile soil.
It’s not surprising to me that Jesus taught us how much God loves us using lessons and parables about soil.
Camp Asbury’s summer 2020 theme is “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” This summer at Camp Asbury we’ll explore our connections with the soil from stories in scripture and experiences at camp. We will touch the earth.
When I close my eyes and picture Camp Asbury, I see and hear groups of people scattered across hilly meadows, shouting and splashing at the lakefront, kids sloshing up the creek, glowing campfires from “homes in the woods,” arms waving and loud singing on wagon rides, screams of exhilaration from the giant swing, people looking up in awe at the milky way. Summer camp is filled with holy moments that make me want to offer thanks and praise. And it all depends on the good earth that God has created and the fertile soil that sustains life. Genesis tells us that God makes us out of dirt. We are connected to God’s love and we are connected to the earth.
I can’t wait for another summer to arrive. See you at camp!
Bill Graham, Camp Asbury director