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Yesterday, I suggested that the drive into camp was more than a simple road.

It is a road with a message.

Part of that message is “camp is fun, come and join us”. We have a lot of silly signs and sculptures that deliver this message.

But there is also another message that I get as I drive in: Camp Champions is a place that will support you and help you grow.”

The tree I have pictured here is a living metaphor: the Leaning Live Oak.

Several years ago, we had torrential rains for about a week. After the rains, we had some powerful straight-line winds. The combination of rain and wind pushed over a lovely live oak tree.

We like our trees and really hate to lose any of them. When this tree went down, we reluctantly put it on the to-do list. We would need to cut it up and move the wood elsewhere.

But that tree had different ideas. Instead of dying, it grew. Not only did it survive, it thrived. Just to make sure that it would be alright, we placed a 4x4 underneath it for support.

The tree also loosened the soil behind it, so we have some wildflowers and a blooming cactus growing at its base.

Ideally, the campers and counselors that come to camp are like that tree. We all experience some challenges, but with support, we can thrive. At camp, that support comes from friends and staff; from the camp community. But like the 4x4, that support is enough to help us go forth better than we arrived.

Steve Sir