Finding Jesus at Camp
Twelve-year-old Logan was the toughest kid in the cabin at Camp Polaris.
Twelve-year-old Logan was the toughest kid in the cabin at Camp Polaris. He wanted to be in charge of everyone and everything. One night, Logan decided that he wasn’t going to bed. The two counselors in Logan’s cabin talked quietly together and came up with a plan.
“OK,” they told Logan, “you can stay up—as long as you read the Bible.” Logan agreed. But there was a problem—he didn’t have a Bible. In fact, he had never read one.
“Here, you can read my Bible,” said the boys’ counselor as he handed his Bible to Logan.
“OK,” said, Logan. “So I don’t have to go to bed now?” he asked.
“That’s right,” said the counselors. “As long as you are reading the Bible.”
Logan took the Bible and a flashlight, and stepped outside and sat down on the steps of the cabin. He opened the Bible and started reading in Genesis: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Logan kept reading, and for the very first time he learned about creation, and about Adam and Eve, about Noah and the flood. He liked the stories so much that he just kept reading all the way through Genesis.
The next morning Logan was excited. “I actually found some cool stories in there,” he told his counselors. “I really liked the story of Joseph. How was he able to go through all that stuff?”
Logan asked many questions, and his counselors patiently answered each one of them, explaining how Joseph loved God and trusted Him, and that the same God who cared about Joseph cared about Logan, too.
Jesus Can Help
Many of the kids who come to Camp Polaris don’t know the Bible stories. Other kids might know the Bible stories, but don’t really understand that Jesus wants to be their friend.
Another camper, Heather, was kind of like that. Heather was from Delta Junction, a small town way up north at the end of the Alaska Highway. Heather loved going to camp every summer, and she kept a daily diary. One day during camp she wrote in her diary, “And of course we had to do worship, and that was dumb.”
But as Heather kept coming back to camp each year, she started to like the camp worships. One worship talk she especially enjoyed involved a candle and a balloon.
The worship speaker put a candle on a table, then he lit the candle. After that he took a balloon out of his pocket, blew it up, and tied it. Then he held the balloon right over the lit candle, and . . . . BANG! The balloon popped right away.
Then the speaker took another balloon and put some water in it before tying it. He then held that balloon over the lit candle, and . . . it didn’t pop! All of the children were amazed.
“The presenter explained that we are like the balloon and the water represents Jesus,” Heather said. “If we have Jesus in us, He calms us and gives us peace and strength—He’s Someone we can hold onto.”
They Keep Coming Back
Heather is now grown up and each summer she comes back to Camp Polaris where she works as a life guard and counselor. And she tries to pass on the lessons that she learned when she was a camper there.
“I’ve lived in Alaska all my life,” Heather says, “and Camp Polaris is the most isolated place I’ve ever been. But, it’s definitely a place where you can feel very close to God. I really love it up there.”
Let’s remember our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering so that we can help the kids at Camp Polaris have better beds, and showers and toilets. Thank you.