Childhood Experiences Have Lifelong Influence

Camp leaves a lifetime impression.

One of the fondest memories of growing up is the four days we attended county camp at Rock Springs 4-H Center, southwest of Junction City.

Those great recollections resurfaced Friday morning during a live radio broadcast from the lobby of the same dining hall we’d eaten at four-and-half decades ago.

Back when only farm kids typically joined 4-H, we were a town brat with fascination for horses, so when we finally got our horse and convinced our parents to let us join 4-H, we were older than most 4-H’ers in their first camp attendance.

Nonetheless, it was like many of the others there, it was our first time away from home, and we had experiences we’d never lived before and won’t ever forget.

Even though we hadn’t been to camp, we applied to be a counselor and was accepted to serve that role our initial time there.

Being only a couple of years older than some of the 4-H members in our tent, they respected us as their leader, so to speak. We became friends, and decades later, whenever we hear their names or see one of them, those good old days bring a refreshing smile.

Interesting, our recollections of first-time-camp were completely common among the dozen or so adults who were interviewed on or listening to the radio program.

Every one without exception reflected how going to camp for the first time, being away from mom and dad and home security with initially strangers in a different place left a completely positive influence on their future.

Although, the hour was early, more than two dozen 4-H members from a wide area were there for this radio broadcast, having been told they could come if they wanted. No one was forced, but still several chose to attend.

It’s often said children today grow up too fast, know more in grade school than previous generations knew at true maturity, yet there’s no better place to grow up than at camp. Fortunately, Kansas has one of the most outstanding facilities in the world.

Reminds us of Galatians 6:6: “ Be sure you who have been trained to self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous life with those who trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.”