I recently had the opportunity to spend 3 days at Prairie Star Ranch in Williamsburg, KS. My two daughters, ages 16 and 12, and I attended Camp Kateri Tekakwitha’s “family camp.” I had specifically chosen this family-style camp because my daughters and I had been through a rough winter with my diagnosis of breast cancer in October 2012. I wanted to be with both of them in a nurturing environment where we could have fun, but also be attentive to our spiritual life at the same time. We had the most awesome 3 days and will definitely be back next summer.
As we made the 1-hour trip from our home in Lenexa, we all 3 anticipated an exciting time horseback riding, swimming, eating s’mores, and just having fun. We did not anticipate the Holy Spirit’s presence to be so visible during our 3 days. I truly believe the fruits of the Spirit were shown to us by Deacon Dana Nearmyer and his wife, Debbie, and all the staff members of the camp.
In the book of Galatians, we learn that the fruit of the Spirit is something the Holy Spirit can produce in the life of a believer. When we accept Christ as our Savior and as we live in obedience to God’s commands, the fruit grows and develops in our lives. I witnessed love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and gentleness in all the staff workers. I fell in love with this group of people working at Camp Kateri Tekakwitha.
When we arrived at camp, staff members greeted us with a big smile and unloaded our cars. It was like having valet service without having to give a tip. They carried all our bags to our air-conditioned room with a smile. When we opened the door, we were greeted with a hand-written note that welcomed us. There was also a basket of goodies like lotion, shower gel and toothpaste in case we had left any of our items at home. My 12-year old especially liked the “family prayer” that was framed and set out for us.
Prairie Star Ranch is a beautiful place to relax. It is surrounded by lots of trees, a lake, fresh air and no electronics. My daughters did not carry their cell phones around so we could just talk to each other. That was probably the best part of the camp. On Saturday night during the bonfire, the sky was full of stars. I was so amazed at how clear the sky was and I could just feel God’s presence all around us.
By Sunday around lunch time when we had to start packing, my daughters did not want to leave. They were actually sad to pack up and have to go home. The bonding between us and the time away from our phones, tvs, iPads, iPods and computers was awesome. We even had some crafts to take home! We had decorated a framed picture of the three of us and it is now in my kitchen. I am reminded of God’s peace and tranquility each time I look at the three of us in that photo. I am already looking forward to family camp next summer.
Verse for today: Galatians 5:22-23
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.