The start of the school year can be hectic. There’s supplies to buy, clothes to shop for, lunches to pack. Our lives are busy and our responsibilities are often demanding. When we go to camp, it gives us a chance to set those things aside and breathe. That’s the reason many of us are passionate about camp and enjoy it.

But when things get busy, we tend to close ourselves off. New and unfamiliar things interrupt the routine and that can be as scary as any kind of physical danger.

The second value in our CONNECT acrostic, which defines the mission and vision of Pioneer & Rimrock Camps and Retreat Centers, is “openness.” Specifically, being open to new ideas and being open and loving to all people.

In a camp setting, this might mean joining a game we don’t want to play or going on a hike we’ve been dreading. It might mean getting out of our social comfort zone and talking to someone from the other side of the Missouri. It means being less concerned with the negatives and more concerned with the positives in a situation or another person.

In our personal lives, it can mean a myriad of things – even things that make us uncomfortable or afraid. It might mean putting the needs and concerns of others in front of our own fears and apprehensions.

In short, it’s a form of love.

Take a break from the routine today. Take a deep breath and open yourself to new ideas. Instead of a “no” attitude, take on a “yes, and” attitude. Add to new ideas rather than subtract from them. Read a scripture you haven’t read in awhile. Call up an old friend.

And of course, open yourself to the love of God.

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