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Dating At Camp Is Better

Dating is defined according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “the series of social engagements shared by a couple looking to get married.” You see that our culture has changed this word to mean almost nothing, like it has done with other words such as love, faith, and hope. Dating from afar looks like the dream life; you’re on Cloud 9 and have a pretty girl to hangout with all the time. The reality is, dating can be really challenging, beginning to make plans around another person’s schedule, all of the involved emotions, family influence, and more. Up close, dating is kind of a minefield at times. Add to that keeping yourself pure until you get married, and yeah, it’s not easy. You can be going on dates with someone for months and not get to know much about him or her. Why? Because surroundings matter. Where you are and what you’re doing will change how you act. I once saw a meme that said this: “Give someone the task of writing a six page research paper, then for tools give them a computer from 2004 and the worst WIFI you can get a hold of. Watch them until they are done and you will know who they really are.” In some ways, dating someone while working with them at camp does this. You get to see them working, sleep deprived, sick, and stressed about finals. You can ask their best friends and roommates how they act when are sad, angry, depressed, happy, and joyful.  It draws a clearer picture of a person when you aren’t only seeing them three times a week for dinner, but have to work the zip line, ride horses, or collect garbage with them. This is part of the struggle of living, working, and playing all in the same area. You cannot hide behind a mask at camp. We know each other. My old maintenance director once said this: “Camp time is funny. It matures you faster than most other places. A summer here is like a year most other places.” This fast-tracks relationships. 

But how do we date people? What hope does man have to rise above his culture and do things according to the living Word of Christ?  “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9)  “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:9) So we must pray, humble ourselves, get wise counsel from other believers, and follow in the good example of our peers, knowing that our Lord isn’t leading us to misery, but will use the good and the bad for our sanctification.