Once upon a time, there was a daddy with 3 sons. This daddy and his family attended a church which had a children's program for children 1st through 6th grade. For the boys, it was called Boys Brigade and for the girls, it was called Pioneer Girls. This daddy grew up in a Brigade program himself, many years earlier, and knew first hand the impact this program could have for his boys. He became a leader when his first son reached 1st grade, and even spear headed a new program for the 1st - 2nd grade boys, called Tree Climbers, because up until then they didn't start the program for boys until 3rd grade.
Unfortunately, daddy's sons' ages were spread out so far apart that none of them were in the program at the same time, which meant that he needed to hunker down and realize he was in it for the long haul!
Every year, the tradition was for the dads and their sons to go off on a father/son camp out at the end of the program year, and the tradition was to go to a camp called, Buck Creek. Son #1 and Son #2 went to Buck Creek 6 different years with their daddy. Twelve years total for the daddy Many of those years, daddy's good friend came up and agreed to be the speaker for the two days--a wonderful man, who has a real heart for the Lord and for the boys. I have lost track of how many years Frank came to speak, but it was several, and the friendship between the daddy and Frank grew deeper.
But sadly, the first year that Son #3 was old enough to go to Buck Creek, the camp had closed down. The new leader of the boys program decided they would go somewhere different each year, and make the best of things. So, they did a mountain snow weekend, an ocean weekend, a boyscout camp weekend, and various other rustic camps...somewhere different each year, but a good time was always had by all. The daddy still missed Buck Creek. Also, sadly, Frank the wonderful speaker and friend had moved away to another state and wasn't available to speak anymore.
Then, magically, the year that Son #3 was in 6th grade, his last year in the boys program, and the daddy's 17 consecutive year, the camp reopened with new owners! (Daddy's wife saw a flier at work about the camp being purchased and reopening and she could hardly contain her excitement as she showed her husband.) Even more magical was the fact that speaker Frank had moved back in state and was more than happy to come and be the speaker again after many many years!!!!
That fun weekend was this weekend. Another last in the life of our family, as Sam's (son #3) time in Stockade comes to a close. They had their camp out this weekend--just 1 hour away from home, but a place where it snowed the whole time they were there, adding to the 3 feet of snow they still had left over from the winter. They shot BB guns, learned about knife safety, got to blow dart guns, made an igloo, played capture the flag in the snow and Mexican Train Dominoes, and had devotions,singing and a worship service Sunday morning. From the pictures, daddy took, it looks like they had a blast.
So, how fitting that the last year the daddy was to go, they went back to the original camp, and his good friend was able to come to speak. Feels like things have come full circle. Closure.