Hi Swamp Bloggers!

Welcome back. I hope you are having a wonderful morning. Don't forget: the Mother Son and Daddy Daughter Retreat are coming up in March and April, and you can register for summer camp coming up in June. Click here to sign up for a retreat and here to sign up for summer camp. We can't wait to see you there!

A Tradition of Thankfulness

At Camp Swamp, we have several devotionals that are a part of every week of camp. While bible classes may change a bit from week to week, there are a handful of devotionals that have remained throughout years of summer camp. One of those is the Grateful Devotional.

The Grateful Devotional started years ago when the camp was waiting on the kitchen staff to finish up breakfast. During that time, they formed a line for sharing and opened it up to whoever wanted to share something they were grateful for. Now, sharing gratitude is a camp tradition every Friday morning of the summer.

One thing shared about at the Grateful Devotional is Camp Swamp. I am so thankful for those who built it!

It is amazing how traditions like that can start. I cannot imagine not having the grateful devotional at camp. Every week, I use it as an opportunity to sum up what God has shown me in my heart during that time and to say how grateful I am for his blessings. I find it not only gives me a chance to honor someone or something, it also solidifies my gratitude in my own heart.

One scripture that reminds me of the grateful devotional is Psalm 107:8-9:

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."

At the end of the week, we are able to share how God has filled us up and satisfied our spiritual and emotional needs at camp. Here are what some Swamp staff from last summer said they liked the most about the Grateful Devotional:

"[What I like most is] I think just the fact that it gives us a chance to be grateful, cause now a days we really don’t stop to be grateful and think about what we’re grateful for."

-Samantha Goss, Swamp Photographer

"[What I like most is] the vulnerability, the fact that said vulnerability is encouraged and allowed to flourish in a safe space full of people you've already spent a week growing more comfortable with, and the insight that results from hearing what others are grateful for."

-Dylan Chisolm, Counselor

I really appreciate how Dylan mentioned the insight that comes from hearing other people share about what they are grateful for. This is for sure another amazing part of the grateful devotional: hearing other people pour out their hearts about what they are most grateful for. In their sharing, you can hear the wisdom that God has laid on them, and you can appreciate the simpleness of a grateful heart.

Another thing commonly shared about is new and old friends made at Camp Swamp.

One final scripture that reminds me of the grateful devotional is Ephesians 5:19-20:

"Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

When we express our gratitude amongst one another, we are singing and making music from our hearts to the Lord. Not only does this encourage God, but it is a way we can encourage one another and help spur each other on to good deeds!

This week I want to challenge you to express your gratitude to a friend. Let's see the ripple effect we can create! Until next time...

Much Love & Respect,

Julie