When I was nervous about going to camp

This past summer I went to a two-week sleep-away camp all by myself for the first time.

It takes a full day of driving to get from my house to the camp, so the day before, my mom and I drove to a town near the camp. After we checked in to the hotel, we ate dinner nearby. A couple of hours later, I started to feel very ill. I was nervous about going to camp and about making friends, and I started throwing up. 


I have been learning the ninety-first Psalm in Christian Science Sunday School. I’ve memorized about half of it. Mom comforted me and reminded me about the verses that I know. The first two verses say: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”  

Mom and I talked about how I could always trust God, my Father-Mother, to be with me, even if I wasn’t with my parents or brother. Also, since God is everyone’s Father-Mother, everyone at camp is a child of God and expresses joy, goodness, and brotherly love.  

Mom reminded me that joy comes from God, and God always gives us joyful, comforting thoughts. Sometimes, when you are trying to listen to God and do a good activity, bad thoughts like fear come in and try to take the joy away. But Mom reminded me that I didn’t have to listen to any bad thoughts. Because my joy comes from God, nothing can take it away. It’s always with me. We also talked about the other children—that they might be feeling the same way I was and that I could help them by being friendly, joyful, and loving.   

Then Mom started to read me the weekly Bible Lesson (found in the Christian Science Quarterly), which is citations from the Bible and from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. As Mom read through the Lesson, I started to feel better and got very tired. She told me later that she read through the Lesson two times and stayed up praying, but I don’t remember because I fell asleep. 

In the morning, I felt much better. We packed up the car and drove the remaining two hours to camp. We stopped and had a good barbecue lunch. I was still nervous. But I knew that bad thoughts didn’t belong to me and couldn’t take away my joy, so I didn’t have to listen to them.

When we got to camp, Mom helped me get settled. By the time she left, I was busy getting ready for a swimming test.

I had a lot of fun at camp, and even though I wasn’t with my family, I felt happy to be there. I made a lot of friends, and the two weeks went by very quickly. I am really looking forward to going back to camp next year.

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