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Summer camp blessings

From the December 31, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


Sam on the peak
Courtesy photo

Every summer for the past six years I have been going to summer camp. I’ve been to two different camps for Christian Scientists in the western and central parts of the United States. I love camp because I always have a fantastic time, meet other Christian Scientists, and learn more about God and about how to put Christian Science into practice.

Two years ago when I was at camp, I had a great healing during the second week of the session. I was in the “Compound Idea Program,” which includes activities like waterskiing, wakeboarding, and ropes courses. We were having our traditional foil dinner night, where we take sheets of tin foil, fill them up with meat, cheese, and other food, roll them into packets, and cook them over the fire.

The campsite where we cook our foil dinners is about a mile away from the main camp. The path there has trees on either side and a few streams running across it, as well as large rocks. I was walking with a group of my friends. We were having a fun time telling jokes and laughing. I saw a fairly small river in our path, and although there were a few stepping stones to cross on, I thought to myself, “I bet I could jump over it.” I told my friends, who started questioning whether or not I could do it. 

As I backed up so I could get a good running start, I heard a voice in my head saying, Don’t do it. But I didn’t think that was really God speaking to me; I thought it was just my own fear. So I sprinted and jumped across the stream.

One of my feet barely made it onto the land on the far side, but my other foot landed on a rock with a cracking noise. I squatted down and held my foot up as I toppled back into the stream. One of my counselors was walking up ahead, and he and my friends came over to help me up and support me. Fear started to creep in as I worried that I’d seriously hurt my foot and ankle.

But just as quickly, I turned to God in my thinking. I remembered that I didn’t have to let fear get a foothold in my thought. I knew that I was made in God’s image and couldn’t be punished with pain or injury. There just couldn’t be another power to try to convince me that I was hurt or that things were going wrong.

With these thoughts I felt calm and the pain went away. Supported by my friends, I was able to carefully continue up the trail and eat dinner as we’d planned. But later, I noticed that my ankle was tender and my toes didn’t seem to be pointing totally straight.

I knew that I was made in God's image, and couldn't be punished with pain or injury.

The camp has a Christian Science nurse and a Christian Science practitioner on staff, who are there to support campers in whatever way is needed. But before I called on them, I wanted to try praying for myself, because I knew the condition could be healed. So for the next few days, I prayed diligently and felt better each day. I made flashcards with quotes from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, and things that I knew are true about God and His children. One of my favorites was this passage from Science and Health: “Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality” (p. 261). This helped me recognize that since God, Truth and Love, is the source of my health and my joy, those things are spiritual and can’t ever be taken away. Another big thing I focused on was that error, the idea that anyone could be separated from God, is just a suggestion. It’s not a real power and is really worth nothing. I knew that my experience could include only good, which is spiritual and comes from God—and I could expect healing!

With these thoughts the swelling quickly went down. Every single day I was able to walk properly and without pain. My feet and ankles were perfect!

I am very grateful to be a Christian Scientist and for all the help that counselors and friends give. Once fear is gone, error is destroyed and there is nothing to worry about.


Sam Pellegrini is a freshman in high school. In his free time, he likes to do CrossFit, play paintball, and volunteer at his local Christian Science Reading Room.

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