Camp Barakel, Camp Barakel / We’re glad to turn again /
To this blessed place where truth and grace / From God’s own Word abound!

I couldn’t believe camp songs were still a thing. I felt like I should have been wearing tube socks and a neckerchief. Ernest P. Worrell would pop out at any minute ready for an honest mishap which he would then fix, or at least try to fix. KnowhutImean, Vern? 

There was simply no room for a campfire-sitting, arm-and-shouldering, body-swaying theme song in my camping ethos. The winter and summer camps I grew up going to were too cool for camp songs like this one; we were onto at least the 1990s and adding motions to our contemporary Christian music songs. Cutting-edge stuff, clearly.

I couldn’t help but chuckle the first time I heard the Camp Barakel song…until I realized no one else was laughing. Everyone was singing, and I was the idiot for laughing.

It’s one of those songs that’s easy to learn and when it gets in your head you just can’t shake it—for better or for worse. So here I am, on a Monday after another weekend going with students to Camp Barakel, with the song  on a loop in my head. Except this time, I’m not laughing. I’m smiling.

Sure, it’s a little cheesy. The language is a little outdated. The tune smacks of morning bugles and flag-raising ceremonies. But now that I’ve experienced the truth and grace I’m reminded of and refreshed with each time I visit, I can’t help but rehearse the lines. Because what it represents in my memories and heart isn’t just any camp in the backwoods of Michigan. It’s a place where God has blessed. And where God blesses.

Our lives anew we give to Him / to live and serve our best;
Camp Barakel, we’ll never forget / for surely God has blessed


Monday Mugs is where I tell the stories behind my coffee mugs. Each one holds a story (and coffee, of course) of somewhere I’ve been or something I’ve seen. Because if even a coffee mug has a story, so do you. The photos are my actual mugs, not lookalikes found online. So grab one of your own mugs (fill it with coffee first) and hear the stories of mine. And don’t forget the cream and sugar.

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