A few years ago while I was working as the Assistant Program Director at camp, one of our female counselors had a gigantic stuffed puppy named Rosie. Of course, little girls doing what little girls do, they latched onto Rosie and she quickly became something of a mascot for the cabin. Cabin calls included references to Rosie and her whereabouts. It was like she was another member of the cabin; a very popular member. When the girls went to Bible study or did a cabin activity Rosie came with. They loved Rosie and she was a dear part of their cabin.
Now, little boys being who little boys are; it was only a matter of time before their mischievous natures took over and Rosie was abducted. This caused the girls to become even more zealous in their love for Rosie which in turn caused the boys to be even more determined to keep Rosie ruthlessly hidden away. Soon, other girl’s cabins rallied to Rosie’s cause while the remaining boy’s cabins rallied to the side of her captors.
As the week went on, the Program Director and I found that the children could not get Rosie out of their minds. She dominated cabin calls and cheers. She was brought up during worship and campfires. Mealtime cheers were focused on her. Counselors were consistently pestered by their camper’s concerns for Rosie. She was the new focus of PRBC.
Rosie replaced Christ.
Eventually, we told the boys to give Rosie back and asked the counselors to rein in their camper’s thoughts about her. She was overshadowing the purpose for why the kids came to camp to begin with; to encounter the crucified and risen Christ. Months of planning went into that singular goal and it was being negated by an inanimate pink stuffed animal.
There are so many issues out there that can detract from our mission. They can be political, social, and sexual. The point of the story about Rosie isn’t isn’t to say that the issues are not important. They can be and often are very important. But instead it is to say that we are incredibly selfish with the brief time of the children who attend this camp and Jesus is more so.
We want kids to have an amazing relationship with Christ and we will let nothing detract us from our mission.