Camp and Retreat E-News: Building Trust through Love and Kindness

October 30, 2019

 

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Reflections on values with Camp & Retreat Ministries

  Building Trust through Love and Kindness  

 Value 7: Trust

By Hope Montgomery, Program Director at Camp Magruder
 

Trust jumps out of the car on the first day of camp with a smile and open arms. Trust delights in acknowledgement and although bashful today, will be excited and talkative tomorrow. Trust values the boundaries that are in place. Trust sleeps easily on the first night away from home, and trust sees the potential of joy, laughter, and connection in their fellow campers. Trust knows love and kindness, as friends.
 
Trust comes easier to those who have experienced consistency and reliability of things “working out.” We see a lot of campers who haven't had that experience. Things don't just go okay. People don't always do as they say. Promises don't hold a lot value. Systematic injustices hold real repercussions and consequences that result in more inconsistency and pain. To trust easily and unquestioningly may reflect a life granted experiences that back up that value.
 
It’s easy for me to want to offer to those campers a simple, “trust me,” and to expect for them to grant me that wish. But I see more and more that I've got to give them that reason.
 
To be able to offer love and kindness, joy and hope-- all of that-- requires a level of trust on the side of the receiver. I've found resistance to those offerings from people outside of faith communities before. Churches and faith communities are the physical manifestations of the mysteries that people of faith adhere to, and when followers of faith fall short, it often gives people on the outside more reason to doubt the mysteries they represent. I've certainly experienced both sides of that cause and effect in my life. I'm often the skeptic my generation is stereotyped as. Despite often having my needs fulfilled and being surrounded by love and hope, I have been no stranger to doubt and I've been slow to trust.
 
Instead of, “trust me,” I'm working more to offer, “I trust you,” to the people inside and outside these gates who don't bound joyfully out of the car door at the start of a new adventure, who don't easily notice the potential of connection, who don't know love and kindness as friends. 
 
Yet

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