Mar 15, 2012

Summer's at Loucon, A Parent's Perspective


Summers at Loucon

By Christy Greene

As the grass turns green and the world awakens from its winter slumber, nothing ignites the anticipation of summer like the arrival of the Camp Loucon catalog.  For nearly a decade, the arrival of the catalog marks a special moment for our family.  Summer is truly just around the corner!  Our two boys scour the Loucon catalog the way I once did as a child with the Sears Christmas catalog, always amazed with the many ways to experience Loucon, each with the promise of new friendships and life-changing moments.  They can hardly wait for next drive up Highway 259 to Leitchfield, never quite knowing what new adventure the next Loucon summer will bring.

Over the years, my guys have taken full advantage of Loucon’s summer programming.  In addition to the traditional age-group weeklong camps, they have also ventured into The Great Outdoors, and learned to cut grass and wash dishes (and yes, clean toilets) through the Staff-in-Training (SIT) program.  They have developed leadership skills as age-group counselors, learning patience and compassion while trying to lead a group of rambunctious 10-year old boys.  And most importantly, they both began their walks with Christ at Loucon, joining the Body of Believers on peaceful summer evenings, surrounded by good friends and inspiring adult leaders.  

It’s hard to spend much time reflecting on Loucon without thinking about the incredible staff.  I remember my experience with Loucon’s staff when my oldest was just 10 years old (he’s now 18), preparing for his first week away from home.  As a mom, it’s hard to send your child away for the first time, to an unfamiliar setting, not knowing how he or she will respond to the week ahead.  I had the added worry of dropping off a son with a severe peanut allergy.  A few weeks before our arrival, I called Warren Hopper, Loucon’s Director, to express my concern.  Warren quickly went to work to ease my worries, assuring me every detail with the menu would be handled appropriately.  True to his word, he greeted me on our arrival day and whisked me off to the pantry, where we rechecked all food items together to erase any doubt.  I then spent time with Loucon’s wonderful medical staff, taking inventory of medications and reviewing Epi-pen procedures.  My husband and I drove back to Bowling Green that Sunday afternoon with a sense of comfort and peace.  We saw the heart of the place and felt the spirit.  My son was in great hands.

Although our younger son has a couple more Loucon summers to look forward to, our oldest will be moving on this fall to begin his college career.  He stays in close contact with several of the Staff, as well as friends across the Bluegrass he has come to know through summers at Loucon.  As he leaves for school and begins his transition towards adulthood and independence, I am particularly thankful for the guidance and molding he has received from the adult leaders at Loucon.  As parents of young adults, we pray to have lifelong influence in the lives of our sons and daughters.  But the world can be a tough place, and reality shows us we cannot control every moment or influence every decision.  Our children are learning to think on their own.  Thank God they have other grounded adults in their lives to help guide their path.  Our sons experience such relationships with several of the adult leaders they have come to know and love through Loucon, wonderful, compassionate, Christ-centered leaders who are having life-changing influence.  For this, above all else, I am forever grateful.

So we will continue to look for the catalog each spring, embracing the moment as if our boys are still 8 and 10 years old.  But God willing, perhaps our boys will invite us back in a few years, to travel through Brownsville on a sunny Sunday afternoon, up 259, to drop off another generation of wide-eyed, smiling from ear-to-ear, Loucon campers. 

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