Reflections from the Shores | Alastair Babington’s Saturday-morning Sermon”
Hello Kawaga Families,
I’m pleased to share with you this week’s “sermon,”which was given at our Saturday-morning service by Alastair Babington.
Alastair, as you’ll read, comes to us for his third summer all the way from England. In fact, his journey both to Kawaga and during his summers here, is the focus of his comments. What you’ll read below is one person’s realization that Kawaga is more than a camp. What strikes me is that what Alastair so profoundly articulates is a spirit that so many of us feel and is at the heart of what makes Kawaga so special.
Enjoy the read. And, thank you, Alastair.
I’m Alastair Babington. As many of you know, I am not from here. I am from Britain which is about 6000km away, but not only do I need to travel that distance to work here, I also need to apply for a permit which takes months to complete and costs about $500. After hearing all of this, you’re probably wondering, “Why keep coming here?” It’s something I’ve had to ask myself at times.
During the final week of camp last summer, I wasn’t sure if I’d be coming back. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to come back. Then, during the final dinner at camp, something truly special happened that set me to return for this, my third summer. One of my campers, who had a tough time last summer and I was helping them through it, turned to me, pointed at me, and said one word that stuck with me for the entire offseason. He said “brother.” And, then he hugged me. In that moment — in, that hug — I felt something to which words fail to do justice. I felt as if I’d connect with a new friend, a new bother, a new family.
That is what you all have the opportunity to find here at camp — when you’re playing softball on D2, waiting on Miracle for your turn to ski, or hanging out in your cabin during rest hour. Your time here is for building friendships that you will keep beyond camp. So no matter what amount of time you have here, take advantage of the opportunity Kawaga gives you to find your own new family. When I travel the 6000km home at the summer’s end, I’ll be leaving behind my new friends, my new brothers, my new family.