Every summer, from 8 years old to 18 years old, I would spend the last week of June in Hamilton, Alabama at “The center of God’s Universe”. Or at least that’s what we called it. Maywood Christian Camp has always held a special place in my heart, and it still does, though I have not been a camper for the past three summers.
At Maywood, it’s incredible how detached from the real world you get. For one week, you are submerged in a world completely focused on one thing: God. It’s so much easier to be a Christian at Maywood where you are surrounded by 250 people who share your same beliefs and who want nothing more than to praise and glorify God right along with you.
A blast from the past. We were about 10 or 11 years old.
During fun sing with the entire camp
I have so many wonderful memories from the 10 weeks I spent there as a camper: spending time getting to know a group of girls that I would spend that week with every summer, staying up late telling ghost stories and talking, crafts, holding a funeral for a dead frog (we were such strange children), hundreds of memory verses, friendship bracelets, fun sings with Ben and Travis, wishing that the speaker system would give out so we didn’t have to wake up to Larry and JJ every morning, “Maywood hems”, ballfield devos, heartfelt discussions about God, hugging and crying with those who had rededicated their life or had just put on Christ, growing closer to my own youth group and other campers, sports, clean cabin awards, skit nights, closing every night out with “A Common Love”, starting a relationship with the man who will eventually become my husband. Those are just a few of the memories I cherish from Maywood.
My last cabin, Perga. I spent 10 years with most of these wonderful girls.
My youth group at Maywood. We usually bring one of the largest groups.
One of my favorite memories came just last year when I was visiting one night. My fiancé and I began dating at Maywood three years ago on a Sunday night. We try every year to go back down there on our anniversary to visit. When we visited on our anniversary last year, he surprised me by proposing, making Maywood special in another way as well. We’ve joked about getting married there as well since that’s where we began dating and got engaged. (Our anniversary just happens to fall on a Friday–the day of the week we want to get married!). I don’t think the campers would enjoy having a wedding invade on their bonfire night though 🙂
The past three summers I haven’t been able to attend Maywood. I’m too old to be a camper, but I could go back as a counselor. However, school and work have kept me out of it, as well as this year. I’ve visited multiple times during the week in the past, but I won’t be able to this year. I’m bound and determined next year to go back as a counselor and hopefully touch someone’s life the way that so many teachers, counselors, and others have touched my life. Maywood will always hold a special place in my heart, and I know right now there are 250 people in Hamilton, AL that feel the exact same way.
I’ll leave you with this little video my sister put together that shows just what Maywood means to us.