One of my earliest memories is of “Camp Meeting” at Elim Bible Institute. There was a playground at one end of a football field. During Camp Meeting, they packed the football field with tents as alumni, missionaries, teachers, and evangelists returned to Elim. It was a week of seeing old friends and special services.
I remember we had to walk around the tents to get to the playground. It was full of kids. Those were the days where you swung as high as you could, daring each other to swing over the top. (I don’t think anyone ever did.) It was fun swinging up until it felt like you were flying over a sea of tents.
There’s a special bond between those who camp regularly. I don’t know if it is from the fresh air or food cooked outside.
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When the children of Israel traveled from Egypt to Canaan, they slept in tents. They had 40 years of camping! When they reached the promised land, God ordered them to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. The Tabernacle was a large tent.
Instead of setting up tents, God commanded them to sleep in booths they built out of branches. They would get a good dose of fresh air and rekindle the camaraderie they had when camping together in tents.
Nehemiah 8:16, “So the people went out and brought back branches and made themselves booths. Each household did so on its roof, in their yard, on the grounds of the house of God, in the area in front of the Water Gate, or in the area at the Gate of Ephraim.” Modern English Version
Yes, God invented camping! He did not want the assembly at the Temple, which replaced the Tabernacle, overlooked while camping. The Israelites promised they would not.
Nehemiah 10:39, “…We resolve not to forsake the house of our God.” Modern English Version
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