Bishop Waldo Visits Camp Gravatt

On June 15, 2017 Bishop Andrew Waldo spent the morning at Camp Gravatt. Below is a reflection of Bishop Waldo's visit, written by counselor John Cantey. 

The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, Andrew Waldo, visited Camp Gravatt this past week and it was awesome because I got to see him act like a kid. I have had him do my confirmation, worked with him through Diocesan Youth Leadership Committee and seen him at the head of the past two conventions, but today was special. My tent was climbing our tower and zip lining when he walked up. One of my fellow counselors, Claire Walters, jokingly mentioned that he could climb and zip just as the campers do. To our own surprise he immediately said yes with a huge smile. It was like he had become a kid again as he scaled the 60 foot wall. While I held the rope to belay him, I saw his youthful spirit emerge. Unfortunately, towards the end of his climb he slipped, as many do in a climbing session. However, when I lowered him down the first thing he said to me was "I'll be back to try again." Afterward he stayed for a while longer and saw more of what we do for summer camp activities, including our lunch shenanigans. Most notably he took a liking to how energized and encouraging the campers and staff were to one another even when kids didn't make it up the tower, or at other activities; everyone is happy to have seen them challenge themselves. 

After lunch I asked the Bishop about what he felt was unique about Camp Gravatt and its effect on those in our diocese. For that he referenced the final line of our baptismal prayer which says, "Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and preserve, a spirit to know and love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works", which he then noted that the energy of camp is a perfect incubator for the joy and wonder of God's work. For campers, chaplains, past and current staff we know that feeling the Bishop received all too well. Camp allows growth for all who come whether it be in friendships or spiritual growth. It's a feeling that can't be explained and can only be experienced.

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