Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Church Camp, from the Ground Up

We spent the past week-end at Lutheranch in westernmost Georgia, due west from Atlanta, almost to Alabama, on Interstate 20.  It's only an hour away from Atlanta, but it was amazingly rural.  We spent the week-end walking on trails, petting horses, listening to geese, all things we don't do in urban South Florida.

On Sunday morning, I stood on a dock, taking pictures of the sunrise, marvelling in the quiet.  Actually, it wasn't quiet.  I heard roosters and geese and I think a flock of turkeys.  I heard no automotive noise, no stereos, no motor noises of any kind.  I heard no humans.  I saw planes, but didn't hear them.  I thought about how rare it is for me to hear only noise generated from nature.

Lutheranch is a very new camp.  We took a walking tour to see the sites where some day there will be a dining hall and camp areas and a lodge for the adults.  There are plans, but the land has yet to be cleared.

I have trouble seeing a stretch of pine trees and envisioning a dining hall.  My mind says, "But there's hardly room for tables!"

I'm also miserably bad at rearranging the furniture.

It's interesting to be at a camp at the early stage of its development.  I've been going to Lutheridge, a camp which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, my whole life.  Once upon a time, Lutheridge was probably as rural a location as Lutheranch is today.  Now, there's a Wal-Mart across from one of the Lutheridge gates.

Lutheranch is down the road from Tallapoosa, Georgia.  Tallapoosa does have a small Piggly Wiggly grocery store, a Family Dollar, and a CVS, but not much else in the way of national stores.  Tallapoosa does have a quirky coffee shop and an intriguing junk shop in its cute downtown area.  There's a lovely stretch of about 20 historic houses.  There's a huge park which memorializes the county's citizens killed in military actions, and it includes all military actions.  It lists them, along with county members killed and county members wounded.  Very sobering.

I look forward to seeing what develops at Lutheranch.  I hope to return a time or two before construction gets underway in earnest.  And then, I'd like to return to see camp in full swing.  When I'm an old lady, reading in the morning while the world sleeps, I hope I read the blog of a woman who spent her girlhood years as a camper at Lutheranch, who heads to the newest Lutheran camp (in space?  in reclaimed parts of the U.S.?  under the incessantly rising seas?) and returns to record her impressions.

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