The Camp Bell

There is something about the camp bell that warms my heart. When the bell rings I’m transported back in time and space to the many, many times I’ve heard a camp bell ring. It’s like I am living those moments again, in that single tone:

Stubbing my toe while running out of my cabin to join my team for a meal, or sports, or chapel.
Smells of food: oatmeal, toast, macaroni, oil & vinegar dressing on garden lettuce, roast beef, cocoa and puffed wheat squares
Warmth of the sun on my face,
Gritty sand in my shoes, between my toes,
Licorice-sweet and potato-chip-salty aroma of the tuck shop,
The dining room filled with chatter, laughter, and spontaneous song,
Being entertained by the “Squiese ‘n’ Tichol Willnots”,
Digging with my toes in the sawdust of the old chapel,
Watching a speaker hammer nails in the beam of the chapel illustrating how our sin put Jesus on the cross,
“Dem bones gonna rise again,”
Strains of piano notes coming from the tent as the pianist practises for the evening service, Harmonious and boisterously sung camp songs,
Sharing thoughts, feelings and experiences around the crackling campfire,
The smell of burlap and canvas in the big tent,
Light bending through the small holes of the tent, making them look huge,
The Holy Spirit’s quickening, comforting presence,
“Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling”…..

I love the sound of the camp bell.


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