’Twas the night before Christmas, when all ‘round Long Lake
Not a creature was stirring, not one was awake.
Small snowflakes were falling and landing with care
And smoke rose from chimneys into the crisp air.
The children were nestled back home in their beds;
While visions of beach parties danced in their heads;
And the lodge in a blanket of sparkling white
Shined in the blue darkness with reflected moonlight;
And all around camp everything seemed dreamlike
While I was enjoying my winter night hike.
And at the gazebo a rest I did take
And sat there and looked out all over Long Lake;
The moon made a river of light on the ice
And as I gazed at it, I had to look twice,
‘Cause what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a vision of the very best time of the year;
With campers out skiing and carving so quick
And others in the swim lanes practicing their kick,
And sailing while eagles look down from their nest
I sat there daydreaming of the time I love best.
Canoeing, and kayaking, getting up on skis,
With tennis and team sports, fun all around me.
To the top of the hill, to the top of the wall
Now capture the flag and sock attack for all;
And with a command all the arrows they fly,
Then they’re hitting the targets, a perfect bull’s eye
And then, from lower lodge I hear a cool beat
With kids in there dancing and tapping their feet
And out of the tree tops the campers they fly
With a shout, and a smile from on the zip line.
The Way Out girls secretly are planning their feast
While campers are on trips all over the northeast
And kids, they are learning that Father-Mother, God
Is always with them even when parents are not.
If challenges come up they lead to healings
Which are shared each week at testimony meetings
Their eyes - how they twinkle, their smiles, how merry!
As they learn they can do things they once thought were scary.
Oh, the costumes they make for socials on Friday
For all these great reasons I think I can say,
That summer at Camp is the best season of all
And I can’t wait until I hear the bell call,
But now I am back on this wintery night
And feeling so grateful for this beautiful sight.
As I rise and continue my tramp through the snow
The cold has no affect on my heart that’s aglow
With gratitude to God for this wonderful place,
And also for Jesus who taught us of His grace.
Here in this season of cold, snow, and ice
We pause to rejoice in the coming of Christ.
We gather together with friends and family
Sharing love for each other ‘round the Christmas tree.
But now as a I stand in this field of white
And ponder my warm vision on this chilly night,
I just cannot wait ’till winter snow turns to green
And everyone’s arriving for summer 2019.
By Reid Charlston