Friday, May 09, 2008

Church Camp Nightmare

Date: June 1972

Place: Falls Creek Baptist Youth Camp, somewhere in Oklahoma

I was 13 years old and at church camp for two weeks. This wasn’t any old church camp. This was Falls Creek Baptist Youth Camp; the largest Southern Baptist church camp in the nation.

I was there with my two cousins from Dallas along with 2,500 other kids. (Like I said, it was huge). There were all sorts of revolting activities in which one could take part: Archery, swimming, horseback riding, softball, volleyball, hiking, campfires. . . .

. . . I hated it. I absolutely hated it.

However, most of the day was spent in church-related activities. There was Bible study for two hours in the morning followed by a two-hour church service in a huge outdoor church. Afternoons were for the activities mentioned above (which I hated), followed by a super-long church service in the evening.

I hated that too.

For those of you who don’t know about Baptists and church camp, the purpose of Baptist church camp is to get you “saved” if it hasn’t been done already. After you get “saved” you get baptized.

I got it out of the way when I was nine, so I was off the hook.

Anyway, every night a bunch of teens would get saved. The girls would cry a lot and hug each other. The boys would try to hug the girls to feel their boobies.

It's a good thing I'd already been "saved" and didn't have to participate in such nonsense.

Anyway, somehow I got roped into playing softball one afternoon. I don’t know how it happened, probably some hot-shot Youth Director thought I might end up being a sissy, but there I was in right field. I knew that hardly anyone hit balls into right field, so I opted for that position hoping I’d be left alone.

There I was, minding my own business when some cocky southpaw hit a high fly ball in my direction.

It was horrible.

Normally, when a fly ball would come at me, I'd just hold my arms straight out like a catatonic Barbie doll.

But this time, I actually made some effort to catch it. I ran backwards and could see that the ball was really high. So I ran backwards some more. . . . and some more. . . . and some more. . . .
. . . I was practically in Arkansas by now. . . .
and that’s when it happened. . . .

. . . . No one had told me that there was an eight-foot gravel pit at the edge of right field. The next thing I knew, I was flat on my back at the bottom of the pit.

I was later told that it looked really funny. I was just running backwards and then suddenly disappeared. A wave of laughter went through the spectators and then I didn’t reappear.

Needless to say, I didn’t play softball anymore. Or any type of ball for that matter.

Hopefully, the Youth Director was fired.

I spent the rest of camp calmly eating watermelon and listening to Black Sabbath on my eight-track.

It’s a good thing I had been saved already.


At 2:42 PM , Blogger sfoofie said...

wait, did you really bring Black Sabbath to a huge Baptist summer camp? That's funny/amazing.

At 8:13 AM , Blogger Buck said...

Sfoofie: Yes, I sure did. I remember that it was the "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" album.

At 1:50 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

LOL! I can just picture it!

Now I really want to play softball with you. :) *hee hee*

At 9:42 PM , Blogger Citymouse said...

OK.. my son is so not a sports kid, but he loves camp because of the comic moments like yours-- except it is usually about him.. and he milks it as if he is Will Ferrel...

At 5:29 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I went to exactly the same Bible camp. Except, you know, it wasn't in Texas. And I didn't fall into a gravel pit. And I didn't sneak in Black Sabbath.

'K, really not the same thing at all.

At 10:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You poor dear, how awful that must have been for you.

My biological son, participates in the student youth ministries at that same camp. (he as well as his two other brothers and one sister, were adopted by a couple and later moved to the MO and then the OK back n forth since 1999).

I have heard so many bad things about the camp I am not sure what to believe???

If you could offer anymore information about Falls Creek/Baptist Camp it would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time.


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