You’d be amazed at how much kids know. It was a Sunday night at camp when the boys in my cabin were a little wound up and were talking loudly. They woke me up. I told them that they needed to be quiet, especially since it was two and half hours past their bedtime. They needed to get some sleep. After about 15 minutes of more talking, I told them that they lost their privilege to talk after lights out on Monday night.
The next evening, I reminded them that they were not allowed to talk after lights out. I also told them that if they did, I would have to take another privilege away from them, such as pool time. I left the cabin and left them under the supervision of the person on night watch.
When I returned to the cabin that night, the boys were talking. I talked to the night watchwoman and she said they were pretty good. But, knowing what I had said about not talking, I could not let it go.
The next morning I asked my five boys what they thought I should do. Our lesson that day was on justice so I thought this fit in perfectly. One camper remarked that I should take away their pool time. I told him I thought that was bit harsh since they were good otherwise. Another camper said that they should have to go to bed a half hour earlier one night. Again, I responsed that the punishment seemed to be harsh.
Another camper then replied, “You should just forgive us.” I thought to myself, “Wow!” The other campers began talking but I told them to listen to the last response. They agreed that forgiveness would be a good alternative.
I figured that since God can forgive us when we don’t obey the rules, that I could forgive my campers. I was pleasantly surprised that a fifth grader could come up with such a good answer! — Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
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