Name: Stephen “Jim Bob” Meeks
Staff: Men’s #1 Cheuk Counselor 1975-76; Cheuk Group Leader 1977; Hoche Group Leader 1978; Camp Director 1989-1992.
My Deer Run Memories:
The few glorious sessions I spent at Camp Deer Run as a teen directly influenced the course of my life, and indirectly, through me, the lives of people around the world.
Deer Run Group Leaders are great at wringing insights from a story. I remember my Group Leader asking us to turn our flashlights off, and as our eyes adjusted to the darkness on Hoche Field, he said, “There is an old legend that says the Killi Indians believed God placed a blanket over the earth each evening to block the sun and bring nightfall. They also believed that when a warrior died, his soul rose and pierced the blanket; the greater the soul, the bigger the hole and brighter the star. This is why they say we have stars of differing size and brightness.
Then, closing, he asked a very sobering question: “If you were to leave tonight, what size hole would your soul make?”
Deer Run doesn’t have a soul, but a few years ago, camp did almost die. However, IF the Killi Indian story had been true, and IF Camp had a soul, and IF it had died…. I think the earth would have gained a second moon; don’t you!? Thankfully, today CDR is alive and well, and we credit God for seeing it through darker days.
Of course, the old legend isn’t true, and stars are not holes in God’s blanket. Still, it’s been rumored that Killi Warriors have been gathering above for many years. To see for yourself, step outside tonight and turn off the lights. When your eyes adjust, scan the constellations. Look for a very great and sweeping gathering of stars. Legend says those were made by the many, many souls changed and nurtured at Deer Run; non-Deer Runners call it the Milky Way — I hope you get my meaning.
Verse: “….so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…” –Philippians 2:15
Prayer: Dear Abba, Thank you for Camp Deer Run. You were so kind to have given me the chance to grow there. I can’t imagine my life-story without it. Always keep camp open. Keep it growing and producing more and more healthy souls who obey your will and practice the ways of your Son, Jesus. In fact, fill the heavens with us. Amen