Tom has spoken from time to time about ‘comforting the afflicted’ and ‘afflicting the comfortable’. I never realized that these would happen simultaneously at Camp Hutchison. When I volunteered to be a 3rd grade math teacher for Session 1, God surprised me by presenting me with the role of 1st grade counselor in Session 2. Um, what? This was definitely out of my comfort zone as my weekly Hutchison work had been with much older students. At first, I was completely overwhelmed by the needs of 10 energetic Porcupines, whose lives seem much more complicated and challenging than my childhood or that of my daughters. How would I be a source of comfort to these prickly little ones? Don’t let the quills fool you.

A Porcupine will teach you:

  1. When someone copies your picture, it means they respect it — A LOT.
  2. Running around a field collecting trash is not only great exercise, but it also makes God happy.
  3. Remembering to say “Please walk” and “Hands to self” instead of “Don’t run” and “Don’t touch” are fantastic disciplines for the adult brain and a positive message for the young ear.
  4. Sticking a straw into an orange and drinking its juice will make 9 of your friends instantly thirsty.
  5. Please and thank you are magic words that work for all ages.
  6. It is physically impossible for 6 year olds to do the Macarena while singing the months of the year — but they will always try their hardest.

We are quickly approaching the last day of Camp, and I have been blessed by getting to know the Porcupines and guiding them through their day. They’ve worked hard on reading and math skills, but God has created them to be fantastic teachers too!

Janet Clark

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