7.8 Billion Ways to Love and Be Loved
Contributed by Camp Lone Star 2019 Co-Directors, Brianna Schneider and Izak Hernandez.
A total of 70 youth registered for Camp Lone Star this year, which took place from June 30 to July 6 at Tejas Trails in Blanco, TX.
The camp theme for Summer 2019 was “seven.eight.” This number represents the 7.8 billion people projected in the world for 2020. The inspiration for this was drawn from True Mother’s hope to unite the world. However, this theme was more than a number and more than a population size; It represented the infinite ways to love and be loved. Through this workshop, staff hoped to demonstrate how important each individual person is and how strong they can all be together.
Two days prior, a staff workshop was held to create a united staff team and to help each person see themselves through God’s eyes. On the first night, each core staff member shared some personal guidance and tips on the attitude and heart to encompass as a leader. On the second night, Jinil Fleischman talked about “standing in God’s shoes” and to understand that making the choice to be staff means God has someone to work through. Staff members took time to reflect and share what characteristics they have that resemble God. Many were able to see how things they initially saw as weaknesses or insecurities were actually God given strengths and traits.
Campers arrived the next morning for six days full of activities, lectures and team discussions. The lecture content for each day was centered around daily themes built from the main workshop theme. These daily themes included “Intention,” “With Love,” “I Stand,” “We Rise,” and “Infinite Love.”
One of the most powerful parts of the workshop was the tradition of Challenge Night. Teams were challenged physically and spiritually to unite, overcome difficulties, feel how loved they are, and for teams to see their strengths when working together through their struggles. Staff members and campers were divided into two, with one group blindfolded at a time. When the staff was blindfolded, campers were prompted to go to someone who inspires them and write a personal note. The staff did the same when the campers were blindfolded. When the blindfolds came off, each person was presented with notes of appreciation and love.
Talks and lectures were given by Jonathan Jesper, Rev. Mark Hernandez, Southwest Subregional Director Rev. John Jackson, Dallas Pastor Rev. Hideyuki Sakai, and second-generation Unificationists from the core staff team. Jonathan Jesper gave a total of four lectures about allowing oneself to dream big without reservation, and what real love is verses imitation love. All of the speakers spoke with incredible heart and vulnerability.
The staff was inspired by this group campers. Each person loved and cared for not only their team, but the entirety of the workshop. By the end of the week there were no walls, no barriers, no holding back; everyone allowed themselves to be vulnerable and knew they would still be loved.