“Tonight,” says a Ranch senior counselor from stage right before our Jersey Jamboree dance party, “we’re going to preach the gospel…through dance!”

Here at Pine Cove, we have a lot of dance songs. If you’ve sent your kids to camp before, then you may be familiar with seeing your campers crank invisible chainsaws or smash invisible “cray buttons” when the beat drops. Dancing is just part of what makes camp…well…camp!

I’ve been at the Ranch for four summers now. I’ve seen a lot of theme nights come and go, each with their unique games, thrills, and adventures. But no theme night has ever come close, in my opinion, to the weekly dance night held every Wednesday. The funny thing is…I can’t dance. Never could. Watching me dance is like watching a baby deer on a treadmill. But come Wednesday night, I’m the first one on the dance floor, jumping three feet in the air with excitement because I know that it’s not actually about dancing.

Have you ever danced by yourself before? I don’t mean at a performance…but at an office, or a grocery store, or a party. From someone who has done it several times I can assure you that it’s WAY more fun when other people are dancing next to you. It brings a smile to my face every Sunday when the first dance song of the week is played at camp. Campers start to look around at each other with wide eyes as they watch their counselors lose their minds to the beat. As the week progresses, they gradually realize that it’s not just okay to dance your heart out, it’s cool! Next thing you know, it’s the counselors looking around at each other with wide eyes! Ranch campers learn quickly that it’s not dancing that makes these songs fun…it’s dancing together.

Dancing is a lot like life in this regard. Life was never intended to be done alone. At camp we live in community with our cabin mates; at school we live in community with our classmates. We can’t make it on our own! But just like the campers, we have a Wonderful Counselor who has emptied himself on our behalf to show us the right way. Just like our counselors going all-out during dance night, God goes all-out for us, and like our campers, we get the opportunity to follow His steps. And when we’re following Jesus….the party don’t stop!

-Kung Fu Panda, Ranch Program Director