Whenever I watch superhero movies, I always have that momentary “Ppppphhhht, yeah right…(eye roll) that doesn’t happen in real life!”
I mean, granted, I am watching a superhero movie, and none of it is “real life,” BUT the realist skeptic in me just can’t help but give everyone in the room a good old reality check while watching the movie. For me, the supernatural is unrealistic and distant from the world in which we are living—why waste time watching movies about it?
Recently, however, I experienced something that was truly supernatural, and this time I was the one who received the good ol’ reality check. It happened just a few weeks ago when forty teenagers gathered from all across the world and met in the remote location of the Wisconsin Dells. With a team of fifteen superhero counselors (and believe me—they were superheroes!) and an upper-staff team who devoted every moment to creating a safe and healthy environment for our campers—together, we experienced something truly out of this world.
From a director’s point of view, I fully embraced the reality of everything that could go wrong at camp and felt ready for the whirlwind headed my way. However, as soon as the bus showed up carrying forty excited, nervous, smiling teenagers I started to sense the supernatural vibe they brought with them. Almost immediately the spirit of camp was birthed as eager students, God seekers, and happy countenances filled up the room for opening ceremonies.
“Remember, this is our first year—and all of you get to set the pace for the years to come here at Camp Tzadi,” I remember telling them as they each sat with just enough distance between each other in that classic first-night shyness. “Each of you will go on a journey here, each one of us, and together we will all leave here changed.” Their eyes widened, and I could tell they, like me, had no idea what we were getting into. But we put on our capes and kicked off camp with a prayer, a fire, and a dream.
For the sake of time, I won’t excite you with the everyday ins and outs of camp. I won’t inspire you with the joy on our campers’ faces as they sang and danced each morning during Shacharit service, and I won’t tell you the beautiful stories of supernatural change and discovery we experienced together. All of those stories are coming in many more blogs, videos, and images. I will, however, share with you the supernatural vision that I personally experienced at camp.
It was our last night; we were right back where we started for opening ceremonies. We were all squished around the fire that was slowly disappearing into the late night air. Linked arm in arm there was no more shyness, no more apprehension, no more anxieties—just one big family, holding onto the mission that was given to us by HaShem—together, as a community, embracing the vision of the kingdom. Singing at the top of our lungs (literally) crying together, smiling, laughing, and breathing in the air of camp’s last night, we rose from individuals to supernatural sparks with a mission and a vision for which to fight.
For me, camp turned out to be a reality check into what the kingdom of God could actually look like. It was a supernatural encounter with the vision of the kingdom on earth. Our time together transformed each individual, and everyone left grasping the mission God placed on their lives.
Camp Tzadi’s first year was more than a smashing success. It was a transformative ten-day experience that changed our lives from natural to supernatural, as together we stepped into the reality of the kingdom.
Thank you for all your prayers, support, and encouragement during our time together. We left camp inspired and ready for what supernatural things will be in store for us next year. If you are interested in coming to Camp Tzadi as a camper or counselor, please visit our web page: 1221.ffoz.org/camp-tzadi