10 Things I learned as a camper at Falls Creek

There’s something about hot July days in Oklahoma that make me feel nostalgic. I don’t know if it is because the summertime reminds me of the sweet, carefree memories of my youth or the heat is making me hallucinate. Either way, the other day I found myself thinking and reminiscing about my last summer vacation in 2010. I definitely had some experiences that summer I will never forget. So, here are 10 things I learned as a camper at Falls Creek.

1. We had basically no supervision

I mean yeah, we had “curfew” and designated “check in” times. But otherwise we had a lot of free reign over the campsite. Which means we campers had lots of time for slushie dates and…

2. People got laid…a lot

For every kid who “found” Jesus, two more sophomores “lost” their virginity.

3. Lankford had one joke

Like I said, I attended Falls Creek in the summer of 2010, when now Senator James Lankford directed the camp. I remember Lankford opening up to the campers with a joke on the first day. It went something like he had just got back from White Water Bay, where he discovered that the combination of his swim trunks, thin frame, pale complexion, and red hair made him look like a match. Lankford must have been proud of getting so much laughter at that joke, because it was the only one I heard him say all weekend.

4. Every Christian pop/rock song is in the same key

At first, I thought the songs accompanying the Falls Creek nightly services were 20-25 minutes long. Then I realized that the praise band was actually playing 4-5 songs in the same key without a break. To this day I think most of those songs even had the same lyrics. But in their defense, how much lyrical material do you have to work with as a “praise” band?

5. Ya’ll Baptists are wild

Let’s talk about these church services at Falls Creek. First of all, ya’ll really feel that worship music, with the hand raising, hip swaying, and lyric belting. Second, there’s a lot of lights, bass, and smoke machine action going on at those services. If the worship leader was wearing leather pants, I would have thought I was at a Bon Jovi concert instead of church.

6. Teenage girls are sirens of death who will lead you straight to hell

As evidenced by at least three discussions lectures led by members of the staff, we girls at Falls Creek had to remember to dress modestly in order to keep the boys from sinning. That means no shorts above the knee, no tank tops, and by-God nothing too tight. Or else some preacher’s son from Weatherford is going to start thinking impure thoughts and living a life of lust and sin because he can make out the shape of your thigh. You know, because girls only dress in tank tops to seduce boys and not to stay cool in the Oklahoma summer. And boys don’t have the ability to make rational decisions because they are too influenced by sexual temptations.

7. Women didn’t have a lot to say

I don’t remember a single woman leading any kind of worship or sermon. I even looked up this year’s speaker list and found only men listed as speakers all 8 weeks of the camp. But piggy backing off of my last blurb, since the general idea about females is that they are temptresses who lead menfolk to stray from their righteous paths, it’s probably for the best that the men be in charge of telling the congregation how to live their lives or else all of the kids will start wearing shorts above the knee like a bunch of tramps.

8. The pins are Falls Creek street cred

Like tattooing tear drops down your cheek for every man you’ve killed, Falls Creek kids collect enamel pins to signify how many years they’ve been to camp. Pins represent everything from memorable sermons, to inside jokes, to themes from previous year’s camps. I still have this “graze” pin from 2010 somewhere at my parents’ house in case I ever have to prove my Falls Creek street cred.

9. Leaders don’t notice if you make up bible verses

Campers and leaders alike would have impromptu Bible verse quoting contests. Imagine a rap battle, but instead of clever word play you hear Maccabees or some shit. I know it was a weird flex, but I wanted in. The only problem was I didn’t know any Bible verses by heart. Thankfully I quickly discovered that nobody catches on if you make up your own scripture, especially if you “quote” from one of the more obscure books, like Amos or Ruth. Hell, I even got away with a quote from “Josiah 14:16” once.

10. I still don’t know if I’m saved

The way Brother Whats-his-face explained it to me was if you dedicate your life to Jesus, you’re saved. But if you return to a life of sin, you were never really saved in the first place. But if you turn your life around again after sinning, you were saved after all but just going through a trying time. I’ve done a lot of drinking and other colorful things since Summer 2010. So let’s just say I’ve been preparing my testimony.

Pray for me. Then follow Hayley on twitter @squirrellygeek