Updated: Sep 19, 2020
This year there are a lot of flags at the camp ground. Have you noticed? People feeling strongly about our nation, in this year of quarantine. Showing that they believe we will make it through.
After all, Camp Meeting is a physical reminder that, as a people, we have made it through many, many things. Rock Spring camp meeting began in this spot in 1830. And those folks who attend have made it through the Civil War, through an earthquake, through changes in technology (Automobiles! Telephones! Electric lights!). They made it through boll weevil infestations, a flood, two World Wars, a polio epidemic, and a couple of bad fires. They made it through periods of apathy, that silent killer. They’ve survived and, more importantly, they’ve thrived.
This year, it’s a new and different challenge. A pandemic. An illness that has killed hundreds of thousands all around the world, and lasted for months. Attendance this year will be spotty. Many who want to attend will choose not to, due to concerns for the vulnerable in our midst. But their hearts will still be there, sitting in the arbor and listening to stirring music, gathering on the tent porch, sharing fellowship, reviving their faith. And to those who’ve decided to attend responsibly and who are sharing their photos and videos, thank you! Everyone can get at least a taste of camp meeting (including the thunderstorms!).
I think that’s why there’s all those flags. They’re beacons, sending out messages of hope. We will survive this virus, our country will survive these difficult times. Those flags say, Hey! That’s right! I’m waving at you! In a time of social distancing, we have to expand our gestures.
The photos I’m sharing here have been taken over a period of several years. I know many of you have photos that go back much further, and I’ve enjoyed the photos in Terry Brotherton’s two books on Rock Spring Camp Meeting. They’ve inspired me. YOU inspire me.
Here’s to all those reminders – visual and otherwise – of the longevity of Rock Spring Camp Meeting, of its solid grounding in what’s best about people during times of trouble. That we still reach out to connect, even when it’s difficult, even when it’s symbolic. Because we hope, and we believe, that things will get better.
Please check out my latest book at https://carolynsteeleagosta.com