Scenic view of trees at camp

Loving Thy Neighbor: Lessons from Camp

by Karissa Pitaniello


As believers, we’re told in Matthew 22 and John 13 to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to make Christ known through the way we love each other. But in a world of self love, social media, and ever-growing to-do lists, we can easily drift away from keeping this a priority. So what’s the best way for us to follow these commands and glorify God’s love? Let’s take a look at some of the practices we take part in at camp and see how we can bring these into our daily lives (no blobs necessary!).

Be Others-Focused 

When it comes to loving others, step one will always be humility! At camp, we call this being “others-focused.” Timothy Keller gives a helpful guide to humility as “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” When we focus more on the needs of others than ourselves, through the Holy Spirit we begin to see more clear ways to bless and care for the people around us. We want to glorify Christ by “bearing with one another in love,” as we’re told in Ephesians 4:2! Pray that God would help you put on humility and that the Spirit would daily help you to have eyes to see ways to love the people God put in your life.

Always Be Willing to Pick Up the Chunkies 

Because they’re “evil and must be destroyed!” Confused? Chunkies are leftover bits of food and trash that end up under the dining tables after pretty much every meal. Everyone works together (through the help of a fun cheer, of course) to pick up the chunkies and keep our dining halls in tip-top shape! Whether you dropped some chunkies or not, they all have to be destroyed! Through this, we’re reminded of the importance of serving each other. Acts of service are a tangible way to love people around you. This can look like making your next-door neighbor a meal when they’re going through a hard season, or simply picking something up from the copy machine to make your coworker’s life a bit easier! When we make an effort to sacrificially serve the people around us, we give this broken world a glimpse of the One who loved us enough to sacrifice His life for us. So let’s always be willing to pick up the chunkies! 

Free Time! “Cha Ching!” 

At Pine Cove, we firmly believe that shared experiences build trust! Who doesn’t love some serious fun? Throughout the summer, we love to play in the pool during free time with friends, take on the competition during theme nights, and conquer fears on the ropes course together! Each of these memories and experiences aid in building strong, trustworthy relationships that allow us to be our authentic selves and open up to the people around us. What could this look like in our daily lives when blobs, ziplines, and silly costumes aren’t available? Try inviting your classmates or coworkers over for a game night and everyone could bring a snack! Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of hosting a block party for the people on your street—go for it! Whether it’s people coming together at a bowling alley or in a cozy living room, everyone loves feeling invited, especially when it’s done to glorify Christ’s love and build relationships!

Pray With Them or For Them

The most important thing we can do on this side of heaven is to go to the Father as we try to follow His lead in loving the people He’s put in our lives. Ask God for help as you try to put on humility and spread His love. Be willing to be bold and ask the people you’re around if you can pray with them! If they’re not interested in praying, you can pray on their behalf that the Lord would bless them and that He would transform their lives! 

Whether it’s picking up metaphorical “chunkies” or inviting others into meaningful experiences, let’s continuously strive to glorify Christ’s love and build genuine relationships like the ones we cherish from camp. Through prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit, may we be empowered to fulfill our calling to love and serve those around us, thereby fulfilling the greatest commandment and bringing glory to God!

Posted Feb 6, 2024

Karissa Pitaniello

Content Coordinator

Read More Posts

Click here to sign up for our Inside the Cove newsletter!