Since I almost never whine (outside the privacy of my own home) can I complain for just a minute here?

I’m tired of being left.

It happens over and over again. People move into camp (and our hearts) and then, when their time is up, they move on again. That part stinks. And, yeah, it gets old.

Not long after we moved to Kentucky, I heard that a lady used us as an excuse for not coming to church. When she was invited she said, “No, I don’t want to get attached to Roger and Ruthie and then have them leave us like all the other camp people.”At the time, I brushed it off as a lame excuse for staying home on a Sunday morning. These days, I have a little more sympathy. If I could just quit getting to know people, and quit liking them so much, maybe the goodbyes wouldn’t be so sad.

It’s happened twice in the last year. In August, it was these people:

kurtz family



And today, it was this family:

boley family


One of the best things about living at Bethel Camp is getting to know all the different people who come to help. We have friends everywhere, and it’s always fun to reconnect with them when they come to camp or we travel to their area.

The downside of being a permanent fixture at camp is having to say goodbye to all these people we’ve gotten to know and love. When friends pack up and drive away, we’re always the ones left doing the routine while they head off to a new adventure. The constant activity of camp makes it easier to not dwell on the loss, but there’s still a huge hole here.

I still think we have the best job in the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but… days like today make me wish I was the one with the U-haul, driving off into the great unknown, leaving someone else instead of being left.


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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3 Responses to -gone-

  1. Roy Hunsberger says:

    I understand what you are feeling. But, God calls some of us to “tarry by the stuff.” And I am so glad God has called you and Roger to carry on faithfully at Bethel Camp. There is nothing more rewarding or fulfilling than knowing that you are exactly where God wants you to be.


  2. Evie Zoss says:

    I remember that feeling very well, growing up at Bethel. It became more keenly felt in the teen years as staff came and left, over and over, until it was my turn to do the same. Hating good-byes and the “missing” afterward, just feeling the void…. I suppose it’s all meant to remind us of who we are, “Image of God” people looking for permanent uninterrupted friendships in a permanent dwelling. That’s sounding really good to me. We innately long for what we haven’t yet experienced to the full, but the Day is coming! And it will reveal your faithfulness in all these times of “staying the course.” You all have had so much on your shoulders this past year with the chapel building going up. We all know it, and deeply appreciate what you’re doing in taking the camp thru a very important new phase that needed your vision and creativity.
    Evie Z.


  3. mplum3 says:

    In the words of Barbra Streisand (because she’s incredible)

    Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all and, my dear,
    I’m still here!


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