[#014] Behind the Music A-Z: “Bluewater Summer Camp”

From the album, Up North (2023)
Spotify | Apple Music

About This Song

Every summer, starting in third grade, you attend a sleepover camp. It’s about three and a half hours from your town. A church camp. You go with your church friends and some non-church friends who’ve been lured in based promises of waterskiing, tubing, and cute girls.

You’ve been having some problems at home. Your parents are fighting more, and your dad doesn’t seem to be around nearly as often. Your little sister thinks somebody has cancer, and you think maybe, but probably your parents are getting divorced.

And then you go to this camp for about a week, and you get to forget all about that stuff. You make new friends from other towns, you build campfires and tell stories. You even learn how to waterski. 

Jeb is your counselor, and he’s nice. He told you he’s from Texas or Tennessee, you can’t remember, but you know he talks differently. You’ve never met anyone from that far away. For the thirty-seventh time, Jeb yells at you and your bunkmates to turn off your flashlights, stop making farting noises and go to sleep. 

I forgot to mention there’s church, but they call it “chapel.” It’s basically church but a little more fun, though not so much that you want to go twice a day, which is what you do. The non-church friends say you forgot to talk about that when you were mentioning the swimming, tubing, and girls.

But all of this is coming to an end now. You say goodbye to Jeb and you say goodbye to your new friends Nathan and Jeremiah. Some of the kids are crying, and you know you’re going to miss being here, but you also think you’re ready to return home.


This song is based on Bluewater Covenant Bible Camp in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. I was a camper there for several summers and worked as a lifeguard from ages seventeen to twenty. 

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