Editor’s Note: Today is day 48 of our countdown to the start of Camp Meeting and celebrating 50 years at Lake Agape. If you have a memory you’d like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You just can’t get the sand from the Lake Agape beach out of your shoes.
I was one of those kids who started going to camp before we were officially allowed to. The history of the camp in our family goes back to when my mother worked in the kitchen when the camp meeting was in the town of Delanco. So as far as I can remember, camp was always a part of my life. Whether it was through a weekend church retreat or the weekly camps, Delanco Camp has been a formative and life-changing place for me.
I met Tim Bock when I was a kid. If you are younger you probably recognize his name from the Tim Bock Memorial Scholarship that helps create funding for students to participate in camp. If you ask a Delanco person that is starting to grey in their hair, and get along in years, then Tim was an icon and fixture at camp in their memory. The stories about Tim are legendary and his impact was powerful. But most of all, many simply considered him a friend. The stories are best told around the campfire or on “porch parties,” but here are some of my memories of Tim.
Speaking the Truth
Tim was a guy that at first glance didn’t really want to be your friend. His dry humor and wit often left some feeling uneasy about this tall, weird, skinny guy. As a child, I remember that Tim was our babysitter who didn’t want to give my sister ice cream just for the fun of it. He also wasn’t shy about speaking the truth in love to you, and sometimes that can come across very hard. In our family, like in many others, Tim was able to show up at a crucial point where we needed him the most.
When I was a junior camper, Tim was my counselor. I remember one night after he finally settled all of the crazy fourth grade boys down, he said, “Guys, I love you.” I still remember the bunk I was in when he said that. I remember the feeling of God’s presence and love come to me through Tim’s simple, yet powerful, words. I was loved and Tim helped me to truly know it. You may never know the great power that a simple word of love can have on a person, but I encourage you to share love with others. It will never leave my memory. Though a lot of time has passed through the years, the memory of Tim’s love will never fade.
As a young adult, Tim was the one who drove me out to work at camp for the summer. I had spent several years away from the church and camp, so I was a bit nervous to go back to a familiar (but at the same time new) place. It was in this summer that I met some great friends and connected closer to God than ever before. I would meet a lifelong friend that I would spend time at Asbury with (I also coincidentally lived in Tim’s apartment in college). I would meet a future seminary professor that summer at camp, though I wasn’t called into ministry at that time. That week of Camp Meeting alone (of which he was the dean) was life-altering enough.
The Most Important Message
As many of you may know, Tim has been in glory for several years now. I was a senior in college about to approach finals when I gave Tim a call. He didn’t sound the same, and we both knew that his time on this earth was running short. He was too weak to speak much, so I chatted a bit about upcoming plans. He was so affirming and gracious. I knew while I was talking with him that this would be our last conversation. I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t know what to say. So I said simply what he taught to me, “Tim, I love you.” With his struggling voice he said, “I love you too.”
Many of our friends can tell funny stories of late-night antics at camp and share wonderful memories of Tim’s short life span. My witness to him is probably too simple to share: I loved Tim Bock. And I live in the present moment knowing that he loved me, too. Love changes people. It changed me. Delanco is a place that is filled with great memories, but even more, great people. In its 50-year celebration, let me encourage you to share the simple message of love. You will honor Tim in it. But more so, you will honor the Savior that Tim loved and served, Jesus Christ.
Have a memory of Tim Bock? Share it in the comments below.
Join us at camp for the Lake Agape 50th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m. Click here for more info.