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Fun Matters!

Every summer during college, I worked at a camp in the mountains of North Carolina. One of my favorite songs was Dance With Me:

Oh, Lord, I beg of you just this one thing

Won’t you dance with me?

Throughout the heavens and beyond the seas and up on the mountaintops.

Roll with the breeze

Come carry me,

Oh, Lord, won’t you dance with me?

This is a song I often sing to my two-year-old daughter to calm her down. I will rock her, close my eyes, and imagine I’m back on the top of that mountain. Now, I have a new image. It’s of teenagers, at a seemingly unassuming dance party, forgetting about the worries and trauma they’ve experienced—even if only for a couple hours.

In the Fall of 2018, Jennifer Houston with Three Keys Homeschool Co-op in Georgia reached out to me with an idea. She realized that the plans and decorations from their fall dance each year were rarely used again—and she wanted to share them with others.

So, in January 2019, Three-Keys hosted a dance for our kids. They decorated our activities center, set up snacks, games, and left plenty of room for dancing. I remember being so tired that night, but it was the best kind— legs sore from dancing and cheeks sore from smiling! Almost immediately afterwards, we were making plans for this to happen again.

This January, Three-Keys returned with almost double the numbers and definitely double the excitement! They, again, didn’t disappoint with the decorations. As our teens arrived, there was the normal hesitancy of new things and the unknown. But it just takes a little bit of time and the right song to break the ice. I was able to sit back and observe, and what I saw on that dance floor was beautiful.

You saw teens who had just arrived at Thornwell. This was all so new to them, but now they could meet the other cottages and realize they weren’t alone.

You saw our teens dancing with their Family Teachers’ children. If you don’t work here, you wouldn’t know who’s who—they’re just family.

You saw two girls who recently had to say goodbye to their brothers living on campus. You saw them letting go of the weight on their shoulders, the insecurity in their minds, and the hurt in their hearts.

You saw smiles, laughter, and pure joy!

On the dance floor, you saw God.

Lord, won’t you dance with our teens, throughout the trauma and beyond their fear. Make Thornwell a place where they dance with healing on the mountaintops and feel the breeze of hope for a brighter future.


by Sarah Bowers, Volunteer Coordinator

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