Written by: Brian Martin – Director
Just up the road a bit from camp is a little stone house. The house is situated off the road a bit against the front of the mountain. The mountain ascends behind the stone house to Bald Eagle Boys Camp up at the top of the mountain.
For many decades a lady named Sarah lived in the house with her husband Merle. The couple never had children and as they got older Merle lost his ability to drive. Sarah never did have a driver’s license.
Ten or twelve years ago the boys and staff at Bald Eagle Boys Camp stopped at the stone house to Christmas carol for Sarah and Merle. Sarah looked fragile as she stood in the door of her small house and expressed appreciation with tears and smiles. The ruddy, youthful faces of the camp boys were a stark contrast to Sarah’s pale, wrinkled face.
Each Christmas since that first one the boys at Bald Eagle have looked forward to caroling for “the old lady in the stone house.” Maybe the boys like singing for her so much because she seems like the grandmother or great-grandmother that many of the boys never had. Maybe they like it because Christmas caroling for an old lady is about the most wholesome, old-fashioned, inspirational, exciting, safe, and fun activity one can imagine. Whatever the reason the boys and staff at Bald Eagle Boys Camp have thoroughly enjoyed Christmas caroling for Sarah.
Most years Sarah presented the boys with a Christmas card to wish a Merry Christmas. Some years she even tucked a few dollars in the card. One year she appeared at the door with oxygen tubes on her face but her smile was still bright. Another year the boys missed caroling for Sarah because of her extended hospital stay.
A few years ago Sarah’s husband passed away so then it was just her living in the little stone house. But she has continued to brave the usually cold winter temperatures and listen to powerful strains of Joy to the World and soft refrains of Away In A Manger from the camp boys. Once it even seemed like she was singing along!
Sarah has reached her upper eighties and because of her failing health this year she was forced to leave her little stone house at the foot of Bald Eagle Boys Camp’s mountain. Christmas caroling for the boys will not be the same without caroling at the little stone house.
Memories however go on. Maybe, because of all those boys and staff with memories of singing for the “little old lady at the stone house” they will view life with a broader perspective. A perspective that helps them think of the needs of others even across generational and cultural barriers. If that is true, the legacy of boys singing at the “little stone house” has honored God and has captured the meaning of Jesus’ birth.