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Hey Swamp Bloggers!

I hope you're having a wonderful day today! I want to remind you really quickly about HATS (Holidays at the Swamp) coming up on December 29th. This is a great way to spend your New Year's Eve if you don't have any plans! A link to information and registration will be at the bottom of the page.

I have always felt like friendship is such a central part of camp. It is the relationships that we build that last for years and even lifetimes that make camp such a special place to many of us! I know I have met and built some of my closest, most loyal friendships while at camp. Friendship is a necessity to getting through life. But, what kind of qualities make up a good friend in the long haul, as well as in a spiritual sense? This week I asked three Swampers, "What is the most important quality in a friend, and why?" This is what they answered:

"I think the most important quality in a friend is loyalty because they stick up for you no matter what the situation is, and they're always there for you."

-Jayden Williams, Greenville, SC

What an important quality loyalty is! And, Proverbs states it, too. A true friend will be there during good and bad times.

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."

-Proverbs 17:17

"In my opinion, honesty is the most important quality of a friend. Because sometimes you feel like you can't trust anybody and your friend needs to be the one that you can trust and that you can be honest with and they'll be honest back with you. If you don't have an honest relationship then it breaks your bond, and it puts a barrier between you and someone you really care about."

-Eden Solomon, Athens, GA

I love how Eden talks about honesty, and how not being honest can create a wall between friends. It takes a real friend to tell you the truth no matter what. This scripture below really emphasizes the value of true words from a friend.

"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

-Proverbs 27:5-6

"I think the most important quality of a friend is vulnerability. To have a solid friendship with someone you need to be able to be vulnerable with each other. If you can't be completely honest and open with one another you can't help each other with your struggles and grow together in your friendship and as individuals."

-Jeannie Pearson, Louisville, KY

Vulnerability, like honesty, is crucial to creating depth in relationships. I like that Jeannie talks about how not being open keeps you from growing both as friends and as individuals. When we are real with each other about the great parts of ourselves and the not so great parts of ourselves, a true friend will help us to grow and become better. And, we can do the same for them.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."

-Proverbs 27:17

This week I want to give you all another challenge! Catch up with a friend you haven't talked to in a while and have a real and genuine conversation. Friendships are very important in getting us through life and helping us grow, and it's important that we keep connected and support each other!

Until next time!

Much Love & Respect, Julie

CLICK HERE for info & registration for HATS (Dec. 29 - Jan. 1).

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