Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Full Speed Ahead Summer

Hi all! Sorry for the long break in blogging. Summer camp is up and running! I want to share some pictures and stories from this summer so far. However, this will be in no real order since that takes time - something I don't have much of at the moment. :-)

My friend who took this picture thinks it is hilarious. Mostly cuz kids are pushing to be in the picture and you can see one boy's fist! Hahahaha! - just what does he think he's going to do with all that? :-)
One of my summer roles here is to coordinate the adult volunteers who come to camp. Some weeks there are just a handful of volunteers and some weeks there are a bunch - I enjoy meeting them and building relationships with them. Often the experience that the group leader has is as much a part of deciding how camp went as the experience that the campers had. This was Miss Vanessa's first time riding a horse - I think she liked it!

This year I got to participate in staff training as a facilitator. The summer staff is doing an excellent job at building relationships with campers and running activities safely. Last week we had 7 kids recommit their lives to God and 18 kids make decisions for Christ! For the past 8 years I've watched God work in kid's lives through camp, but this year there is just an urgency in the kids - they are hungry for God! At the end of the week the kids write letters to donors who contribute to camper scholarships. One kid wrote:
"It was so amazing of you to do this for me. This has been a life-changing experience for me. And this week was especially good for me because this week was the week that I finally accepted Christ into my life.” – Nathan, age 13

Kids who come to camp are 8-14. These tweens were some drama - but turns out Jesus loves 13 year olds too! :-) Quiana, Alize, Electra, and Velma spent last week together at camp.

I'm not sure how we are going to use this picture .... The oldest 2 cabins go on an off-site bike trip where they drive to a trail and then bike 7 miles to Lake Michigan to have a cook out. This cabin staged this crash.

At the beginning of training we take our summer staff into Chicago to help spread the word about camp in various neighborhoods. I ran into Shayana and Teniah while we were there.

We build cardboard boats during Splash 'n Blast and then see how many kids we can get into them before the boat sinks. Usually not too many.

Taleah - cutest kid ever!
Last week Austin came to camp. When his mom picked him up she told him that she felt bad because she couldn't afford the $10 to buy a T-shirt. As she was talking she began to tear up, and told her son, "I just wanted you to have something to take home from camp." 10-year-old Austin said, "I do mom! I don't need a T-shirt to remember camp, cuz I believed in Jesus this week and I am taking him home with me!"
Praise God for the kids and families who have been impacted this summer! Praise God for the 120 campers here this week. Pray for spiritual impact in their lives. We have 4 weeks of summer camp left - praise God for the last 2 weeks which are full. Please pray for the next 2 weeks - we have many openings that we hope to fill so as many kids as possible can come to camp this summer.
Thank you all for your support and encouragament!