Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The summer is going good.

I wish I had time to blog every day and tell you stories of campers and fun and life change.  I wish I could post a picture a day so you could see everything I love about camp.  I wish I could video every camper telling their story so you could hear it from them.  As long as I'm wishing, I wish you could all come visit and see just what it is that makes camp so wonderful!

In the meantime I found these 15 minutes to upload some pics.  I promise to post more from summer camp in the fall. :-)
I love this picture - it makes me smile.  What a great new experience!  To be clear, I am definitely not trying to touch a chicken myself - or sit on the ground in a chicken coop, really boys ?! - but I love that they are loving it. :-)
Khaniysile kissing the Beechpoint mascot.
It's a well known (and teased) fact around camp that I am bad at building camp fires.  But since we've started using this indoor fire once a week I am suddenly self-sufficient! :-)
Jaelan and I at the park.
My friend Jess took this picture of Darrius.  I'm hoping this gets blown up and framed at camp!
Sugar sweet Tatiana at the park.
Morning devotions. :-)
Javion and Shamya - 2 happy campers headed home after a great week at camp!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and care for me during summer camp.  Please pray for the remaining 2 weeks and 240 campers we are expecting to join us.  Pray that the staff will have endurance and the campers will come with hearts soft towards God.

Also, I miss all of you......

Hooray for friends from home!

So, at the beginning of 2011 I decided that I was going to have out of town guests once a month for the whole year.  Unfortunately, not all of my out of town guests were in on that decision with me.

However, this summer Albert and Zerena Turner came to camp from Rupert, Idaho!  Albert is a summer staff cabin leader for 10 weeks and Zerena came out as an LIT (Leader in Training) to serve a missions trip on our teen volunteer staff.  I love having friends from home here to visit!  We spent a weekend in Chicago so that they could see my home (and sign the guest book!)  Here are a handful of pictures from the trip.
Albert with some of the campers at the park, Jaelan and Donald.  Albert is my favorite staff person to take to the park with me because he loves to run around with the kids!
Zerena with her campers, Destiny and Kayla.
First stop in the city:  Giordanos Famous Chicago Style Pizza.  See, the thing about Chicago deep dish pizza is that you really have to understand what you are getting yourself into.  Otherwise you think you are going to get pizza.  It's disappointing to find out you are really going to be eating casserole.  Just sayin. :-)
Second stop:  a dozen beauty supply stores so Zerena could by big (obnoxious) earrings and bright colored shoes.  This display here made me shudder.  Above the sample it says "TRY ME, YOU'LL LOVE IT".  Do you see those before and after photos??!!  That means people with those before lips have stuck their fingers into this lip balm?!  Awww, heck no

Third stop:  Ed Debevic's, a restaurant downtown where the staff are supposed to be rude.  Albert thought this was hysterical!  I enjoyed it as well ... until our waiter called me a princess.  Albert is busy planning how he can get hired to work here. ;-) 
One of the signs at Ed Debevics.... can you imagine??!!

Fourth stop:  Some shoe stores for Albert.  He decided to wait until the next weekend when some of the guys could help him pick out a pair.  I actually really like this shoe - it's like a pinstripe sneaker. :-)  Come on, Ilise!  COME VISIT ME!
Fifth Stop:  We swong by (hmm... I mean, that sounds right...) Demetrius' house to see Jabari, Jabri and Jireh, since the summer is too long to be without them.  Beth and Nick got to come here 2 summers ago, it was fun to bring more Turners over. :-)  Zerena is holding Jireh and Cierra and Cheyenne are standing.

I also got to take them to both my Michigan and Chicago churches.  I love that they have seen my apartment, my city, my churches, my camp.... it's good to have people from home!

Monday, June 27, 2011

PID Club Wrap Up

Partners in Discipleship (PID) is camp's year-round discipleship program.  Kids meet weekly 1:1 with mentors or in after school clubs where they receive 1:1 time from a leader.  I currently meet each week individually with 8 kids and have 1 after school club in the city.  We have high hopes that there will be 3 clubs running this fall.
During their 1:1 time, kids discuss the Bible lesson they completed at home, pray over requests, and quote memory verses.  Kids in PID earn points to help pay for them to return to camp the next summer.  The kids at the club do homework or play games together while they are waiting for their turn to meet with a leader.

At one of our last clubs I gave the kids my camera and told them to go take pictures.  This is what I got:
Isaly and Niani are sisters and are coming to camp for the first time this summer!  I can't wait until the week that my club kids are here! :-)
Chelsea and I
Andy.  Andy has a friend his age that he calls once a week to do a Bible study with.  He told me that they were reading the story of Jonah and that they prayed for each other that they will always obey God.  This young man is going to be a pastor when he grows up.  I'm praying so.
Zoie doing skits.
Zoie and I praying at the end of her 1:1 Bible study time.
Alec and Nico.
Me and some of my Armitage kids.  Since they were in such a photogenic mood we took a handful of group pictures. :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Golf Marathon 2011

Camp Beechpoint's 2nd Annual Golf Marathon was held this May to raise scholarship funds for campers who may not have an opportunity to attend camp otherwise.  It's a fun day-long event full of golfers from around the area who raise sponsorship to participate.  The goal is to golf 100 holes in one day.  This year we had 15 golfers and raised $20,000 to help send kids to camp!  Praise God for His provision!

Last year I was unable to attend, so this was my first Golf Marathon.  I got to be a caddy, although my golfer, Jeremy, had to train me from scratch.  Apparently you can't drive on the short grass.  And you shouldn't park the golf cart ahead of the golfer.  And you're supposed to watch for where the ball lands (next time I need binoculars, I was surprisingly bad at this task).  Lucky for me I was put with a golfer who had been by himself for 72 holes and said to me on the first hole we did together "you can keep talking while I am golfing".   If he had known how many topics I could generate and how many questions I would have, he might not have been so eager to encourage conversation. :-)  Did you know that the caddy gets a cut of the winnings?  The Golf Marathon has a hole where you can win $10,000 for a hole in one.  I was cheering Jeremy on!
It was a truly beautiful afternoon to be golfing.
My friends Chris and Todd.  They had a riot of a day.  Next year I want to just follow them around and make a movie.
This made me chuckle.  I suppose 100 holes of golf would lend itself to some Tylenol at the snack station. 

Oh, I almost forgot.  I also loved the Golf Marathon because everyone had golf carts.  At camp, having a golf cart is a bit of a status symbol.  There are a handful of staff who have exclusive use of specific golf carts.  Then there are a larger handful of staff who share keys to 2 carts that can be used when they are available.  And then the summer staff are not allowed to drive golf carts.  I have graduated to the second level and keep my eye on Craig's List in hopes that if we get a large enough fleet I will make it into the first level. :-)  But at the Golf Marathon . . . everyone has a golf cart! :-)

White Sox Game - Take 2

This spring we again took our PID kids to a White Sox game.  I like this event because:
  • the work is done ahead of time - we pre-purchase the tickets and then everyone just meets up at the game
  • I get to have a bunch of my PID kids all in the same place at the same time
  • they sell cotton candy
  • I pass out the tickets so I always sit myself next to 2 people who will talk to me during the game
On the other hand, I dislike this event because:
  • it costs $25 to park
  • it takes a good long minute to get out of the parking traffic after the game.  (why not just take the train you ask?  because I wouldn't be safe walking back from the train station in my neighborhood in the dark)
  • it's baseball.  and let's be honest... I'm just not that into sports.
Rachel and I... it was a chilly and foggy base ball game.  Is baseball one word or two?
Kenya and Aunt Jan.  I got to meet Kenya's dad at the game.  He came with her because it was his birthday!
Me, my friend Nakeisha, and one of my PID kids, Tavontay.  Turns out Nakeisha really cares about watching the game.  Looks like we won't be sitting together at this next year. ;-)
My pretty girl Kiyasia!  She convinced her auntie to bring her along to the game and shared my cotton candy with me. :-)
Jakarri and Tavaris.  I haven't seen Jakarri in like 6 months.  He got into the car with a grown man voice!  I can't believe that all my "babies" are growing up, these boys are 13 and 14.  :-)  Look at Kiyasia tryna peak around the corner to be in the picture, lol.

Camp is going great!

Here's the quickest camp update ever:  We are off to a great start!  The kids are great!  The weather is sometimes great.  The food is always great.  I love love love being the Bible teacher for the younger girls unit.  Please pray for more late registrations - we have space for additional campers in the next couple of weeks.

Generally you have to be 8 to come to camp - but for day camp you only have to be 6.  It give local and younger kids a chance to come out to camp... and our staff a first week to kinda ease into the pace of camp.  Charlie, Vanessa, Me, Kayla, Samantha, and Grace in the morning Bible teaching time called Power Hour!
Road trip to Chicago during staff training!
Albert Turner is here from Idaho as a cabin leader this summer.  We went to an event to raise scholarship funds for Beechpoint campers.  He is holding the magician's bunny and called me over to take his picture, lol.
Robert at the petting farm.  "Look!  This bunny LIKES me!"
Zerena Turner is here for 4 weeks in our teen Leaders in Training (LIT) program.  She dug this clam shell out of the lake for her kids to see.

My new buddy Jamahl.  He is super sweet and affectionate and we loved each other.  (Who can resist a kid with a moose shirt like that?!)  I miss him already. :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This past weekend was Camp Beechpoint's 7th Annual Benefit Auction and Steak Fry!  Every year the auction is a great day of food and fellowship for the great big Beechpoint family and many new friends of the ministry.  With a crowd of 400 we enjoyed a live band, a steak and chicken dinner with a build-your-own ice cream sundae bar,  and camp activities like go carts and rock climbing.

During the live auction we have a time where we auction camper scholarships for the coming summer.  It is an incredibly moving, Spirit-filled, beautiful time.  To see God move in the generosity of His people to provide a way for kids to come to camp - where they will experience His love and learn of His sacrifice for them.  I am teary just typing about it.  I was most definitely teary watching it happen.  In less than 15 minutes, $46,000 was given in camper scholarships!  The song Grateful by Hezekiah Walker has been flowing from my heart for days.  The total received from the auction was just over $68,000!  Praise God for his favor and provision!  Praise God for allowing me yet another opportunity to witness His faithfulness and mighty hand.  Praise God for the children who will be able to attend camp because of the giving of others!  Here are a couple of camper testimonies from last summer.  Lives are changed at camp!
"Thank you for sending me here, because without you I wouldn't have had my first experience of seeing Jesus and talking to him.  I thank you for sending me because Alaina, my camp leader, she has shown me a new light and taught me how to be a teenager.  I love her so much!" - Latanza, age 13
"The counselors here treat you as if you are their children.  Which in this case I love that cuz I don't have anyone to care or pray for me back home.  It's real heartbreaking living in the ghetto and now I know what real friendship is between me and another Christian.  Some of the older counselors, they have experience with a lot of things like manhood, and I applaud them for it.  If you want to grow in your faith you have to come here." - Mario, age 13

I have not used this blog as a platform for giving before, but if you were unable to attend the auction and would like to give toward camper scholarships you can still do so.  Many of the families who come are unable to pay the full cost.  Camp actively seeks out children who would not be able to attend otherwise and does not turn children away who are in financially difficult situations.  $300 will sponsor one child for one week of quality Christian camping and any amount will help us to provide assistance to families.  If you would like to be a part of giving camper scholarships you can send your check to:
Camp Beechpoint
3212 125th Ave
Allegan, MI  49010 
Please indicate that your giving is for camper scholarships.  You will receive a tax-deductible receipt and, at the end of the summer, a thank you letter written by the youth you sponsored.

A couple of photos from the day:
This bike was a raffle item this year.  They tell me it gets 100 miles to the gallon!  Can you just see me zipping around camp on it in the summer?  I'm guessing Mr. D was having similar thoughts while he was getting the auction set up. :-)
Live auction in the Lakeview Lodge.
My friend Daniel and I.  Daniel is our Water Front Director in the summer, has on his chef coat from working in camp's kitchen, and handled the financial check out for the auction.  He also "made" me watch Fast Five on Sunday, explained the parts I didn't get, is not offended that I don't all the way love his dog Lucy, stayed up late with me to process the auction paperwork, and fusses at me like a brother.  Ya gotta love a camp friend!
I love that this was the donations bowl for the steak dinner.  It made me smile that a bowl full of cash can sit on the table at the end of the buffet line and be just fine.  Someone made fun of me for taking this picture, but this moved me in some deeply restorative way that I can't quite put into words.
It was a beautiful day and I love camp in the late spring!  (Not to be confused with the early spring when it rains every day and camp is one giant mud puddle.)  I am "moving" to camp in 10 days!!!  I'm happy to be reunited with a deck chair!