Big games and skills and staff hunt… Oh, my!

Capture the Flag and the Staff Hunt, both in one day? It’s a Super Kid’s dream!

Good morning! We’re already a little bit into this morning’s programming, but let me tell you some more about what we did yesterday.

Our day started with the usual activities – flag raising, breakfast, and cabin clean-up – but we also took a short break before skills time to take our all-camp picture! There are so many people here this week, so it took a few tries, but we got it! (We also managed to get a few silly pictures out of it, too!)

After the Camp picture, we moved into our first skills time! Throughout the week, our cabins will rotate through six different session, where we’ll learn more about a different skills and work together as a cabin! The skills for the week are Outdoor Survival 1 (Fire and Fort-Building), Outdoor Survival 2 (Plant Identification and Orienteering), Archery, Canoeing, Team-Building, and a neat space-themed session where we’ll learn more about outer space! There are two sessions a day, but we’ll get through all of the different activities by the end of the week.

In between the two skills sessions was morning chapel. Yesterday, Bobber Bill talked to us about the Quest for Truth and helped explain that God’s Truth is for all people, all places and all times. He also talked about the ways God reveals His Truth!

After chapel and the second skills session, we ate lunch and tuned in for the Adventures of Captain Kyper, our summer-long character! The Captain is in charge of a starship and travels the universe with her robot pal, Beep Beep Boop BOP, and her ever-growing crew. Yesterday, she took us to the planet Ah-hecknah, where they rescued a girl named Nova from a planet-wide infestation of space spiders!

We took a short nap during Toes Up time before what is many campers’ favorite big game – the Staff Hunt! Counselors and other staff hid all over the main area of camp, and if a camper found them, they got to push that staff member in the lake! After that, it was free time and we could all get in the water! (The swimming area was very popular yesterday.) Other free time activities included crafts, checking out the trading post or canteen, and going on the zip-line!

In the evening, we had supper, went on a cabin adventure (every counselor comes up with a different one!) and played our big game for the night – Capture the Flag! Then there was a little break for canteen between that and chapel.

In chapel last night, Frank continued his story about the Young Traveler and their detour to a planet known for distraction and sloth. He used the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-31 to illustrate the kind of behavior the people of that planet displayed, and encouraged us to throw off our selfish desire in exchange for following Christ.

We’re already having a great day, but please keep us in your prayers! See you later!

Hello, Super Kids 2!

It’s been a while since we had Super Kids, but they’re back! Our Super Kids 2 session kicked off yesterday with around 200 campers. (Needless to say, the chapel is packed!)

After checking in, campers headed over to their cabins to meet their counselors and get settled in. During check-in time, the lifeguards were also down at the beach, administering the swim test so campers can swim out to the raft during free time today! I have a feeling that swimming will be extra popular this week – it’s going to be really hot outside all week!

Our programmed activities started with a “Who’s Who” introduction to all the counselors, flag lowering, and dinner line-up. We all created cabin cheers to use throughout the week and presented them to the group before heading down to a picnic dinner! After we ate, we heard some rules for the week and had a quick tour of camp before chapel.

Last night, our speaker Frank Lanier told us the first chapter in a story about the Starship “Fellowship,” then connected it to the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:3-20. He talked about how different types of hearts are represented by types of soil in the parable, and what that can look like in our lives. He’ll continue the story later today!

After chapel, we had canteen time and the Staff Variety Show! We laughed, we screamed at the top of our lungs, and had a great time! (Ask your camper about their favorite skit when they get home!) When the show was over, it was time for bed.

We have a lot of fun things on the schedule for today! Please pray that we would all stay safe, hydrated and cool so we can have the best time at Camp possible!

1st Half of Summer in 20 Pictures

It’s crazy to think it’s already the middle of July!  Camp is flying.  In two sentences or less, how would one sum up the summer at Camp so far? Well, in the words of Rich Olson, Camp’s Director of Youth Ministries, “Campers have been loved and Staff have been the epitome of flexibility.” It’s been an amazing summer so far and God is at work in the lives of campers and staff alike.  In this post we’re going to attempt to capture the 1st half of summer in 20 pictures.  Enjoy!

(p.s. Be sure to check back to this blog for frequent updates during the 2nd half of summer!)

1st Half of Summer in 20 Pictures

1. Weekly Campfire Trek to Bass Point.  

This Camp tradition continues on with every age group, for youth and family camps alike. It’s a highlight of every week, complete with singing some fun songs, sharing God’s blessings popcorn style, Bobber Bill’s “Lion Hunt”, and the “Praise God Yell!”

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2. Fourth Time Is the Charm.

The Camp carnival is a weekly tradition for Super Kids and Adventurers camps. One fun part of that is the “Dunk Tank.” As a camper, this is the perfect opportunity to soak your favorite counselor/staff member with ice cold water. Weston Wold got dunked not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times!

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3. Counselor Hunt!

Super Kids and Adventurers also get to enjoy a “Counselor Hunt.” The rules are simple: be the first to find (& tag) a counselor/staff member before the bell rings and you get to push them in the lake. Pictured below are some fortunate staff who were bested by the campers during this particular week.  (NOTE: Check out Byron Oostra’s perfect line form…now that’s devotion!)

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4. Cabin Time

The weekly scheduled is designed for cabins to bond with one another, strengthening current friendships and making new ones. Pictures below is the cabin of Pakistan from Adventurers.

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5. Oh yes, it’s Pie Day!

Each week campers & staff are given the opportunity to memorize Bible verses. For each verse memorized they get to put one slip of paper in the bucket with their name on it. During closing rally one girl camper, boy camper, female staff, and male staff member are drawn from the bucket. Then they get to choose the staff member of their choice and make a memory.  Hopefully the pie will be properly applied to the face, hair, ears, and up the nose 🙂

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6. “Flexcellence” – The Union of Excellence & Flexibility

Sometimes you need to call an audible due to circumstances that are out of your control. Junior High 1 experienced one of those moments when some big storms came through. Instead of chapel in the main hall, songs were sung in a crowded (windowless) hallway and the rest of chapel took place in the dining hall.  Perfect example of flexcellence!

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7. Gone Fishin’

If I was a fish the first question I’d ask them is whether or not they have a competition to see who can get caught the most. Some of these sunnies must get hooked 100+ times! The kids love it and sometimes largemouth bass, walleyes, northerns, and crappies are caught too. (pictured below: the girl on the right laughs as three boys struggle to keep up with her fishing skills.)

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8. Summer Characters & Staff Skits

There’s a summer long story going on during the Galactic Adventure with beloved characters. What adventures will they find next?

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9. Counselors Turned Heroes!

Do you remember being in 3rd – 6th grade? College and high school ages people were the coolest ever and became heroes and role models. At Camp, our staff loves kids and desires to show them the love of Christ lived out.

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10. Pie Five!

Abbey Minke, radio personality on Mix94.9 and former junior staffer at Camp, visited for a day this summer.  Little did she know there was a surPIEse waiting for her!

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11. The Camp Lebanon Variety Show!

If normal pictures are worth a thousand words, this picture is worth at least two thousand. This is a snapshot of one of many skits the staff puts on for kids each week.

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12. So Colorful!

This is just a great picture overall. Joy. Bright colors. Tie-dye. Friends. Nature. Camp.

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13. Fun at the Amphitheater. 

When the Camp bell rings there is a 75% chance you’re supposed to go to the amphitheater. Mail calls, flag raising, flag lowering, skits, seminars, games, Bible verse memory, closing rally, and more.

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14. The Camp Sign.

One of the first things you see when you come to Camp is the welcome sign…well, besides the driveway and trees and other smart aleck answers 🙂  This picture is also in the running for the Best Picture of the Summer Award.

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15. NEW! Nine Square in the Air.

This summer Camp installed its first Nine Square game and it has caught on quite well. It’s exactly like four square except there are nine squares and you get one hit to keep the ball from touching the ground in your square while hitting to someone else.  Come to Camp and give it a try!

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16. A Legendary Performance

During Family Camp Week all guests were treated with a performance of “Swimming Buddy” by it’s author and Camp legend, Scott Woller. This performance became legendary with the addition of his daughter for a one-of-a-kind rendition.

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17. Pure Joy.

Ever wondered what Joy would look like if it was a person? Look at this picture…this is it. This picture is also in the running for the Best Picture of the Summer Award.

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18. A Bobber Bill Miracle!

Unable to run at full speed, feeling the pain of shin splints, and hindered by bifocals, “Bobber” Bill Abeler scored the game ending goal during Family Camp Week. The girls couldn’t believe it and walk away  while glancing at the celebration.

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19. High Flying Summer. 

This summer has been high energy, high heat, and high flying. Pictured below are a couple of campers from Junior High 1.  We’re still wondering how long they’ll be able to hold this pose.

p.s. This will be another entry in the Best Picture of the Summer Awards contest.

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20. The Weather is an Attitude

A common phrase at Camp is “the weather is an attitude…so how’s the weather?” As you can see in this picture, the weather is great!  A little rain is going to stop the funnest fun from happening!

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Thanks for reading!  We’re excited to see what is in store for the 2nd half of summer. Please keep us in your prayers!  To God be the Glory.

Three days down, one to go!

Good morning!

We had a pretty standard morning yesterday – polar dip, flag raising and breakfast (waffles!) followed by clinics and seminars time. Campers have really been learning a lot this week in those sessions and I’m sure they’d love to tell you about it when they get home… tomorrow?! It’s hard to believe today is our last full day!

In morning chapel yesterday, the girls talked about leadership and how they are capable of great things with God; the boys talked about sin, shame and forgiveness. After that, we had lunch and another installment of the Adventures of Captain Kyper – this time, we followed the crew on a mission to the planet [Pop Noise], where everyone is very distracted.

Free time opened up an opportunity to play paintball for the first time this week, and the two sessions were packed! Campers also took advantage of the nice weather by swimming, going sailing and just being outside. (The craft room was still pretty popular, though.)

Last night, we had chapel before the big game. Joe talked about being prepared for quests and the kinds of tools we have to prep for our quest of following Jesus. We discussed ways to connect with God through various ways, and also how to connect with others through encouragement, praying with others and wrestling with Scripture together. It led to a really sweet time where everyone was praying together and the counselors were going around and telling their campers encouraging things.

After chapel, the boys and girls volleyball champions (Germany and Mexico) faced off on the sand volleyball court during canteen, and the girls emerged victorious! We then rolled right into our night game – Free the Hostage. (Basically, it’s Capture the Flag but with a staff member instead of the flag.) It was super fun!

Today is our last day! Please pray that it would be meaningful, safe and fun for everyone here!

Blue skies for tournament day

Yesterday’s clear skies gave us so many more options for activities – and was great for the volleyball tournament up on the North 40!

We started out the Tuesday of Junior High 2 like any regular day, with polar dip, flag raising, breakfast and TAG time. Unlike our normal weeks, we also took the camp picture yesterday morning – something we put off thanks to the weather. After that, we jumped right into clinics and seminars time. In addition to regular seminars, we also had the option of going to three different clinics: God and Creation (nature appreciation), Basketball and Ultimate.

In our split morning chapel, the boys talked about brotherhood among fellow believers and the girls talked about sin, shame and forgiveness. It was pretty heavy stuff, but it opened up some really important conversations!

Next up was line-up, where we started taking cabin pictures, and lunch, followed by another installment of the Adventures of Captain Kyper, our summer-long character. Yesterday’s episode followed her crew to the planet Malk, a watery planet controlled by a strict king who learned about kindness from Captain Kyper and her friends.

Other than some crazy wind, we had beautiful weather for free time – campers flocked to the waterfront for swimming, boating (especially sailing), and fishing! Yesterday was also the first day of the week that zip-line was available.

After flag lowering, we all headed up to the North 40 for a delicious picnic dinner and the much-loved volleyball tournament! Cabins went all out on face paint and cabin “uniforms” to get pumped for the games, and it ended up being a great night.

Finally, in evening chapel, Joe talked about following God even when it’s not popular and how He is the only thing worth following.

We have just two full days left at Camp! Please pray that our remaining time here would be safe, fun and bring us closer to God!

Rain, rain, go away…

We had so much rain yesterday – good thing “weather is an attitude” and we could still have fun!

One day down, three more full days to go! During our first 24 hours at Camp, the crazy weather switched up our schedule a little bit, but we had plenty to do.

Our morning started off with flag raising (indoors), breakfast (pancakes!), and clinics and seminars. Throughout the week, campers will have the chance to attend four different clinics/seminars, where they’ll learn more about specific topics like prayer, worship, and healthy friendships.

Speaking of friendships – in our guys/girls split chapel yesterday morning, the girls talked about what healthy versions of three different relationships look like (friendship, romantic relationships, and mentorships), and the guys talked about platonic friendships with girls. After chapel, we had lunch (quesadillas) and met some summer-long characters – Captain Kyper, her robot pal Beep Beep Boop BOP, and a girl named Nova!

During free time, the waterfront was only open for a little while before we heard thunder, but the staff made sure we had other options. We played Mafia, Swat, four square, octoball and splashed around on the lower field!

Later on in evening chapel, Joe talked to us about how making our main focus and pursuit something other than God will just lead to “dead ends” in life. He encouraged us to put God first, and some campers decided to follow Christ for the first time!

Today is another big day (with better weather) – please pray that we would be safe, have fun, and grow closer to God!

Jumping back into Junior High

Hello! Yesterday was the first day of Junior High 2 – a big switch from last week’s little Adventurers – and we had a lot of fun!

When we arrived at Camp, our first stop was at our cabins to meet our counselors and cabin mates and settle in. There was also a chance for everyone to take their swim tests before introductions, where we got to meet the other counselors and make up a cabin cheer that we’ll use throughout the rest of the week. We presented them to the group as we were sent down to the dining hall for dinner after flag lowering.

After we ate, we went over some rules for the week, had cabin bonding time, and went to chapel. Joe Budish, our speaker for the week, talked a little about himself and what his messages will focus on this week. Our night ended with canteen and the staff variety show!

We have a great week ahead of us! Please pray that we would be given many opportunities to grow deeper in our faith, learn more about God and His Truth, and build good relationships with the friends we’re sharing this week with. Prayers for a safe week would be appreciated as well!

 

Bring on the water games!

What a beautiful day! We had sunny skies and warm weather for the day of the week that the counselors just can never stay dry for (thanks to all the fun water games)!

The first water-related event of the day was the Polar Dip right away in the morning. For those who don’t know, the Polar Dip is when campers go out to the waterfront right after the wake-up bell and jump in Cedar Lake! It’s usually pretty chilly, but they have to prove to the lifeguards that they went completely underwater to get their name checked off. At the end of the week, campers (and counselors) who went every morning get a prize!

After breakfast, our morning rolled on with cabin clean-up, the huge all-camp picture on the Steps of Faith, and the first Big Game! Today’s game was Galactic Adventure – a game where the group of campers is divided up into four quadrants on a big field and each tries to bring as many balls into their quadrant as possible without getting tagged. It was super fun!

In morning chapel, Bobber Bill talked about how to use our Bibles and how the Bible is like a letter from God to us! Afterwards, we had option time! Campers had a handful of activities to choose from – chalk drawing, fishing, and tag were just a few.

By lunch line-up, the cabin inspection results were in. All of the girl cabins did a wonderful job, but some of the boy cabins had to go back and finish cleaning up before lunch time. Oh no!

We caught up with Captain Kyper again after lunch – this time, we followed her to the planet Ah-hecknah, which was overrun by giant space spiders! The captain and her robot pal Beep Beep Boop BOP helped one of the planet’s citizens (Nova) be brave and defend her home from the spiders, then invited her to join their crew! At the end of the update, we got our mail and headed off to Toes Up time (nap time).

After Toes Up time was the game we’d all been waiting for – the Staff Hunt! All but a few staff members scattered across the Hub area and hid, but we found them all. Campers who caught staff got to push them in the lake! After that, it was free time until flag lowering.

We had two more big things last night – the carnival up on the North 40 and evening chapel! We had tons of fun earning tickets at the carnival by playing fun games, but the best part was dunking our counselors with water at the “Sad Counselor” station! In evening chapel, we learned some cool things about space while Bobber Bill told us about how God reveals Himself to us through his creation.

And that was it for our first full day of Adventurers! Only one more day left, so please pray that it’s a good (and safe) one!

It’s time for Adventurers!

Our youngest group of campers is here! Around 200 kids going into grades 1-4 arrived at Camp yesterday, ready for a few days of the funnest fun!

After we checked in, we met our counselors and cabin friends, took our swim tests (until the beach closed for thunder – don’t worry, we’ll have another chance to take our tests today), and went on our first of many cabin adventures.

Later on, we met the rest of the counselors and played Simon Says before our picnic dinner of pizza. We also learned the nine rules for having the funnest fun and went on a tour of Camp before chapel!

Our speaker for the week is Bobber Bill. Last night, he told us a little about himself and outlined what he’ll talk about this week: capital-T Truth.

Then, after chapel, we had canteen and the staff variety show! (Ask your camper about their favorite skit when they get home!) We closed out our first night with in-cabin devos with our cabin friends. What a good night!

Please pray for a safe and fun day today! We have a lot planned out and we don’t want to miss a thing!

Only one more day?

Time flies when you’re having fun! There’s just one full day left of Junior High 1, but we have so much left to do.

Yesterday, we started our day the same as the rest of the week – with polar dip, TAG time and breakfast, followed by clinics and seminars. The rotation of clinics and seminars meant that if campers couldn’t go to a particular seminar on Monday, they had another chance yesterday.

In morning chapel, the boys talked about sin, shame and forgiveness, and the girls talked about leadership and how anyone can be used by God. After chapel, we had lunch, took the last of the cabin pictures, and caught up with Captain Kyper and her crew on the planet [Pop Noise]. There, they rescued an inhabitant named Pop Tart from his life of obsessive distraction and offered to show him what else is out there.

It was pretty hot during free time, so a good chunk of the campers ended up on the waterfront, having a blast splashing around on the water mats, the Saturn and the raft! The craft room was popular, too, and many campers made pom-pom alien headbands. Paintball was also open again yesterday for the last time this week.

Our evening was rounded out by flag lowering, supper, and evening chapel. Last night, Kirsten shared the story of the Gospel with us, and some campers accepted Jesus as their Savior for the first time! Yay!

During the canteen time after chapel, we had the championship game for the volleyball tournament and Israel won! After a short break, we gathered together to play yesterday’s big game: Free the Hostage. (The game is basically an extended version of Capture the Flag, but instead of looking for flags, campers have to find two hidden staff members and “rescue” them.) There were berserkers (of course) and we brought out the hose yet again. So much for staying dry.

Today is our last day of camp! Please pray that we would have a fantastic, safe Thursday, that we won’t get too bug-bitten at the campfire tonight, and that God would move in the lives of our campers!

-Becky Boo