Praise the Lord for a GREAT Summer 2017!

What an amazing SUMMER!  God is so good, and Summer 2017 was one of the best ever.  We had over 1700 campers here this summer, and our prayer is that each one left knowing their Creator God a little bit better!

Our theme this summer was GAME ON! We talked about being ready to live life for Christ and to teach others about who He is.  Just like a baseball player who has trained his whole life to play the game of baseball, he is meant to go out and actually play the game, not just sit on the sidelines! Our hope this summer was to help campers learn how to get in the game and to spread the good news of Jesus to everyone they know!

The ministry of summer camp is done in all areas – through fun games, cabin time and devotions, awesome chapel speakers and worship, and learning new skills.  We challenged campers to build relationships with their cabin mates, to learn something new every day (Skills or Clinics & Seminars), and to dive in to God’s Word (TAG Time, Chapels, cabin devos, etc).

Through every cabin cleaned, every dish washed, every mouth fed, every camper hugged, our year-round and summer-long staff has prayed that God’s love would be experienced here and His truth would be proclaimed.  Praise God for an amazing summer of camping ministry! Onward – and GAME ON!

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Campfire!

Of all the traditions at Camp Lebanon, perhaps the most loved of the summer camp traditions is the end of the week campfire out at Bass Point.  The campfire is a great send-off to the week – an opportunity for campers and staff to reflect on all that they have learned and all the fun they have had.

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The night starts with everyone meeting at the Steps of Faith, clothed in long sleeves and long pants, ready for a hike through the woods.  Don’t forget the bug spray!  With flashlights and glowsticks in hand, campers and counselors make the trek out to Bass Point in one long line.  The hike takes them half-way down Camp’s dirt road, then off into the woods and towards the hidden gem that is Bass Point.  This open field is home to a beautiful old tree and a campfire ring and stage.

Junior High 1 is wrapping up with our traditional campfire. PRAISE GOD!!!

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Campers gather around and enjoy yet another round of Gorilla Gets the Man and a few other crazy camp songs.  The speaker for the week usually gets up to say a few words and to close out the week with the campers.  Looking up at the stars and out at Cedar Lake, campers and staff sing worship to the Creator and have the opportunity to share about ways they have seen God in their week at Camp. And to finish off the night, the campfire just wouldn’t be the same without the staple Lion Hunt with Bobber Bill, or the Praise God Yell across Cedar Lake.

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After the sun has set and the fire is dying out, campers start the hike back to main Camp, usually still buzzing with energy from an amazing week of summer camp.  The campfire is a tradition that campers look forward to every summer. Rain or shine, we find a way to gather the campers together – whether at Bass Point or in the chapel on a rainy evening.  It is important to have time to reflect and remember all that God has done in our lives, and the Camp Lebanon campfire is one way that we do that every week during the summer!

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Cabin Adventures!

There’s nothing quite so fun as spending time with your cabin group every day. We love it so much that we even schedule in special times for cabins to have adventures together!  Going to camp is all about adventure – for some it is their first week away from home, first time at camp, or first time making friends outside of school or church.  These are big adventures in themselves!  But at Camp Lebanon, we want to make sure that campers come away with experiences that will last a lifetime.  Adventures that they can tell their friends and family about long after school has started up again.

Counselors get to plan daily Cabin Adventures, and this gives them the opportunity to build cabin unity and teamwork in their group of campers.  Since counselors get to plan these adventures throughout the week, they can make them special to the particular group of campers that they have.  If they have an energetic group, they might pick a more active adventure, like extra swim time, or a hike out to Bass Point, or a kayaking trip.

Other counselors might want to connect with a quieter cabin, so they might pick a more laid back adventure, like a tea party in the dining hall or chalk drawing on the Hub.  Other fun adventures have included (but are not limited to) costume parties, Wiffleball games, turtle hunting, and some fun circle-up games in the Treehouse.  The last thing you will ever hear a camper say at Camp Lebanon is that they are bored!  Counselors use these adventure times to help campers to get to know one another, learn how to have fun in different ways, and be creative with their time and energy.

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There are so many ways to have fun at Camp Lebanon!  Here are just FIVE of the funnest fun things you can do during Free Time every day!

1) Catch a Turtle

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Turtle Bay is named after all of the turtles that live there, and if you pay close attention and aren’t afraid to get a little wet, you might just be able to find and catch one.  Don’t worry – they all go back in the water – the thrill is in the hunt!  After you catch one, find the Camp Photographer and get a picture with the little guy before you bring him back home.  Also, be sure to bring your counselor or another staff member with you when you go out in a boat, or make sure that you and your boating buddy have both passed our Swim Test!

2) Play on the Water Mat

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Camp Lebanon has TWO water mats – one in the shallow end and one out in the deep end.  Both of them are crazy amounts of fun!  See how long you can stay standing, or who can be the king of the water mat!  Splashing is encouraged!

3) Try Riding Upside-Down on the Screamin’ Eagle Zipline!

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You get two rides on the Zipline, so make them count!  If you are 10 years old you can ride the Zipline (prepay when you register, or sign up when you get to Camp!), and it’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss!  If you try really hard, you can swing you legs up and ride upside-down most of the way!  Hands free and screamin’ loud, because that’s the funnest fun way to ride the Screamin’ Eagle Zipline!

4) Go Paddle-Boating!

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All of the boats at Camp are fun, and we have canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pontoons, AND paddle boats!  No matter which one you choose, make sure you bring a buddy (and that both of you have passed your Swim Test) and are wearing life jackets!  Then, Cedar Lake is yours to explore!

5) Get a Snack at the Canteen!

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We saved the best for last.  Free Time at Camp Lebanon wouldn’t be quite right without a little salty or sweet snack!  Our Canteen is stocked full of all kinds of candy, chocolate, pop, and chips.  Sometimes, there is even popcorn.  Just go up to the window with your cabin name on it and tell them your name and cabin!  If you brought spending money to Camp, turn it in to a Canteen Card that you can use throughout the week in all of your purchases (including the Trading Post and Craft Room).  We also sell Camp Lebanon water bottles with the summer theme design!  Make sure to get yours, and you’ll get your first fill FREE!

 

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to spend your time at Camp Lebanon during Free Time – these are just a few of the fun things you can do!  As always, all of these things are better with a buddy, and your counselor would LOVE to spend the day with you as you explore Camp!

For daily updates on the summer camp fun, check out our Camp Lebanon Summer Blog!

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The Craft Room

One of the best places to hang out during a week of summer camp is the Camp Lebanon Craft Room!  Ever summer has classic crafts and exciting new ways to be creative, from making a friendship bracelet to painting a rock to making a colorful hat!

Every summer, our Craft Coordinator get to organize the Craft Room and make it their own.  They come up with new crafts to try out, but keep lots of the old classics on hand too!  Everyone can color, draw, and finger paint for FREE!  Instead of painting on paper, sometimes you can paint a rock – if you put a pair of googly eyes on it, it becomes a “Pet Rock!”  You can use your Canteen card to purchase your craft supplies for whatever other project you want to try!

One of the most popular crafts during the summer is making a Tie-Dye Shirt!  You can purchase a shirt from Camp, which has the Camp logo or some other fun design, or you can bring your own white piece of clothing (even socks!).

The Craft Room is open for the entire Free Time every day, and is usually full of creative people getting their hands dirty, making stuff.  Counselors and campers get to hang out, cool off, and have good conversations all while exercising their creative muscles or learning a new skill.  And our Craft Coordinator is always on hand to help if anyone has any questions or wants to try something particularly crazy!  The sky is the limit when your imagination and creativity are involved!

For daily updates on the summer camp fun, check out our Camp Lebanon Summer Blog!

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Summer D3 Program

Many summer staff will tell you they dreamed of working at Camp Lebanon even as Super Kids.  It is no wonder so many campers continue on to work at Camp after they hang out with awesome camp counselors for a week and watch as the summer staff have fun while serving.

Young people can begin their journey on our summer team as early as 14 years old, by applying to be a part of our D3 Program! D3 stands for “Disciples Discipling Disciples,” and the vision of the program is to start a circle of influence that continues to grow and flourish as we follow God’s call to share the Gospel with the world!

There are three parts of the program: SWEAT Team, Service Crew, and Leaders in Training.  SWEAT Team and Service Crew see the behind the scenes parts of Camp, from washing dishes to mopping floors to scrubbing toilets.  These roles are so important to blessing our campers and guests with clean and well-cared-for facilities, and Camp strives to train up our D3 teams in an attitude of service and humility.  These are the backbone values to understanding leadership!

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Once a young person has graduated from both SWEAT Team and Service Crew, they are eligible to apply for our Leaders in Training (LIT) program (applicants must be 16+).  This is three weeks of intense classroom and hands-on training in how to be a leader, at Camp Lebanon and in the world in general.  Every Leader in Training will get the chance to spend a week in cabins as a Jr. Counselor, experiencing one of the most challenging and rewarding positions at Camp!  Upon graduating, LITs are welcome to apply to our Jr. Staff team, where they can return week after week to work as Jr. Counselors or in other positions behind the scenes (and get paid!).

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Our D3 Program is growing each year, and we are so excited every summer to see the number of servant-hearted teenagers who desire to further God’s Kingdom and see Him work in the hearts of campers!

For daily updates on the summer camp fun, check out our Camp Lebanon Summer Blog!

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Fishing Grandparents

One of the best things about Camp Lebanon is that people can continue to come back again and again to be a part of the ministry.  Young and old enjoy camp as campers, or as volunteers helping others meet with God and experience the wonder of His creation!

During the summer, our volunteers and staff are vital to the work of Camp Lebanon.  Whether you are a full-time summer staff member, a volunteer in our D3 Program, or a volunteer nurse or fishing grandparent, there is a place for you to come and love on campers every summer (and beyond!).  One of the areas where we need help during Adventurers and Super Kids weeks is out at the fishing docks!  So many kids at that age LOVE to fish.  Either that or are really excited to experience it for the first time.  They need to be taught how to bait a hook, how to practice patience, and then how to take a fish off of their line!  Fishing “grandparents” are such a blessing to us here at Camp, serving as extra hands and experience down on the fishing docks and freeing up counselors and cabin friends to spend time with their campers.

Fishing is just one of the skills that we love to bring into campers’ lives – there’s nothing quite like the reward of waiting and waiting for a bite, and then catching your first sunny off of the dock!  Most of the time campers fish with drop lines by the dock using kitchen scraps as bait.  Sometimes, fishing grandparents take them out on a pontoon to get a little experience with deep water fishing.  It is so fun to see the looks of joy on the faces of campers trying to tame a floppy fish or to catch a glimpse of the Northern that lives under the dock!

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering as a “Fishing Grandparent” up at Camp Lebanon, please contact Rich Olson, our Director of Youth Ministries.  You can email him at rich@camplebanon.org or give the Camp office a call and let us know your interest ( 800.816.1502 )!  More info about volunteering at Camp is available online.

For daily updates on the summer camp fun, check out our Camp Lebanon Summer Blog!

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