Summer Staff Training Part 2

Hello! It’s Bekah, and I am back to tell you more about what has been going on here at Camp Lebanon to prepare the staff for the summer. It was a long first week, and so much has happened since my last post on Friday!

Saturday, we participated in a day of silence. We spent the majority of the day not talking and fasting. This gave us all time to rest and refocus our minds on God and all of the amazing things He is preparing us for this summer. Some people chose to be alone in the Word and in prayer and some chose to be together in silence. Everyone was able to recharge for the coming week.

At 5:30 on Saturday we gathered for worship so that the first words to come out of our mouths would be praise to God. It was an amazing experience! After worship, we shared together and had our first meal of the day. Since we didn’t talk during the day, we had testimony time after dinner and that brought our night to an end.

After Sunday morning breakfast we attended Community Covenant Church in Upsala, where we were commissioned as a staff. Our worship team got to lead worship at the church, and we got to meet the staff of Lake Beauty Bible Camp. Later in the week, we will be facing the Lake Beauty staff in a game of ultimate frisbee.

After church and lunch, we helped clean up around camp to prepare for groups to come. We split into groups to clear fallen tree branches and leaves, clean up the beach, and move furniture and set things up.

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We then gathered back as a group to learn and talk about what we will be doing with the kids this summer and to listen to a few more testimonies before dinner.  We later got to participate in a strenuous and chaotic game we like to call “Mighty Mighty Scoop Noodle Challenge.” (Get excited, campers, because you get to play Mighty Mighty all summer long!)

Monday morning we could feel the achy muscles as we went through our morning routine of alone time with God, raising the flag, and having breakfast before we gathered as a group for a learning session.  Our session was led by a mental health professional who gave us insight into caring for campers this summer.

That afternoon, we were assigned to projects around Camp to clean and prepare this space for all the campers who are soon to arrive. It was a challenge working through the sore muscles, but a lot of progress was made.

 

Over dinner, we met with our staff families to come up with a silly skit. We preform these skits for the Junior High groups during mail call. There was lots of laughter filling the amphitheater as presented our ideas, and I can’t wait to see them when they are more fine-tuned.

Tuesday was a normal morning leading up to our testimony time and team time. Counselors were told what cabin they would be in charge of for the summer, and we got some free time to relax.  The lead counselors presented each counselor a cupcake with a flag representing the country that their cabin is named for.

 

Free time turned into fellowship time as staff gathered to talk, play volleyball, and throw a frisbee.

 

Afterwards, we learned about the carnival we will be putting on for the Super Kids groups. We came up with games, chose people to lead and set them up, and made signs for the attractions.

 

After dinner, our staff families were hosted by year-round staff members at their homes.  Sadly, I didn’t get any stories about the other staff family adventures, but my group had a blast.  There was a fire, snacks, a swing set, and a stream in the backyard that immediately peaked interest.

 

After a little exploring, we gathered around the fire to talk and enjoy s’mores. However, the s’more roasting quickly changed into odd food combinations. The boys ended up roasting Starbursts, which they said tasted amazing.

 

We have had a great week so far, and with only a few days left of staff training, we are excitedly looking forward to the campers getting here. I can’t believe how quickly we have grown close as a staff, and I know God is ready to do great things through us for His purpose with all the people we have coming to Camp this summer. Keep following the blog throughout the summer for more fun updates! Thanks for reading, and God bless!

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Meet the 2018 Summer Staff

Summer camps officially start at Camp Lebanon in only 7 days.  Our summer team is in the midst of Staff Training, preparing to welcome over 1500 kids to camp!  Here is your chance to get to know a little about each of them, so that you can keep them and the ministry of Camp Lebanon in your prayers!  #TheFunnestFun #ToVictory!

Fore more from Camp Lebanon this summer, be sure to subscribe to this blog!  Each week, our Photoblogger will be posting daily blog posts and photo updates!  You can see a full album of each camp week, updated daily, on our Facebook page.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for other fun updates, and tag us in your Camp Lebanon posts (you can use the hashtag #TheFunnestFun)!  See you this summer!

Click below to meet the staff!

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Summer Staff Training

Hello! My name is Bekah, and this summer, I will be capturing the story of summer camp through pictures and writing. I am new to Camp Lebanon, and I am very excited to see the work that God does here and share it with all of you.

We are kicking off the summer here at camp with staff training May 28th-June 8th. It is a great way to get the staff together, new and old, to form a unified team as they learn more about camp, their position, and the group of people they get to work with over the coming months. The week started off with a getting-to-know-you session with the new staff followed by free time filled with a very competitive game of Apples to Apples and lots of giggles before heading to the cabins for the night.

Tuesday morning held a delicious breakfast and a Q and A session after going over some policies and guidelines. We were given more free time in which most people enjoyed the lake in kayaks, paddle boats, and the swimming area. The new staff was joined by the returning staff in the afternoon, and after an orientation, we were led on a tour of camp learning old stories and future plans along the way.

We were then divided into our “staff families.” These are groups that spend extra time together to support one another and make deeper connections. The groups spent time to get to know the family members and come up with a silly family name. Afterwards, we reunited as a whole to announce their names and worship followed by lights out.

Wednesday morning, we began adjusting to the camp schedule by getting up at 7:00 AM for time alone with God and raising the flag before breakfast. Following breakfast, there was time set aside for some of the staff members to give their testimonies. This will be going on throughout staff training so that every member will share with the group.

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The rest of the morning was spent learning about procedures and talking about what the summer will look like as a whole and in certain positions. That night, we gathered for worship and chapel time, and afterwards, we all played a night game called “Live Action Mafia.”

Thursday morning began the same as Wednesday, and in the afternoon, we filled out paperwork, learned about Camp Lebanon history, and played a few games.

We were used as guinea pigs to test out new games to play with the campers this year, and it was a lot of fun! The games were also used as an example of how to properly lead an activity and clean up afterwards.

We then got to listen to our Marketing Director talk a little bit about what the marketing team will be doing this summer and how everyone can assist in the effort.

After dinner, we were graciously hosted by our Camp Director and his wife at their home. It was our time to relax after a long day of learning where we played all sorts of games.

There were board games, cards games, dice games, yard games, ping pong, basketball, catch, and some people decided to just talk and relax!

This morning, we again had our time with God, raised the flag, had breakfast, and listened to more testimonies.

Right now, people are working in groups according to their position to practice for the summer. We have lunch coming up soon, and I am looking forward to after lunch when we will run through all of our action songs that we will sing with the kids this summer.

I am so excited to be in this position and have the opportunity to share these things. The summer is going to be an awesome ride, and I hope you all check in on what God is doing here.

Thank you for reading, God bless!

 

What’s NEW in Summer 2018?

There’s so much to be excited about for Summer 2018, and our Director of Youth Ministries just can’t wait to share them with you! Check out this short video.

Spring has been slow in showing up in Minnesota this year, but now that the air is warming up we are getting so excited about all the new things we are bringing to our summer camping ministry.  Now we just need Cedar Lake to unfreeze so we can use the brand new Corcl Boats!

Not only are we introducing a bunch of fun new activities to Camp this summer, but we are hiring a really amazing Summer Staff team!  God is pulling together a great group of college-aged staff who are ready to have The Funnest Fun with campers and to share the love of Jesus.

Keep praying for Camp Lebanon as we gear up for Summer 2018!  There’s still time to register for Youth Camps and Family Camps.  See you soon!

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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.

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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