Just one more day of Camp…

Believe it or not, we’re in our final 24 hours of our last kids session of the summer… which means it’s time for our last daily update!

We started our Tuesday with the usual polar dip/flag raising/breakfast line-up before going into skills time. We had a good time learning new things like how to read a compass, proper canoeing technique, and the importance of working together as a team!

Skills time was split up by morning chapel, where Nate talked to us about the importance of trusting God. He told us the story of a blind man who was healed by Jesus and how he didn’t have everything figured out but trusted Jesus.

After our second skills session, we had lunch, took a short break for nap time, and saw another installment of the Adventures of Captain Kyper. On Tuesday, she and M4 showed a mean king the error of his ways and taught him kindness!

To kick off free time, we split up into boys and girls to play two big games. The boys played Custer’s Last Stand, a silly camp tradition where guys on staff face off against the boy campers for a tag/dodgeball mash-up, and the girls played The Amazing Space Race, where they ran between many stations as a cabin and tried to finish all the activities first.

During free time, we played carpet ball and nine square, went swimming and boating, and had lots of fun doing tie-dye! Some big dark clouds rolled in near the end of free time and it started to rain, but that didn’t stop us. Luckily, the weather cleared up beautifully for our carnival on The Hub!

In chapel, Nate focused on John 11. He told us the story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and talked about how people who believe in Jesus and trust Him will still physically die, but will have eternal life in Heaven. We also opened up the opportunity for campers to accept Jesus as their Savior!

It’s been a great week. Please, please keep praying for us on our last day of camp for safety, spiritual growth and the funnest fun!

Only one more week?

We can’t believe it’s our last week of the summer, but we’re going to end on a high note! We’ve had a lot of fun so far during Super Kids 4 – here’s what we did on Sunday and Monday…

Sunday

All of us on summer staff were pumped and ready to dive into our last week when campers arrived on Sunday! After the kids checked in, they had the chance to take care of some things like the swim test, camp tour, and settling into cabins. We also had some dinner and heard about the rules for the week.

Next up was chapel! We sang some great songs and met our speaker for the week, Nate! Nate talked about the part of the Bible where Jesus talked about being “born again” and how it’s not a literal rebirth. Throughout the rest of the week, he’ll be talking about our quest for Truth!

After chapel was canteen (yay!) and the staff variety show! We went all out for our last performance of the summer, and by the end of the show, the stage was covered in water and pie – the sign of a classic variety show!


Monday

Monday was our first full-day experience this week, and it was awesome! It started out at 7:40 for the Polar Dip (a chance for an early morning dip in the lake), followed by flag raising and breakfast! When we were done eating, we squished together at the Steps of Faith for the all-camp picture. (After several minutes of silliness, we finally managed to get a good one.)

Our morning was filled up by skills time. Throughout the week, our cabin groups will rotate through six different skills: Outdoor Survival 1 (fires and forts), Outdoor Survival 2 (plants and orienteering), Canoeing, Archery, Space Adventure (where we learn more about stuff related to our space theme), and Team-Building. Our two sessions a day are split up by morning chapel. Yesterday, counselor Kenn talked about the Bible and gave us tips for finding things more easily using the Table of Contents and verse references.

We really worked up an appetite for lunch, but then we definitely needed a nap during Toes Up time… which recharged our energy for the Staff Hunt! After we pushed almost every staff member in the lake, we went straight into free time! There were so many activity options – swimming, boating, crafts, octoball, and zip-line were just a few!

Before dinner, we saw another installment of the Adventures of Captain Kyper. This time, Captain Kyper and M4 rescued the planet Ahecknah from an infestation of giant space spiders!

Our evening was filled out by Free the Hostage (a more-complicated version of Capture the Flag where you have to find two staff members hidden on opposite ends of Camp), canteen, and chapel. Nate talked about searching for Truth in the wrong places and told the story of the woman at the well and how she was looking for life in things other than God.

It’s going to be an awesome week! Please pray that we can all stay safe, have fun, and learn more about God!

Junior High 3: Double Blog Edition

Hey, there! Over the past few days, we’ve braved the Screaming Eagle Zip Line, worked together at the volleyball tournament, fought for victory at the paintball range and tons of other things. We have so much to tell you, so here’s a special double edition of the blog!

TUESDAY

We had gorgeous, sunshine-y weather on our second day of Junior High 3 and plenty of ways to enjoy it! Our morning started off with Polar Dip – our daily dip in the lake before breakfast – and flag raising. After we had time to eat, clean our cabins, and spend time reading the Bible, we moved into our second day of seminars. The Tuesday/Thursday rotation featured topic options like “Finding God in Bacon” (a seminar about different and unique types of worship) and friendship!

We split up again for morning chapel – this time, to talk about the heavy topic of sin, shame and forgiveness. For many of us, it’s hard to feel like we can be pure and whole after deeply struggling with sin, but this chapel was to show us that God’s love and gift of redemption can overcome all sins – and that it doesn’t make sense to not forgive ourselves if God forgives us.

Next up was lunch and the next installment of the Adventures of Captain Kyper! Tuesday’s mission took the crew to the planet M.A.L.K., where they taught a mean, angry king about kindness and invited him to join their team.

It was pretty hot during free time, but the water felt so nice – it was a great day for swimming and boating. We also made some crafts, played some carpet ball, and headed up to the zip line for the first time this week!

Our big event for the day was something that always brings campers closer together – the volleyball tournament! We had four nets set up on the North 40 for the official bracket games, and in the down time between games, cabins could play spike ball, nine square in the air, or run through the sprinkler! Dinner was served up picnic-style out of our new building, The Eagle’s Nest. It was a great evening!

Tuesday was special for a number of reasons, but the most important part of the entire day was evening chapel. Josh showed us another video clip and talked about how he loves the story of redemption shown in the character of Finn, a stormtrooper who runs away from the darkness of the Empire and towards the light. He explained that Finn became aware of what the truth was and came to a place of realizing he needed a reset on his life. In real life, Jesus offers us a reset – a big, immediate, supernatural reset when we choose to follow him. Even after becoming a Christian, there are many things we can ask Jesus to reset – our purpose, our purity, our focus, and so much more. Near the end of Josh’s message, we had a time where he encouraged us to ask for Jesus for a reset. It was incredibly powerful to hear campers and staff reaching out to God in that way, and it opened up the door for many campers to dedicate their lives to following Him!

Please pray that campers would continue to have these important conversations, ask questions, and allow God to work in their lives!

 


WEDNESDAY

The weather was a little wilder on Wednesday, but that just gave us some different activities! Rain forced us inside for flag raising, but let up for most of the day.

We flip-flopped our morning and evening chapel times, so we all gathered together in the morning to listen to Josh in the main hall. Much of the message was a follow-up to what he’d said the night before, and he encouraged us to not forget what happened here, to not let fear and the unknown drown out what happened. He explained that when we ask for a reset, it might not end up feeling like what we “signed up for,” but that following Jesus means you have to change things that are working against the reset you asked for.

Free time had most of the same activities as the day before, but we also had four-way volleyball for our option and had one last opportunity to play paintball! Free time was also a great time to play our ongoing game of Assassins – each cabin received ten clothespins and has to sneakily pin them onto different members of staff. Each staff member is worth a different number of cabin points, but you can also use “power up” pins hidden around Camp to earn even more points!

In evening chapel, we split up into guys and girls like we normally would in the mornings. Girls talked about leadership as women, and the guys talked about brotherhood! After chapel was canteen and our night game – Clue! Campers had to run around the Chalet as a cabin, talking to the characters scattered throughout the building to figure out who kidnapped Rich and why.

Today (Thursday) is our last full day! Please pray that God would continue to keep us safe, give us fun opportunities, and teach us more about Himself.

What a fabulous first day!

People like to complain about Mondays, but our Monday was great! We kicked off our week with a day packed full of fun games, relaxing hang-out time, delicious food and great teaching!

Right after breakfast, we took our weekly camp picture. There are so many campers, so it took a little maneuvering to fit everyone in the frame, but we did it! From picture time, we were dismissed into our first session of Clinics and Seminars. Throughout the week, we’ll learn about prayer, finding our identity in Christ, overcoming the distraction of technology, and much more! There are also two activity-based sessions (clinics) for Ultimate and basketball, and a clinic-seminar hybrid about appreciation God’s creation in nature. Neat! A short break separated that time from morning chapel.

For morning chapel, we split into two groups – guys and girls – so we can talk a little more deeply about things that might be harder to discuss in a mixed group. Both groups talked about what healthy relationships look like, just from different perspectives and covering slightly different subject areas.

After lunch, we watched an installment of The Adventures of Captain Kyper, our summer-long character who is on a quest across the galaxy with her robot pal, M4R1-AH, and then went into free time! We finished our swim tests, splashed around the waterfront, took out boats, played Nine Square in the Air, made crafts… and so much more! It was also the first day for paintball.

In evening chapel, Josh continued his illustration of how in Star Wars, Stormtroopers are stripped of their identity and programmed by their surroundings to be destructive – and tied it in to how our sinful nature and the clamor of the culture around us tries to do the same. He encouraged us to consider what we’re listening to in our lives – media? Other people? – and turn towards God’s voice.

There were two things left between chapel and bedtime – canteen and a night game! We played “Board the Space Craft,” a wild game where the campers try to avoid being tagged by “berserkers,” figure out which door of the Chalet is unlocked, get in and deliver their ticket to the kiosk. The twist? The location of the unlocked door is constantly changing! It was SO much fun!

Please pray that we keep having the funnest fun, stay safe, and have open hearts to what God wants to teach us!

Super Kids 3: Double Edition

Hello, everyone! Super Kids 3 kicked off two days ago and we’ve already had SO much fun! Here’s a look at what we’ve been doing…

Sunday

Everyone arrived on Sunday, pumped for a great week! We went through our usual first-day activities – check-in, swim tests, meeting our counselors and cabin mates – and then went to dinner line-up, where we made up cabin cheers to show everyone else. Dinner was a pizza picnic! After hearing rules and hanging out as a cabin, we all crowded into the chapel to watch the beloved annual Staff Variety show!

Our speaker for the week is Jay, the Kids Ministry Director at Westwood Church. On Sunday night, he talked about how God created us to be curious – how it’s that curiosity that makes us fascinated with outer space and yearn to know why and how we got here. Sometimes (often times), we look in the wrong place. This week, we’re going to talk about our quest for Truth!


Monday

Our first full day of camp was rainy off-and-on, but we still had a great time. To start the day, we practiced our Bible verses and danced our sleepiness away with Joel! After that, we had breakfast and took our all-camp picture – you’ll see it at the end of the week.

The typical Super Kids morning is spent mostly on Skills time. There are six different skill stations that each cabin will get to see at some point during the week: Outdoor Survival 1 (Fires and Forts), Outdoor Survival 2 (Plants and Orienteering), Canoeing, Archery, Team-building and Space Adventure (where they learn more about space). Between the two skill times is morning chapel! Yesterday, Bobber Bill talked to us about capital “T” Truth and how God wants us to know that Truth.

After lunch time, we had Toes Up (nap time), mail call, and the big afternoon game: the Staff Hunt! Counselors and other staff member hid all over main camp, and if a camper found them, they got to push that staff member in the lake! Up next was free time, when we got to go swimming, make crafts, check out the store and go down the zip-line.

Much later in the evening, we had a cabin adventure before playing our night game: Free the Hostage (a more complicated version of Capture the Flag where the “flag” is a staff member hiding in the woods). It was super fun! We also had evening chapel, where Jay talked about how the Bible is God’s “GPS” for us and explained how sin separates us from God… but there’s good news in tonight’s talk!

Thank you so much praying for our campers! Please continue to ask God for safety and lots of fun for these crazy kids!

Senior High Day 2: Peace, Love and the Underground Church

Good morning! Let’s talk about the highlights from yesterday, our first full day of Senior High week!

Unique Meals

Two things separated our meals yesterday from your average Junior High or Super Kids meal. First, we had a leisurely continental breakfast, giving the campers time to head down the dining hall right away or at the last minute before flag raising.

Second was our dinner theme: hippie night (in honor of the 2006 “Real Life” summer theme). Fresh flowers from the North 40 brightened the tables (which were lowered, so we were sitting on carpet squares on the floor), staff went all out on costumes, and we had some groovy Jesus music playing over the speakers. Also? The entire menu was vegetarian!

The Adventures of Xenon and M4

In the next installment of the saga that started on Sunday, we followed Xenon to the planets Ah-hecknah and M.A.L.K. on the desperate search for her missing father, the leader of Dark, Inc. (Throwback, anyone?)

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Xenon angrily questioned the peaceful people of planet M.A.L.K. about the whereabouts of her father.

The robot M4R14-H tried to stop her rampage, but in vain – Xenon left both planets in a state of absolute chaos and destruction. What will happen next… and how will this angry villain become our beloved Captain Kyper?

Spiritual Nourishment

We have lots of opportunities to learn more about God and grow in our faith here at Camp! A few places we could experience that yesterday were during our morning TAG time (quiet time where we read the Bible), clinics and seminars time (which covered various topics including prayer and identity in Christ), and chapel!

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It’s fun to let loose and go crazy during throwback songs!

In morning chapel, we had a visitor named Devon from Reign Ministries. Devon talked about his experiences on the mission field and told us more about the mission trips and discipleship program available to students through Reign. He also talked about the importance of missions and how it can change the world!

Last night, Gretchen talked about how if we want to find something, we have to know what we’re looking for – if we want to seek God, we have to know what He’s like. She told us that our God is a relational God, that he wants to seek us out and wants us to know Him. “My prayer,” Gretchen said, “is that you would understand that God loves you to the point of dying for you.” Wow!

Underground

If you would have looked at the schedule last night, it would have seemed like we had a nice, early bed time… until we got back to our cabins and found a secret message! It directed all of us to dress in dark clothes and head back to the chapel for a surprise night game called Underground. Illustrating the spread of the Gospel in hostile countries, campers had to sneak around Camp to find the Underground Church. To find the Church, they had to learn a secret handshake (call and response) to determine whether it was safe to communicate with the non-counseling staff members scattered around Camp. If the staff member knew the response to the handshake, they were a member of the Church and could give them hints about the location of the Church; if they didn’t know, they were “Deceivers” and could send the campers to jail!

It was a good day! Please pray that we’ll keep having fun, staying safe, and growing closer to God!

More than halfway!

Good morning! We had a great day yesterday, especially at the carnival!

Our day started with the usual schedule – wake up bell, polar dip and flag raising. After a wonderful breakfast, we headed back to our cabins to clean for cabin inspection. The more stars we get, the more cabin points we get, so it’s really important that we impress the nurses with our cleaning skills! When the bell rang, we went back to the Steps of Faith to get dismissed for the first skills session.

In morning chapel, Kenn, the counselor of Canada, talked to us about the Bible and how to use it – how to understand references and how to find passages faster. It really helped us later that night when Frank timed  us on how fast we could find a verse he was talking about!

After chapel, we had our second skills session and lunch, then saw a new installment of the Adventures of Captain Kyper on the waterfront – this time, to the planet MALK, where a mean king rules over his subjects. Once the skit was over, we got our mail and took a nap for Toes Up.

Our big daytime game was split up between boys and girls. The boys went down to the lower field for their annual game of Custer’s Last Stand, a… confusing and extreme game of tag/dodgeball that pits counselors against campers. (Spoiler alert: the campers always win.) Meanwhile, the girls played Space Race, a team relay game where they run between stations and do team-building activities. It was super fun!

Afterwards, we went straight into free time. Swimming was, of course, SUPER popular again yesterday, but many campers also went to the craft room to make the craft of the day (an alien headband) with Craft Lady Jenelle.

Here’s another exciting thing – instead of eating dinner down in the dining hall, we made our way up to the North 40 field for a picnic! Then it was time for the carnival! There were so many fun games to play, a slip and slide, and a dunk tank so we could pay tickets to dump a bucket of water over a staff person’s head! The leftover tickets also went towards our cabin points for the week.

At evening chapel, Frank told more of the story and gave us the same invitation given to the Young Traveler – the invitation to become children of the King. It was a chance for kids to dedicate (or re-dedicate) their lives to Jesus! The counselors were so ready and excited to help the campers understand what that means.

Today is our last full day! Please pray that we can all stay hydrated and safe, and have tons of fun!

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!

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!

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