So many Junior High campers!

Good morning/afternoon! Our first evening of Junior High 3 was a blast – and we still have four more days! Here’s a little bit about how we started the week…

The summer’s last Junior High session started, of course, with check-in and meeting our counselors. For a few hours, we had had time to settle into our cabins, take our swim tests, and just hang out. Many campers flocked to Octoball, which suddenly seems a lot more crowded when the session is this big!

Just before dinner, we gathered as a group to create cabin cheers and meet the other counselors. Dinner was a delicious picnic of pizza, salad, and brownies! After dinner, we got a camp tour, learned the rules, and had canteen.

At evening chapel, we met our speaker for the week: Josh Keller, a youth pastor from Litchfield. He talked about how our culture is changing – and to illustrate that, we played “Name That Tune” with songs from the past 15 years. It was super fun! He also set up for what he’ll talk about the rest of the week by talking about how what’s around us impacts what we seek after.

The last part of our night was the staff Variety Show, which included skits we’ve seen in the past as well as new material! So fun. Afterwards, we headed off to devos and bed so we could be ready for another great day today.

Please pray that we would all have a fun, safe week, and that we would see God work in amazing ways in the lives of these campers!

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!

It’s time for Senior High!

We’ve been counting down the days to the biggest, craziest week of the summer, and it’s finally here – Senior High week has begun!

We go all-out to give our senior high students the best experience for their last few years of being campers, which means we’re shaking up a few things for this week (and this week only). Here’s what we’re changing…

  1. Cabin Names. We all know and love the international cabin names, but this week, campers got the chance to rename their cabin for the week! A few notable names: Denmark renamed itself “Bobber Bill” in tribute to our awesome camp director, China adopted a tech theme when it renamed itself “404 Error: Cabin Name Not Found,” and Haiti and Pakistan coordinated names to represent their bro-sis bond. Haiti (a boy cabin) named itself “Sis Cabin” and Pakistan named itself “Bro Cabin.”
  2. Bro-Sis-Sis Teams. This week, groups of guy and girl cabins will join forces for a variety of activities that will earn them cabin points. The biggest event? The Competition.
  3. The Competition. In the past, teams have created short films, human music videos, and camp-wide game ideas as part of the week-long competition. This year, teams will compete to make the best parody video for a randomly selected song. Songs drawn from the hat included “Just Can’t Wait to be King” from The Lion King, “Good Morning” by Mandisa, and “Jesus Freak” by dc Talk. Lyrics are due Tuesday and filming starts on Wednesday!
  4. Dinner Themes. Each night, the dining hall will be transformed to fit a different theme, complete with staff in costumes, special menus, and fun decorations! Last night’s dinner theme was “Jimbo’s Roadkill Cafe,” a picnic based on the 2009 Road Trip summer theme.
  5. Special Events. We’re going to shake up the schedule with some Senior High exclusive events scattered throughout the week. It’s a secret for now!

Anyway, most of what we did yesterday related to one or more of those things! We met our teams, started on our parodies, and just got to hang out with other campers. Last night, we also got to meet our (super funny) speaker for the week, Gretchen Luedtke. She talked about what she’ll cover this week, introduced herself, got to know us better, and prayed that we would go deep in our exploration of faith this week.

We’re going to have a great time! Please pray that we’d stay safe and (as Gretchen said) that we’d be able to connect with God on a deeper level this week!

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.