Thursday, July 16, 2015

First Kids Camp 2015

First Kids Camp is always fun, exhausting and one giant whirlwind of activity.  It's hard to believe, but this was my fifth year to go as a counselor.  That's how long we've been at our church now.  I still can't believe after being there for just over one month, I jumped in and went as a counselor so fast, but I made friends quickly by doing that.  That will be my advice for this post~if you want friends at your church, get involved and serve!  Nothing will make you bond with someone faster than that.

We left our church at 4:30 and arrived at The Country Place at five.  We got our cabin assignments and went to unpack.  Dinner was at six each night, and before we ate every meal, we had to sing for our food.  :)  Here's the fifth grade girls from cabin 5B.

Left to right are Rebekah, Taylor, Grace, Madelyn, Hannah and Shea.  And that's our cabin.

One of my cabin mates was Laurie, another friend Lindsey, and one of the girls from our Bible fellowship class, Eden.

One of the most fun parts of camp as an adult is hanging out with sweet friends, like this one above, and this one below.

This guy is someone our family loves to pieces!  Mike helped out with the technical things and came all three nights.

We were really excited over his being there with us.  He doesn't go to our church anymore, but we still consider him a part of our church family.  :)

On the first night after dinner, we had a camp meeting at seven, then snack, then late night, which was Minute 2 Win It.

In the mornings, breakfast was at eight and morning watch was at nine.  There's this beautiful amphitheater by the lake where we meet each year.  It's one of my most favorite parts of camp.  Austin provides the passage for them to read in the Bible in their camp folders, and then we break off and have quiet time.

After morning watch, we went back to our cabins for half an hour, then we would meet back in The Big Room, where we had all our meetings and services.  Creative track came next.  The kids are given choices for this: puppet team, drama team, sign language team, creative movement team or craft team.  On the last night of camp, back at our church, they would showcase what they learned throughout the week.  After that was snack again (we eat constantly at camp), then Bible study time.

Bible study time always begins with lost and found items~for the kids to gain possession of them again, they have to do the hokey pokey on stage.  It's fun and loud and they love it.

We would meet and watch a video leading up to our Bible study discussion, then break off into our small groups.  After this was lunch, Siesta (!!!), then swim/canoe time.  Snack followed again at three, then more swim/canoe time, then back to cabins at 4:30 to clean up for the afternoon and evening activities.  We had another Bible study time at five, then dinner at six, then it starts back to where I started at the top of this post.

See what I mean, by this being a whirlwind?  Austin keeps us so busy that none of us ever have the time to be tired!

Here are some more pictures from the week.

Weston and Noah were a part of the technical team.  This team of students worked like dogs to set up and tear down repeatedly the whole time we were at camp.  I was so proud of them all!

This is Holly.  We were so tired when she took this!  I was really sunburned too, thanks to not rubbing in my sunscreen well enough.  :/

During snack times, all the kids would go play basketball.  This is just a few of them.

Eden and Hannah getting her hair braided one day during the line for one of the meals.

On Tuesday, we had the mud slide and shaving cream war.

Pictured above is our pastor, Brother Chuck.  I don't know of many pastors who would come and hang out with us all week at camp, but he did.  He ate with us, preached at the services each night and stayed overnight in one of the nicer cabins with his wife and granddaughter.  We love our church family so much!  This is a huge part of why that is so.

Also on Tuesday, after the night service, is skit night.  The cabins each come up with a skit and perform in front of judges and campers.  This is always a fun and crazy night.

Katie and Emma, the M&M eating minion.

On Wednesday we leave camp at 4:30 and arrive back at our church by five.  We eat dinner with the families of the campers, then have a giant, end-of-camp service in the main sanctuary.  We worship, the kids perform and our pastor preaches one last time.

Now that is a sweet group of boys!  We had so much fun going as counselors this year.  We are always ready to be back home by Wednesday night, though, and spend the next day doing absolutely nothing.  Well, nothing much more than laundry.

I love our church family so much!  I know I have already said that, but it's true.  Our church is different than a lot of churches in that we don't have a weekly kids service, and we don't have vacation Bible school.  We have "family worship" each week, and the kids are a huge part of each service.  Our pastoral staff does an amazing job of providing parents with what we need to disciple our own kids.  And instead of doing VBS, we take Bible clubs to the streets of our neighborhood and invite them to our yards to talk about Jesus.  More unsaved are reached by doing this, and each year the response is incredible.  I feel fortunate to be a part of a church that is so much more than just a church~it's a place for us to go and filled up and then go out from to take the gospel outside of the walls.

I am so thankful to be a part of this church, and if you are local to me and don't have a church home, you should consider mine.  I would love to have you.

Thanks for reading yet another long and drawn out camp post.  :)

Love to all.

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