My favorite part of everyday here at camp is fireside and jumpstart. For one, singing camp songs is an excuse to be silly, not caring what other people think. Then the motions are incredibly fun and slightly ridiculous. Doing this together in a group breaks down barriers and provides the way for a shared experience even if it’s as simple as clapping hands with someone (or Dew the dog!). At the same time, the words are significant to our walk with God and “acting” them out while singing is a good reminder of things like how Jesus washes our sins away or, as in “Pharaoh Pharaoh,” a bible story that demonstrates God’s power. That’s not to say that some get distracted by other details…
Archive for the ‘BBSee’ Category
This week I decided to investigate the topic of camp songs one step further with this older age group. I got so many votes for the song Waterfall that I had to divide this clip up into two segments, slow and upbeat. Here is a clip about Waterfall and Light the Fire (also two of MY favorites here). Many campers just said the name of the song and when I asked them why, they said “I don’t know” or “just because.” I challenged them whether or not they had really thought about the words… were they at all meaningful to them? Some admitted they had not considered them and I encouraged them to really think about what they were singing. When I sing these songs I close my eyes so I’m not performing for anyone else, picture each word in my head and then sing them as a prayer to God. I was encouraged to hear several of the campers experienced these songs similarly.
Here’s a sampling of this week!
I took a couple weeks off from creating this segment and I forgot just how much I love it. For one, it really says something that has lasting value, it speaks to the core of the mission of this camp. However, I also really love creating these clips because I learn so much from the process. The things the campers say are good reminders for my own life and I am let in to see what has really been taking place in their minds and hearts over the week. I often get discouraged because the fruit of presenting God to these kids is not always immediately evident. Sometimes we have to be content with the possibility of having started a spark. Intentionally questioning the campers about God and Jesus provides a way to see some campers who are really beginning to know their creator. Hearing their beliefs and words of faith is beautiful.
Although I decided not to include repeat answers in the clip, I would like to point out that numerous campers replied with “God knows more about us than we know about ourselves.” Although this is something that I already knew, it’s something I constantly forget to live cognizant of. Going along with that, another important concept that was brought up this week was how we tend to “focus on that tiny thing that went wrong, but God sees the whole picture and it’s really beautiful.” So often I often try to plan for something in the future, like college or a job for the summer. I think I know best what I would like to do (etc.) and so I get upset when what I tried to put together falls through or turns out differently than I had envisioned. Yet every time when God opens a door and says “follow me”, I look back and realize God placed me right where I needed to be, in a place my heart desired even though I wasn’t aware. What an awesome God we serve.
Here is a sampling of everything from chilling on the playground, to singing songs, group games, cooperation activities and the mud pit.
This question has been on my list of potential questions all summer. Yet I never decided to test it out until this week. I think for one I was afraid of getting strange looks and the kids not having an answer. Although that did happen and at moments I felt a little dumb trying to explain what I meant by this, I think the result was worth it. For one, I wanted to know how they feel when they are at camp; how this community creates a unique environment of love. It was encouraging to hear some of them say God was part of that feeling. Surrounded seems to be an important word here. The campers expressed feeling loved because how they were surrounded by God, friends and counselors that “feel for them”. So not only are the people around them supporting them and loving them, they are coming along side them and identifying with their pain and joys. And how neat that this occurs in the time of a week. That must be God within us.
This week there were a lot of archery lovers so I decided to shadow the archery interest group one day to see what the excitement was all about. Although there were many failed attempts to hit the target, the campers still thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were able to laugh at themselves when the arrow, for instance, bounced off the target. Personally, I would have gotten upset that I was not succeeding in the purpose of archery and stubbornly tried again and again until I did succeed. Although this was also true of some campers and is necessary for improvement, I think I learned something from their ability to give themselves grace, take joy in trying and not feel the need to perform. In addition, the polar bear swim was mentioned as a favorite for the first time and sleeping out, as well as just camping in the shelters, seems to be a big part of the campers’ experience.
This week I decided to change up “Why Camp?” by focusing it with a few different questions. For the ones who have been here before I wanted to know for how many years and then what keeps them coming back. For all the first timers, and there were a lot this week, I asked what they were most looking forward to experiencing. I received a variety of answers, however I noticed by approaching the question this way (hmm there’s a whole psychology to this interviewing thing) that instead of focusing on activities a lot of them mentioned friends and counselors as the reason for them to come here. I have been learning this summer just how much people and, in the case of camp, their hearts after God, make a place what it is. It is my hope that the campers recognize this, that all the fun things we do don’t get in the way of them investing in people and discovering God.
Several campers while I was interviewing them about other things this week mentioned their favorite camp song. So, I decided it would be neat to take a pole by cabin and have them sing part of the camp song they chose as their favorite. Just about every cabin immediately shouted Pharaoh Pharaoh so I constructed this song by having each cabin sing a different part. Another favorite that we sung quite a bit this week was God is a Good God. Although the counselors gave a valiant effort to perform this song for me, these 6-8 year olds had a little trouble focusing for very long. However, I appreciated the added touches that their distraction produced- rolling on the ground and peace signs to name a few. It was also neat to see them looking to their counselor at several points to see what they were doing and then mimicking their actions.
Favorite Activities from this week! Firsts for frog catching and just plain swimming! I love the pleasure they take in the simple things.