Here is a sampling of everything from chilling on the playground, to singing songs, group games, cooperation activities and the mud pit.
Archive for the ‘MyWeek60’ Category
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.
With 6 to 8 year olds this week’s clips produced some interesting answers. My favorite part about this age group is, although they don’t say as much, nothing beats their enthusiasm. For “why camp?” it seemed a lot of campers were influenced by older brothers or sisters. What’s great is that it’s the simple things that excite them like sleeping out in a cabin and the seesaw.
One song we sing here contains the lyrics “we are one in the bond of love”. As I was sorting through an overwhelming number of clips to potentially include in this montage I believe I started humming this song to myself. Then as I started putting clips together I realized this could be a fitting title. The bond, the uniting or binding element here at camp, is love. Everything we do here at camp is motivated out of love and held together by this same condition. I say condition because it is essential to the running of this camp. Love is what doesn’t judge allowing campers to let go in a safe place, it allows for silliness because love doesn’t care what others think and it moves us to be foolish for the kingdom. It provides the way to trust during the cooperation course, and for complete strangers to truly care for each other in the time of a week. It unifies us as His followers
I decided to change it up and dedicate a video segment to camp food. So I began to ask campers what their favorite camp food was. I soon gave up because almost everyone answered baked oatmeal and those who didn’t all said something different that we weren’t having that week which made it impossible to get supportive footage. So I changed my question to “what do you think about baked oatmeal?” After observing absurd excitement over this simple food, I began to question how it all came to be. I figured the best person to explain or at least inform this clip was the cook, Benjamine. Although she didn’t know how it became a camp thing she noted by talking to various people it seemed baked oatmeal is unique to camp and an undeniable favorite. I must say its deliciousness is a bit exaggerated here, but hey this is camp why not go crazy. If you’ve never tried it you’re missing out!
Once again mission impossible was a big favorite this week as well as the pig trough. One of the campers informed me of a method for success with the pig trough…mmm I’ll have to try that. For the first time several campers expressed really enjoying the slip N slide and the best answer, fireside and jumpstart. At last someone who enjoys these times as thoroughly as I do!