week two: refresh.

yesterday and today have been a little tough.

i was talking with keith tonight on my night off though, about how when i look back on the day or the week or the summer, it’s not really those moments of frustration i remember, but rather the overall mood of the week. so after having a wonderful night off, when i look back on today, it’s actually been pretty good. pool time was fun, meals were pretty good, and the clinics went really well today.

kelly and i were in charge of chapel this morning, and it went really well. there was a but of stumbling when we did music, but i definitely still enjoyed it, ultimately the kids didn’t notice, and the skit and wrap up went smoothly. it was based on matthew 25:35-40, where Jesus is telling His disciples the story about the king who thanks some of his subjects for feeding and clothing him, and when they don’t know what he’s talking about, he tells them that whenever they bless those regarded as the least, they bless their king. it was a cool reminder that we’re able to put God first when we put others second (camp lingo. it’s the “i am third” motto: God is first, others are second, and i’m third).

like i said, my night off has been awesome. a small group of us went to a cookout at the duplex, a house that some of the guy staff stay in. we had good food, great conversation, and just some quiet reflection.


it was so great to connect with these awesome people that i see every day, but only in the context of passing each other while singing crazy songs or waving to each other across the main field. i learned some things about people that i never knew before, and it was so encouraging and refreshing. 

plus there was amazing food. and who can pass that up?

i have to head back to the riv soon (more camp lingo… river village. get on my level.) so i think i’ll just make the rest of this a flood of pictures.


i love boys that marvel at huge ant clusters and beg me to take pictures of them pointing to it. i love intense games of gaga, especially when they bring out the hidden athlete in people. including counselors. i love how everything in camp is a big deal.

i love singing the birthday song during lunch. especially to counselors. happy birthday liz!


i love when kids make silly faces. i love group pictures, and watching as kids realize it’s okay to be crazy, especially at camp! i love obstacle courses and making new friends and watching the miami gentlemen turn into miami husbands (their decision, not mine). i love watching a ten-year-old boy make friends with a ten-year-old girl.


i love watching boys get really excited about holding chickens and bunnies. i love watching eric, one of our village directors, interact with kids. i love half smiles and curious expressions. i love young kids who have sharp wit and a dry sense of humor. i love hearing kids try to speak in a british accent when they talk about being gentlemen.

i love that the highlight of one of my camper’s days was playing football with hugo.

i love unexpected conversations with friends in the last fifteen minutes of our night off.

i love the walk in the pitch black darkness back down to the riv.

i love the way the trees open up halfway through the path and you can see the stars.

i love when nights off are really, really refreshing.

and i’m thankful for all of it.


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4 thoughts on “week two: refresh.

  1. Nina says:

    Hey Brad! Well you will probably think I am crazy for leaving this comment and for I have read all of those last posts on your blog, though I don’t know you. But don’t worry… I am not dangerous at all. And I explain… I am friends with Hugo, Thais, Fendler and Fabiano (brazilian counselors at camp this year) and also with Gus and Alfred and as I accidentally came to your website I felt so happy I got to know Hugo is doing great. But what makes me leave this comment is actually that I loved to know he has you as a partner, because you seem to be a very nice guy, who involves God and your faith in everything you do. Reading to your blog also encouraged me to choose three things on my day to be thankfull for and I wrote them on my diary. Finding out your blog was one of the three things I was thankfull for yesterday 🙂

    • Alfredo says:

      I loved reading your comment on this website. It’s crazy how good words have an impact in our lives, no matter who they come from.
      I’m sure you and Brad would be good friends too, so get in the team that is trying to bring him to Brazil. Haha.

      See, Brad? Your brazilian community is getting bigger. Come visit us!

      (PS: I know your mom is following this blog so it’s kinda a way to touch her heart and let you come! Haha)

  2. Mom says:

    Oh Brad… This resonates w me…. We have SOO much to be grateful for, and I love seeing how you see, and are grateful for, all of the “little things” that God blesses us with! 🙂 They are too numerous to count!! 🙂 Camp is hard, exhausting work. But oftentimes it’s because of that, that they are such a blessing!
    I will continue to pray for you; for adequate rest, good health, and continued love and appreciation for all God gives you this summer! I love you so much! Keep posting! I love reading them! xxoo 🙂

  3. Jessica Hill says:

    I’m glad you are doing so well and you know how ESSENTIAL days off are! But don’t forget, you work hard in the school year, too. And you need some nights and days off during that time too. So, the real test will be if you can give yourself time off without it being scheduled.

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