week three: corn snakes.

let me share with you how i woke up this morning.

i’d had a restless night, because i officially have pink eye in both eyes and there was a sort of hesitation to fall asleep because i knew i’d wake up with my eyelids glued together. there had also been a massive thunderstorm, and while i love rain and thunder and the end of droughts and dust storms, one of the boys was scared and woke me up to talk to me for a little bit. it was sweet and i was glad that he had woken me, but i just didn’t get a whole lot of sleep.

anyway, i was gently shaken awake by one of my guys at around six in the morning. our conversation went roughly as follows:

“brad… brad.”
“yeah man… what’s up? everything okay?”
“there’s a corn snake shedding its skin in the bathroom.”

that was not a typo. this guy wasn’t sleep talking either.  he was completely serious, and completely convinced that not just any snake, but a corn snake (which he’d seen for the first time in the nature center on monday night at our sleepout) was not just hanging out in the bathroom, but shedding its skin.

i blinked a few times (or tried to… my left eye was cemented shut) and tried to process this information.

“did you see the snake yourself bud?”
“yeah. it’s in the bathroom.”

i knew the chances of a corn snake getting into our bathroom were slim to none, but i also knew that this was a very important issue for this boy. we got up and walked to the bathroom door, which was shut tight. the guy admitted that he hadn’t actually opened the door, but had seen underneath, through the gap between the floor and the door. i bent down to look, and saw nothing.

“i’m going to open the door now, okay?”
“okay. be careful though.”

i gingerly pushed the door open and we found… nothing. there was nothing on the floor. my guy looked utterly confused. he looked at me blankly, searching for some kind of answer to his predicament. i shrugged.

“sometimes the floor can look like there’s snakes on it. no big deal. how about we go back to bed, okay?”

he seemed satisfied with that. he crawled back into his bunk and i got another hour of sleep before the day officially started.

i’m really going to miss this cabin of boys. it was just such an amazing combination of gentlemen who were respectful, good listeners, and were all about making the most of their camp experience. many of them really, really did not want to go home today.


friday night was awesome this week. we had a great superhero slash cartoon themed dinner, and then afterwards we got to see a performance from the river village drama clinic. they did the tecumseh olympics, and it was hilarious. katie sink has been doing an amazing job planning all these skits, and it’s so easy to see that the kids have a blast. one of my favorite campers from last year was in the skit, and he did a fantastic job!

after the skit, we ran back to the cabin to throw on our orange brave shirts and head over to closing campfire. since we had some extra time, we decided to throw a dance party. no big deal.


it was really tough to say goodbye to all the guys this week. hugo and i were talking about how next week will definitely be interesting because since this week was so great, it might be hard to live up to. but i was thinking today about how each week has its own personality. even if no other cabin this summer has the same personality as week three did, it still stands to reason that each of the other weeks will be brilliant in their own respect. having the same cabin over and over again would be boring.

and ultimately that’s why i’m a counselor at an awesome place like camp tecumseh. i love it here because i get to interact with a vast scope of kids. they have different backgrounds, different personalities, different struggles and different strengths. all of them are intimately known and loved by an infinite God who made them exactly the way He wanted them to be. and each cabin is a specific combination of personalities and dynamics that God designed to work together for a week in summer 2012. and i get the chance to show each of them that i think they’re awesome… not because of what they do or say, but just because of who they are, and because God thinks they’re pretty awesome too. why would i not want to be a part of something that cool?

i was reminded recently how important it is when we pray to not only make our requests known to God, but also to praise Him for the awesome things He’s doing (and for the tears and the struggles as well). so would you join me in praising our Creator for the way that He is using places like camp to draw kids closer to Him and show them that they are loved no matter how some people might make them feel otherwise? would you join me in thanking Him for the amazing opportunity that we all have to spread this kind of love to those around us? i’m only one minuscule piece of God’s huge plan, and that plan always includes the prayers of His people. it’s so cool to think that when we’re joining in prayer together, we’re working for the combined goal of bringing God’s sovereign design to fruition. not in our own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, by the will of a God who designed things so that our words could somehow be used to bring about His will.

have i mentioned that there are lots of things i love about camp?


i love that kids can be superheros here. i love that on superhero night there are on average about a hundred batmen and batwomen and two hundred supermen and superwomen.

i love that sunglasses give you instant swag, and everyone knows it.


i love seeing more guys from my cabin last summer, even though they’re blazers this year. i love seeing the way they’ve grown up but still think it’s cool to take pictures with their old counselor.

i love having really good conversations and finding out all the amazing things God is doing in the lives of old campers (who really just feel like old friends). i love the feeling that God’s going to use these kids to do amazing things in the world. i love knowing that God’s vision is far beyond anything i could dream up. and i love that God gave me a chance to be a small part of their stories.

i love being part of a place that loves kids and gives them the opportunity to be who they are.

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One thought on “week three: corn snakes.

  1. Jessica Hill says:

    oh NOW i see the pink eye post. okay. my b. also, sorry about your pink eyes dear.

    oh man aren’t you glad that wasn’t a corn snake! you would have had to use your Indiana Jones routine, and I’m not sure how much you’ve been practicing.

    man look how much you’re learning! I can just see you growing closer to God and having these AHA moments! I can SEE it, Brad!!

    man, you’re so brilliant. and you look nice, even if you’re beard is scruffy.

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