week seven: secret handshakes.

well. this has been a great few day so far.

over the weekend, i got to see andrew. he and his dad came down to visit the camp, and we went out for lunch (i introduced them to mitchells, a 7×11-foot mexican food place) and then explored delphi (mr. seever introduced me to the canal museum, which was actually really awesome. we got to see a bunch of cool stuff, and i kind of felt like a kid again). it was great to catch up with andrew and find out all the cool stuff that’s happening in his life. we agreed to get lunch many, many times this year at ball state.


i love going to staff meetings on sundays. it’s so awesome to meet back up with all these people, talk about life, and then get back into the swing of things almost immediately, getting info on our kids, passing out lake tanks and chlorine club awards, updating ourselves on important notes, and reading parent evaluations. it’s such an encouraging, uplifting, and energetic atmosphere. seeing the sea of blue shirts always brings a flood of warm memories and feelings.

this week’s cabin decided that they were going to be mine and hugo’s best week ever. and so far, they’ve been great. they’re really loud and have a tough time quieting down when we ask, but they’re so full of life and energy, and every single one of them is 100% into camp. as a counselor, it’s so awesome to watch these kids make friends and be excited about and for each other. it’s so fun as a counselor to watch it all happen.

note the duck lips on the boy in the bottom right. it’s an oddly recurring theme in the pictures this week.

they wanted to spell a word. this is “hello”, obviously. can’t you see it? the guy on the very left is the period, i think.

so far we’ve done a bunch of things. we did lake time on monday (where i got to hang out with one of the boys in my riflery clinic, adam), followed by a trip to the minifarm. i will never get over how fascinated young boys are by rabbits. young boys and brazilian partners, that is. hugo asked me to take three or four pictures of him with the bunny.

something i’ve especially loved to watch this week is how much the guys love jack, our daycamp counselor.


(for that first picture i told them to pose as if they had just rolled out of bed. which they had, essentially.)

jack is an amazing guy. last night he led an incredible devotion about how we can all be superheros (by being merciful, loving justice, and being humble, and helping those in need), and how God talks to us about this in the book of micah. he asked some really great questions, and the kids loved it. i really appreciated it, because it’s the first time i’ve heard someone else give a devo all summer (since i’m off when hugo leads his). i was encouraged and refreshed. plus today the guys were helping others during dodgeball, and one of our other campers pointed it out that they were being a superhero. it was great.

after pool time today, we had pop stop, and ian and i came up with a secret handshake. hes a great kid, and even though it’s his first week, he’s really loving it. he also loves to take pictures of things like trading post.


i love watching hugo stop the entire cabin so he can get a picture. hugo, more than anyone i’ve really watched, is just thrilled that he gets to work here. many, many counselors absolutely love their job, but hugo’s one of the few that revels in it. everything about it makes him so happy, and i love that i get to be his partner and experience it with him.

after pop stop we were going to go to the ghost cabin, but we ran out of time so we just went to the wolves’ den instead. they loved it, and i promised to tell them the whole (absolutely factual) story during rest hour (because they were way, waaaaayy to wound up to listen today. some days are just like that). hugo, of course, took a million more pictures.

after that, we went back and played simon says on fort disco. i’m not bragging, but i did win every time. as simon. our other activity before dinner tonight was dodgeball. it was lots of fun. what i really want to share are these pictures of a girl (from the youngest girls’ cabin) we played with who was wearing a beautiful gown. for dodgeball. it was precious.


we had a blast.

now i’m sitting in tom and katrina’s house, relaxing after a wonderful meal and a rejuvinating bible study. we talked about greed, and how it shows up in so many areas of our lives. i was struck by two things: first, greed doesn’t have to be connected to action. you don’t have to steal things to be greedy. you just have to be discontent all the time. second, you can be greedy for more than just material things. i find myself being greedy all the time for others’ high esteem and words of praise. it was both embarrassing and good to become more fully aware of the scope of greed in my life.

tuesday nights are always full of fun and fellowship.



and great food.

now it’s time for a walmart run to get stuff for my secret buddy! just another reason these last three weeks are going to rock!

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3 thoughts on “week seven: secret handshakes.

  1. Mom says:

    What a fabulous post!!! You were made for this Brad! I’m so thankful for God’s grace in your life. xxoo

  2. Brad, sounds like such an awesome experience! Those kids are so blessed to have you as a counselor! 🙂 Loved reading about it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jessica Hill says:

    So glad you’re having a great week! I’m also really thankful that still, even after working there almost a full second summer, you are still seeing new things because of Hugo and campers. You still have fresh eyes. Neat, huh?

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