#nofiltersummer

this is late in coming, but this is also the first time i’ve had to just sit down and write for a long time.

summer means camp. camp means kids and counselors and mid hikes and unit games and baked oatmeal and friends and heat and excitement and love and purpose.

i’m excited for camp.

a few weekends ago all of the river village coordinators and admin staff got together to cast some vision for the summer. it was a blast being at camp again, but it was even cooler to connect with everyone and see just how excited we all are to make this summer the best ever. we’re on the same page about basically everything, which is super encouraging.

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we had a picture scavenger hunt. no big deal. over pizza and cookies and bagels, we talked about goals for ourselves, our coordinator partnership, our unit, and our village. we came up with some awesome new village game ideas (watch out guys… it’s gonna be awesome), talked about ways to improve things from last summer, and just spent time growing closer and laughing and talking late into the night. i am beyond excited that it’s this specific group of people. kellie, matt, chrissy, jamie, lesem, and adam are all people i respect greatly, not only for the way they love campers and make the summer awesome, but also because of the way they treat others with respect and dignity.

river village is going to be a family this year.

did i mention how excited i am about kellie being my fellow coordinator? i’m so excited. her love for the kids, her passion for Jesus, and her humility in working with others means that this summer is going to be amazing. there will be difficult circumstances, because there always are, but both of us are committed to open communication and honest feedback. i’m excited to learn from her, lead with her, and watch together as our unit owns their summer.

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one of the things we did was choose five words that describe the brave unit. they are as follows:

active–

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braves are always moving around. they love doing things. they love doing crazy things. for the most part, especially for boys, the louder and crazier and riskier it is, the better.

passionate–

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when braves decide they love something, they love it. this includes people, clinics, cabin mates, and camp food. it makes it way easier to be excited about everything when ten tiny human beings see the world with such a sense of awe and wonder.

homesick–

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it’s inevitable. braves miss their families. for many, it’s their first time at camp, and their first time being away from the family. the cool part is when they realize that camp is the best place ever. a place to make friends and try new things, a place to be told that they’re important and special. it’s awesome to see a homesick kid become one who doesn’t want to leave at the end of the week.

inquisitive–

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the world of camp is a new and exciting place for braves. they’re exploring who they are and what everything else is and why it is and who put it there and what we’re doing next and what time we’re going to the pool. questions are a way of life. this is awesome, because i think we lose this quality as we grow older. maybe because we think we know the answers, or maybe we’re just too scared to ask. braves don’t have that problem.

impressionable–

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for some reason, braves especially think that their counselors are the best ever. they imitate whatever we do. they believe anything we tell them (did you know that wild boar season starts around week five?) and think that you know everything. this also means that when you tell them that you think they’re one of the coolest people ever, it means a lot. when you make time to listen to them, they notice. everything you do is a big deal for them, which means that regular encouragement is multiplied by ten and specific encouragement makes their day. do i need another reason to work with these kids?

those are just five of the reasons i can’t wait to be at camp. there are at least a billion more. but that’s why i’ll be blogging this summer.

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