“this is the humpback whales. we need a fake nurse for a fake injury from the zombie apocalypse.”

guys. the past three days… so much. it feels like a full three weeks since the last time i wrote. each day is filled with a crazy amount of wonderful things. i wake up tired and drop into my bed like a rock that night. each day that passes feels like God is just heaping another scoop of blessings into my cup that is already overflowing.

is that a weird word picture? regardless, it feels appropriate.

even though i missed bring at new life, sunday was still full of things that pointed me straight to Jesus. it’s my favorite day of staff training week: the day when we travel all over the beautiful campground, hiking all the trails and taking in all of the gorgeous nature camp has to offer.

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there is no other setting in which i feel the presence of God more than in unbridled nature, particularly the forest. what a cool way to spend the Lord’s day, hiking around and worshiping Him for His creativity.

my group started off the tour at the beautiful buffalo lady statue. naturally, it was a moment to commemorate.

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keith, our awesome guide, led us to the teambuilding activities first. after learning each others’ names and what color toothpaste we all used, we had to cross a lava pit (more common at camp than you’d think) on large cables, helping each other across. it’s one of my favorites, because i think it helps to emphasize the component of others’ insecurities in the midst of working together. there was lots of encouragement, lots of beasting the lava pit, and we moved on to others.

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before leaving the teambuilding course, we also had to balance on a large seesaw without letting it touch the ground more than twice. definitely an exercise in patience and listening to others. i tend to rush into things when i think i have the answer, and it’s always so good to be reminded that that’s just not how camp works.

we took some time to just hang out at the creek. i‘m a fan.

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this is definitely something i’ll be doing a lot of this summer with my guys. tom told us this week that the average american child gets an average of six to seven minutes of unstructured play time a day.

six to seven minutes. that is insane. and very sad. i’m excited to provide tons of opportunities this summer for my campers to experience and love all the beautiful nature that God has created. the best part is that i don’t have to come up with some really complicated activity. the guys will have a blast just exploring the creek, searching for bugs and making pet rocks and taking in all the green.

we were trekking across camp for four hours. it was fantastic. we learned how to set up a sleep-out spot in the south pasture (with the help of our handy pocket manuals, a brilliant new addition this summer).

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we played exciting new games to occupy our time waiting and pretended to be rocks when other groups passed us. we had feats of strength and spent lots of time smiling and laughing. that happens a lot at camp.

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our perfect day was topped off perfectly with some hobo dinners in the pine forest, my favorite place in camp.

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like i said, it’s my favorite day of training week, hands down.

it was capped off with a great devotion. the guys in mine and pippin’s cabin are really into being open and vulnerable, which is pretty rare within the first few days. God is seriously blessing conversation. guys are sharing their struggles, their thoughts, their lives with each other. so basically God’s answering prayer over and over.

monday was a blur. michael brandwein came to talk to us about techniques of counseling kids. there are always great things to take away, and i got a bunch of great notes that i’ll be looking back on throughout the summer.

the rest of the day was filled with float trips, lessons in sassy speed-walking and california dodgeball, and choosing which clinics we might want to do for the summer. they’re introducing a duct tape clinic in river village, so… i mean of course i’m doing that one.

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but it was that evening that held the most weight. that was when kellie, me, and all the other coords met up with the leadership staff to decide who would be in which units and who their partners and cabins would be. we knew who we wanted, but there was no way to know for sure what would happen.

long story short (took us til three in the morning), i was super pleased with the result. we had good discussion, and it took a while, but we all left confident that the placement had worked perfectly. camp this year… camp is going to rock. and it’s because each of the units is stacked. typically it’s just one or two… but not this summer. i can’t wait.

also kids are are here in five days. so.

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