Tag Archives: gentlemen games

week four: “my goal is just to have something i say be the title of one of your blog posts.”

week four has historically been fantastic (see here and here and here), and this summer has been no exception. everything was fun, we all made some great connections with the campers, and it was the kind of week where we wished all ten of them were stayovers. just full of blessing and fun. lots of fun.

i mean, just look at these guys. they’re all studs.

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we were set up for success right from the beginning. four of those guys had been in my cabin two years ago, and were some of my favorites of all time. one was the younger brother of a close friend, and another was a camp kid that i’ve known for the past few years. four were ones i’d never met, and every single one of them was awesome.

we did tons of awesome things, like every week. a favorite was once again the minifarm. it’s always a blast seeing the tough guys get really excited about petting baby bunnies. we had a contest to see who could sound most like the pigs, and also took some time to play chicken round up. becca and katherine’s cabins were with us, and becca managed to conquer her (apparently intense) fear of… chickens. we were all very proud of her.

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this week, we brought back a favorite of mine from last year: the gentlemen games! i brought all the guys into the cabin and gathered them in a circle to relay our mission parameters. together, we decided to focus on the blazer girl cabins. we grabbed some sticky notes and markers, mentally prepared for the challenge at hand, and sprinted to the oregon territory. our cover story was that we were on a camp tree photo tour. naturally, we had to get some photos so our story was legit (also, note the ties we wore. we simply told people we were on a gentlemen’s hike).

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we plastered cabin doors with odd complements (e.g. “you’re better than apple pie. and apple pie is my favorite dessert.”), straightened lines of shoes, and organized clotheslines. most of the girls were out of their cabins, but for the last cabin we had to do all these things without being seen or heard by the ladies inside. it was intense, but we managed to accomplish our mission and sneak away unnoticed. win.

since we were working so well together, it was a great week to do the optimist challenge. we paired up with some of the blazer ladies and trekked across it, encouraging each other along the way. there are so many reasons i love this activity. it’s fun and challenging, it forces people to ask for help and encourage each other, and it creates space for leaders to step up. one of my campers had told me a little earlier in the week that he was praying for God to grow him in his leadership skills (so cool. just so cool.), and so i asked him specifically to be setting the example for encouraging his partner and having a positive attitude. he totally did, and we were all really proud of him.

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on wednesday i had the honor of being selected as a safety officer (well, batman did… and he and i are pretty close). it meant that i got a cool fluorescent vest and had the responsibility of making sure that everyone stayed safe. so later that day there was only one thing to do: take safety selfies with everyone. it was a hit. they were some of the safest pictures i’ve ever seen, to be sure.

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another reason this week rocked was that i had the chance to be in an awesome chapel. in the skit, milson keeps getting torn down by people, who tear a piece of his heart each time they hurt him. towards the end, milson starts tearing his own heart because he starts believing the things that people are saying. representing Jesus, i came in and gave him my heart. it was a cool picture of the way that Jesus took on the pain and hurt that should be ours because He loves us so much. and even when there is deep pain, we still have an anchor in our loving God.

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those two photos were taken by ben dehr, one of the camp photographers. he’s pretty awesome and you can look at all of the camp photos here. he also got some sweet pics of the firewors show (you can see them below), because of course the fourth of july happened this week. along with the fireworks show, we had a spectacular theme dinner on friday.

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everyone gets into it, and it’s the best. hands down though, the best part is the relationships that are built here at camp. i love seeing guys, who don’t know each other on sunday when they arrive, leave being best friends. camp just does that. it’s in the dna here.

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so, another week in the books. another week to come. crazy how it all flies by! what a busy, busy, sweet, sweet life.

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week seven: “will they know where to send it if i just write ‘mom and dad’ on the envelope?”

week seven absolutely flew by. it was an amazing time with some amazing campers, and i already miss them so, so much. lots of great things happened with these boys.

on sunday, we decided to dress up for opening campfire as ninja carolers (the week’s theme was christmas in july). we would sneak around and jack would find people without much christmas spirit for us to sing to. the guys loved it.

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clinics for the week were great too. i had mountaineering with becca and liz. we told our campers that we were actually all triplets. it almost backfired when campers started quizzing us on the details of our lives, but we managed to hold it together.

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i got to do peteca again too! i love teaching this clinic with dan. he’s totally made it his own, but is always willing to try new ideas. we thought about bringing it to the lake one day, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. regardless, the kids had a blast, and it was actually our largest peteca clinic yet!

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i got to have one of my campers in it too, so that was great. we got to bond a lot over a few peteca tosses.

peteca is also a wonderful time to see daycamp, who always runs and rambles past us. monday they were covered in green goo, and they screamed whenever we talked about scooby snacks. plus we got to see jaaack! he’s taking pictures for daycamp.

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monday night was time for round 4 of the gentlemen games. we were back in the oregon territory again, but this time we were much more secretive. we made an entire game plan to follow, and even had an alibi… we were only back there to take pictures with different kinds of trees.

naturally, we had to get legitimate pictures with trees in order to back our story up.

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we were spotted a few times, but the boys pulled it off flawlessly (that is to say, they would run giggling to the closest tree and say something like “look! what a beautiful tree to take pictures with!”) and no one suspected us. after a successful night, we spotted an entire cabin made of nothing but trees, so we had to get our final picture with it.

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it’s just so much fun.

we also had a mud slash nature hike that ended at the sand pit. i love the look in my kids’ eyes when they realize that we’re telling them they can just play around in the creek. it’s like we’ve told them we’ve just given them all the ability to fly.

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have i mentioned that the guys were awesome this week? great senses of humor, open and honest conversation, the ability to get serious, a desire to do gentlemanly things all week… it was so cool.

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a few of them especially were the kind of boys that really exemplified the i am third motto. they loved putting other people before themselves, and it just came so naturally to them. they never did it to be praised, but just because it was the right thing to do.

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i got to have some really great conversations this week. conversations about life, about God, about camp. it stinks that none of them were stayovers.

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that one right above is all of them at the lonely post (a meeting place we created), giving me their best sad faces (out of respect for the post’s loneliness).

on the way to my night off on tuesday, i did some surprise picture attacks. everyone managed.

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then i lost my camera until saturday morning, when it showed up in one of my campers’ bunks… he didn’t take it, but i think he found it and then just forgot to tell me about it til saturday. but that’s okay, because it meant that i had it just in time to get pictures of chapel.

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and pictures of saying goodbye. did i mention saturdays are really bittersweet?

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one of my favorites wasn’t even in my cabin, but he’s the kind of person that decides you’re his best friend, and then you are. so we’re best friends. plus, one of my favorite campers ever came to visit me when he picked up his sister! he just hung out with us as other parents picked up their sons. it was so great, and so unexpected. God is good with small blessings like that.

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and just like that, i only have two weeks left. how is that even possible?

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week four: “farting is a gift from God. it helps with digestion.”

let’s talk about how awesome this week has been so far.

it’s been pretty awesome.

started off perfectly, with me seeing ike and tj, identical twins that may or may not be two of my favorite people God has ever created. they’re both such amazing guys. polite and respectful, intelligent, lots of fun to hang out with, and totally invested in all things camp. it’s like the best. this year, they’re in separate cabins, because they wanted to try something new. before they even checked in, they swung by mine and hugo’s cabins to say hi. hugo had (naturally) gotten them brazil shirts, and so i ran and got mine so we could take a matchy-matchy picture.

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it’s bittersweet to see them around this week… i love having them here, but i just want them in my cabin again. then again, that’s one of the cool things about being at camp for a few summers… i have the opportunity to see the way God is growing some of my favorite people on the planet into even more amazing people. that’ll happen regardless of whether they’re in my cabin.

also today their mom mailed two cakes. one was for me and my cabin, the other was for hugo and his. i’m talking 9×13 pan filled with delicious cake. no big deal.

other things that happened on sunday include us getting a new day camp counselor:

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this is awesome for two reasons. first, victor is the bomb. he rocks. the kids are obsessed with him. second, our old dc, jack, is a res counselor this week! i have loved seeing him step so easily into the role. he just doesn’t realize how much of a rockstar he is.

it was also adam’s birthday:

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we all love adam, which means we all had to do the order of the oar for him. like all of us. i think the kids were fine while we were gone. but it was really loud so i might have missed something. i believe in this picture adam was reminding us not to jump because the floor might cave in.

that is a legitimate concern for river lodge. but it’s kind of endearing, in a scary way.

also on sunday was opening campfire. river village attempted to dress as minions from despicable me. i was proud of the miami effort.

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you can see how awesome those guys are from the picture, right? they’re amazing.

there were many awesome things happening for campfire. ottowa came as a deck of cards:

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every now and then they would yell “ottowa shuffle!” and everyone would run around and switch places. the kids absolutely loved it, and it was hilarious to watch.

lake village came as a bunch of people dressed in white things:

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jackie was looking extra lovely that night:

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this week is eval week, which means that i get to spend lots of time talking about how awesome the brave counselors are and then tell them how awesome they are. seriously, i still stand by the fact that our unit is stacked. kellie and i talk about it a lot.

doing evals does mean that i’ve had to spend less time with my kids this week, which has been tough. but praise God that it’s such an amazing cabin, because that means it’s been super easy to connect with them all in spite of the time i’ve had to spend away from them. they’re so awesome.

on tuesday the gentlemen of miami and the ladies of catawaba did some team building up at lake village. we managed, after some really intense brainstorming and lots of loud words, to get all ten guys onto one 2×2 wooden box for long enough to shout the miami cheer. they were beyond proud of themselves, and it was really cool to see which ones became leaders and encouragers and communicators.

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the catawaba ladies also managed it, but they stayed on for an entire verse of twinkle twinkle little star.

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the boys then got to get on the huge see-saw and balance it out with ten of them. then nate jumped on. they kept saying that if he farted it would throw it all off, which may or may not have been true, depending on the day and what nate had eaten recently. fortunately, it all worked out.

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oh man were they excited when they saw this picture.

yesterday we also got the golden toilet seat! i legitimately think this is the cleanest cabin i’ve ever had. i had no doubts we were going to get a perfect score on our cabin when we left that morning. and low and behold, after nate won a round of psychic paper scissors for the tie braker…

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and then yesterday we had another installment of the gentlemen games. we went to the oregon territory this time to get all the lady cabins we missed last week. they were very creative with their complements this time around. here were some of my favorites:

“you smell better than a pile of roses.”
“i like you better than cheese.”
“you smell better than peach perfume.”
“you have nice shoes and a nice clothesline.”

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one guy has been super quiet and timid all week. but the moment we started crawling around (we were gentlemen ninjas, and since gentlemen don’t do nice things to be recognized for them, we tried not to be seen by anyone as we did this), he lit up and started spouting off brilliant ideas for creative complements. i had never seen him so animated as he was when he was straightening shoes and clotheslines. it was the best ever.

we also made nice signs for the kitchen staff and nurses, and since we were presenting them in person, we had to have moustaches.

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naturally.

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