Tag Archives: sleepout

week one: “…and my high was knowing that we have a whole week more of this stuff.”

oh guys. camp is wonderful.

i apologize for not updating until now. that’s pretty unusual. typically i post twice a week or so, but there were a few things that kept me. my camera broke, i had an unexpectedly long nap in the nurse’s station, and i was actually unable to use my computer all of last week. also my wordpress media upgrade (which allows me to post pictures) expired. so no new pictures until that gets worked out (i’m really sorry and sad about that). but this is my week one post. and i’m so excited to finally update you all!

because guys. it was wonderful.

first, my partner matty is just the best. i seriously could not have asked God for a better partner. he’s a natural counselor. so many times throughout week 1 i got to see him loving our kids so well. he’s patient with them, he takes them seriously, and he makes them feel valuable. plus, he really looks out for me. we tag-team really well, and i know i can rely on him. i can’t wait to see where peoria cabin ends up by the end of the summer.

second, my cabin was just the best. matty and i are wanting to be really intentional about creating a culture in which our guys are expected to be gentlemen, and see themselves as such. this is great, because we can tell them that as blazers, they’re blazing the trail for younger campers, and even older ones. they have the opportunity to lead by example and be third.

our week one guys were all over it. they were so excited to get out there and be gentlemen. more than any other week i’ve experienced at camp, our guys were encouraging each other when they saw behavior that exemplified the i-am-third motto. they called each other out for being example-setters, and each of them looked for ways to put others in front of themselves. it was the best ever. these guys are a bit older than braves, too, and i’ve noticed that they’re much more interested in having deeper conversations. i have an action bible (it’s the comic book translation) that has absolutely captivated their attention. there wasn’t a single rest hour that it wasn’t being read by one of the guys. it led to some sweet conversations (and by that i mean that God used to to lead to some sweet conversations) about idolatry, the reason that Jesus didn’t save Himself from the cross, and why we can’t earn our way to heaven. seriously. i was blown away. God was very obviously answering my prayers to provide opportunities for such conversations.

finally, the week itself was just awesome. one of my favorite times was our hammock sleepout in the pine forest. peoria joined up with our brother cabin, potters, and did some s’mores and games. we did a joint devotion on fear and how God is with us all the time (some of the guys were a bit freaked out by the dark forest around us), and then went to bed. it was so peaceful, listening to the sounds of the forest and looking up at the stars while rocking lightly in the hammock. one of those times when it’s easy to recognize God’s blessings.

so i would love it if you would take some time to praise God with me for all the cool stuff He’s doing here. camp is as amazing as ever, and He is as faithful as ever.

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training week: “you’re a poop head!” “that’s a put-down! that’s not allowed!”

well, training week has officially ended. as the staff stood in a circle last evening, saying our goodbyes until sunday, i found myself thinking about what a great summer it had been. we had done so much, made new friends, learned a bunch of new information. time to go back to the real world.

BUT WAIT. summer hasn’t even started! that was just training week! so then i got excited all over again. because this summer is going to be incredible.

a few updates. this summer, i am a blazer! i am beyond excited. my heart will always be with the braves, since that was my first unit, but it’s easy for me to see that being placed in the blazer unit is an answer to many prayers of mine. since this is my fourth summer, it would be super easy to fall into complacency, and just do everything the way i’d always done it in the brave unit. being a blazer is new, fresh, and provides new opportunities to learn and do camp in a new way. plus, there are many things i can do in the blazer unit that weren’t available for braves. i’ll be doing full cookouts, sleeping out all over camp, and participating in new activities that are exclusive to the blazers. i’m pumped to learn from the other counselors, both returning and new, and to experience this new side of camp.

my partner is amazing. his name is matty, and he’s from south africa. already we’ve become friends, and God has blessed our partnership with clear communication and similar ideas and goals for the summer. we’re on the same page with our vision for the cabin culture we want to set (we’re in peoria cabin!), and even after just the few conversations we’ve had about things we want to accomplish, i’m so excited to get into the summer with this guy! i can tell it’s going to be an incredible summer with him and the peoria cabin.

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along with finding out our cabin, unit, and parters, the rest of the past few days have been filled to the brim. we did activity rotations, took float trips, learned about what it looks like to be a well-rounded counselor, had fantastic conversations, and generally had a blast. such is the camp life.

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each of the units had some time together to get to know each other. blazers did some team-building activities, made friendship bracelets for each other, and played a bunch of games. i can tell that this is going to be a close-knit group. we have the perfect balance of returners and new counselors, and becca and jimmy, our coordinators, have been providing some great leadership.

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on our last night, each of the units did a sleep out. we had a bonfire, did a devotion together, and talked about in what areas of our lives we wanted to grow this summer, based on the sagamore creed. i’ve chosen a variety of things over the past three summers, but this summer i chose the responsibility bead. responsibility is simply taking care of the things that are important to you, and this is a summer where i want to focus on others, not myself. it’s something i’m trusting God for, because by myself i’ll do nothing but worry about me. but i think it will be easy to find friends that will hold me accountable to that this summer.

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now it’s the calm before the storm. i’m at the elliot’s house, doing laundry (they’re amazingly hospitable… i always feel so loved here). sophie and ollie are running around. they made a fort and found a turtle (his name is thunder). two more reasons that i’m excited to be here this summer.

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and so it continues. tomorrow the kids are here. that makes me feel incredible and excited and nervous and eager. how is it that God has decided to bless me so abundantly here? i don’t deserve a place like this to work. so, to quote the psalmist, “i will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (psalm 13:6). what a great phrase. God has certainly dealt bountifully with me, in more ways than just allowing me to be at camp one more year. but i think He knows how important camp is to me, and so he deals with me especially bountifully in this area. so much to be thankful for.

it’s here, guys. time to love those kids!

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