Tag Archives: week 3

week three: “i have two words to say about the rest of the week: i’m in!”

week three was absolutely awesome. as each week passes, i’m realizing more and more how God is answering my prayers to make this a summer where i am challenged in the best ways, while at the same time He blesses me in ways i would never expect.

i was a little disappointed that i didn’t get to be at camp t for week two, especially after seeing some pictures online (check them out here. you can binge on them if you want. that’s how i just spent my last thirty minutes.) i recognized campers that i’d had in years past, and i was disappointed that i hadn’t been able to reconnect with them. but on sunday i return to camp and discovered two things. first, matty was really excited to see me. it was a great reunion. and second, we had three stayovers. which meant that almost a third of last week’s cabin would still be here, so it was almost like i hadn’t missed out!

also all three of them had been in my cabin last summer. so that was basically the best.

i’m sure i’ll be saying this all summer, because chances are i’ll have more opportunities to have previous campers in my cabin again. but there is just nothing so cool as being able to see the ways God has been working in the lives of kids that you’ve invested in. while i stay in touch with a few campers from over the years, the vast majority of these kids i say goodbye to on saturday and don’t get the chance to see where they are in a year. but when God allows me a glimpse into the lives of campers i’ve developed relationships with, it’s encouraging and exciting and makes me praise Him.

that was probably my high of the week, seeing how guys had grown in patience, care for others, and a desire for God. one of the campers told me after devos that he hadn’t before known that he didn’t have to earn God’s approval. but since coming to camp this week, he learned that there’s nothing he can do that will ever make God love him any less. how is it that the Lord has chosen someone like me to deliver such beautiful good news? i certainly don’t deserve it, but i will gladly accept it. praise Jesus!

other highs of the week would include the clinics. i had hip hop, mountaineering, and clay. all of them were the best. i had some of my campers in mountaineering and clay, and it was so much fun.

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a variety of clinics is always the best, because you’re always on your toes and things don’t get boring. i went from choreographing the chorus to “best day of my life” to cheering on a camper who climbed to the top of mount wood to painting facial hair on the campers in clay clinic. all in a couple hours. that’s like the best.

wk3_2we did some pretty awesome things as a cabin this past week too. we went on a mud hike (one of the guys i was sure would back out was in 110%), we visited the minifarm to do the chicken round-up (side note: for some reason i’d always been afraid of chicken round up, mainly because it involved running after them to catch them and i was afraid that somehow i’d manage to lose all of camp’s chickens. but it turned out to be a blast), and we dressed up and went crazy for disco night. we also had one of my favorite unit games ever… prom night! somehow the guys always think it’s the best when they dress me up in pinks and purples and jean jackets and dresses.

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what i love most about camp is the relationships that form. i love looking over at trading post and watching david listen intently as his camper explains chess to him. i love watching milson initiate a heart-to-heart with one of his guys. i love all the little things i get to see as i walk around camp. so much silliness, so much happiness, so much joy. and it’s all so very real.

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i like real.

 

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week three: “you are more awesome than powerade.”

things that have happened this week that i love:

1.) the minifarm. mainly because it’s hilarious to see 10-year-old boys (who like acting tough) get really excited about holding tiny bunnies.

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also they loved the pigs. no surprise there.

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2.) banana death march. the brave counselors rocked it this week. they were excited, which meant their kids were excited, which meant everyone had a great time.

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we made sure to get a couple of victory poses in there too.

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also it ended with me getting a banana smashed into my hair, even though my cabin didn’t win. didn’t expect it, but since i like bananas and the face kids make when they realize they get to smash a banana on a counselor’s head, i was totally fine with it.

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3.) clinics. mine and fizz’s hip hop clinic was awesome, and mountaineering is always the best! so much encouragement.

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hip hop even got to perform at closing campfire! they really deserved it because of all their hard work. it’s always so fun to see how excited the kids get when they realize they get to be in front of all their friends and show off what they’ve accomplished.

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4.) the gentlemen games. it was a new activity this week… they all seemed so excited to be gentlemen, i thought we could spend some time writing (sometimes odd) encouraging notes and posting them all over camp. it soon became a game of straightening everyone’s shoes and clotheslines as well. not mad about it.

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we even got a response from one of the cabins!

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this activity is definitely coming back next week.

5.) country hoedown night! lots of dancing, lots of singing, lots of taylor swift. enough said.

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6.) two of my favorite campers ever, gabe and isaac, were here this week. gabe and i play cards together, and isaac and i play checkers. both of them are incredible people. mature, respectful, so easy to talk to and hang out with. i write back and forth with them throughout the year, and it’s been awesome to see how God has continued to grow them into men after His own heart.

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needless to say there were a lot of awesome things to be thankful for.

it was with a sad heart that i said goodbye to the miami gentlemen of week three. they were amazing, and they were a blessing in every sense of the word. for a week that could otherwise have been extremely difficult, my cabin made a huge difference. God allowed me to make connections with all the guys, and it was really difficult to watch them leave. but it’s cool to think that those kids of young men are now blessing the outside world, and not just camp.

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one of my favorite things about this cabin was that all of them became such good friends, too.

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this weekend i got to hang out with johnny d at his old youth pastor’s house. i had never met them before (though i’d heard great things about them for the past two summers), but they’re the kind of people that don’t care about things like that. i was welcomed with open arms and we talked about life as if they’d known me for years. it was such a blessing to spend time with such selfless, compassionate people. plus they lived out in the middle of nowhere, and it was gorgeous. just one more reminder of God’s power and love for the simple but powerful things.

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week three: “it’s make your momma proud time… I LOVE MY MOMMA!”

this week is one of those weeks where it could be super stressful and everything, but the Lord has just been pouring out the blessings like crazy, and it ends up being a crazy awesome one.

highs of week three so far:

1.) my cabin. i have a cabin full of amazing guys. i don’t think i’ve ever seen a cabin more excited at the prospect of being miami gentlemen. it’s the best ever. they race each other to hold open the door for others. i had to find one of them for flagpole because he kept running to open the door when he saw someone walking down the hallway. i’m all for having that kind of a problem.

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2.) clinics. this week i get to teach hip hop with fizz again (score) and the kids are great. we even have five guys with us, and all of them actually want to dance!

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i also get to be in mountaineering clinic for the first time of the summer, which is the best ever. mountaineering clinic is basically encouragement and excitement clinic. since i’m a fan of both of those, the clinic is always fun. today we had a girl offer her shoes to another girl so she could climb, and then that girl beasted it up the wall. you could see how proud she was of herself. so cool.

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3.) pine forest adventures. we went into the pine forest and made forts. and small towns. for no reason except it’s fun so why not?

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we also spent some time exploring for cool bugs and listening for cool sounds. we all lay down on the ground and held a finger up for each unique sound we heard. one of my guys even found a cool ant colony in a rotten log. i love seeing kids so excited about God’s creation.

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4.) random happy things. like whoever came up with this brilliant new way of playing checkers:

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and my kids actually singing and loving chapel:

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and rockstar counselors who love what they do and are amazing at it:

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and campers who love their cilts:

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and campers who love their counselors:

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and brave boy dodgeball:

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and this letter one of my campers asked me to mail home for them:

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week three: conversations.

this week continues to be a great one, full of kids who are respectful, polite, and so much fun to be around. i’ve grown closer to one of the guys in particular, a funny kid who is usually out of it. he’s an odd mix of spacey and really thoughtful. through games of checkers (which he just learned and takes very seriously), making friendship bracelets during rest hour (he was very excited to learn the diagonal today), and walking with him to the lake and other cabin activities, i feel like i’ve gotten to know him pretty well. he’s a super sweet kid, really genuine and honest about basically everything. i love all the random things he says. today he looked at me and, totally serious, told me that “today was just one of those days where i woke up and was like… yeah, today’s gonna be a great day.”

the rest of the boys in the cabin are awesome too. it’s weird that tomorrow is the last full day with them… as it’s been doing all summer, time is flying by. i’m really going to miss this batch when they leave.

even though there’s only one day left though, that’s a full twenty-four hours. another complete day to spend with these awesome kids that have been such a blessing. last summer one of the coolest things i learned was that the final day can hold so much. new connections can still be made. good lessons can still be learned. awesome conversations can still be shared. especially with this group of boys, i’m looking forward to those last day moments.

tonight was great. me, bec, marc, celyn, and joe went to scotty’s and had some great food and conversation. i love the opportunity to get to know some of these counselors that i usually don’t get the chance to talk to. we all discussed fraternities, snacked on some candy, ate some delicious food, and may or may not have commandeered some brilliant pens in order to write some brilliant parent letters.

speaking of, i need to sign off. i want to get at least one done tonight.

mom and dad are coming up this weekend! i’m pumped to see them and just have a weekend to relax. with mom and dad and bec, we don’t need to be doing anything in order to enjoy each other’s company. we’ll probably just talk and hang out in the hotel or something. and that is exactly what i feel like doing.

i love lots of things here at camp.

i love foursquare games.

i love hip hop clinic.

      

i love watching the guys go crazy with making castles.

i love nights off with good friends.

i love band cover poses.

i love cool cloud formations.

and i realized i hadn’t done this in a while, so here are the top three things i’m thankful for today:

1.) campers that aren’t worried about what others think about them.
2.) parent letters that are easy to write.
3.) cold water on a really, really hot day. 

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week three: blessing.

goodness, i feel like it’s been a while since i last updated you guys. i worked the weekend, and so i wasn’t really able to get online at all.

but it was an absolutely amazing weekend. it felt like i had the weekend off, to be honest. what happens is that each counselor works one weekend throughout the summer to stay with the kids that are at camp for more than one week. it’s always relaxed, and while sometimes it can be crazy, this past weekend we had maybe twenty or thirty kids, which is nothing.

two of the kids were brothers of guys i’d had in the cabin last week, which was kind of cool. some had been in my clinics. all of them were really cool guys. since they were older (blazers and warriors), it was a nice break from the chaos that the braves unit is kind of known for. i really enjoyed connecting with these older kids.

we did lots of cool things. we went to the pool, we had a cornhole tournament (which I lost… it was a sad day), and we even had some time to make friendship bracelets! i learned how to make the “v” bracelet (also known as the arrow)! I’m working on it back at the cabin now.

           

i always love seeing guys, the ones that initially think making friendship bracelets is for girls, get super into it after trying it for the first time. especially when they sign up for friendship bracelet clinic the following week. it’s the best. 

i felt a little rushed after dropping off the weekend campers with their counselors because I wasn’t able to go to the staff meeting, but it was an exercise in trusting hugo, who is perfectly capable. he wrote down all the important information, and by the time we started getting kids at the cabin, I actually felt really prepared.

let me tell you how amazing the kids are this week. these guys are just great. it was my turn to go to the planning meeting (usually so chaotic, but actually went really smoothly this week… thanks God) and when i got back to the cabin, i walked in on the guys doing devotions. since it was about ten at night, i had expected them to already have started. what i didn’t expect was the way that the guys totally kept paying attention after i walked in. in fact, not only did they keep paying attention to hugo and mike, but they were making a list of ways they could be putting God first and others second.

after two weeks of giggly cabins who have a really hard time sitting still and paying attention and being respectful, it was a shock and a sigh of relief. these guys were giving thoughtful answers to our questions and were being quiet while the other campers spoke up. hugo, mike, and i came out of the cabin after putting the kids to bed and just kind of stared at each other for a minute. it’s such a blessing from the Lord to have such an easy cabin this week. also an awesome cilt.

plus the kids are just really awesome in general. they’re funny, they each have their own unique personality, and they support each other. last night i led a devotion about friendship and how we should try to make each others’ days when possible, because that’s what friends do. and today, I saw three of the guys deliberately trying to make someone else’s day, either by complimenting them, including them in a game, and encouraging them with something that they were doing.

 i love it.

 tonight i had another great night off. me, james, diego, and scott all went to bible study and dinner at tom and katrina’s house. it ended up being just the four of us that showed up, so we got some delicious food and then went through the parables in luke about the lost things—the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. some really great insights and reminders came from the conversation. ours is a God who relentlessly pursues us, even while giving us our own choice to follow or leave Him. the son in the parable left and returned only once, but in real life this happens all the time. and each time we come back to God, His reaction is the same: celebration.

how wonderful to serve a God who delights in each and every reconciliation.

i love when my campers are proud of the crafts they make… especially friendship bracelets.

i love when my campers are creative and make things like snowmen with afros out of clay.

i love that for world cultures clinic, this table has become a time traveling transporter that takes us to different parts of the globe. i love that the kids love to play along.

i love when my campers dig into the sand and create villages and castles and dams and rivers and a million other things that for some reason are only satisfyingly created in wet sand.

i love when campers find wonder in the simplest of things. 

awesome quotes from the past two weeks:

1.) “i mean the boundaries for this game are like… everywhere, right?”

2.) “you might find that i move my ankles a lot.”

3.) “brad, look! the rock! it’s shedding!”

4.) “my cousin–this is a sad story–he lives alone with his mom. he lost his license.”

5.) “that’s what i love about camp tecumseh… the fresh, outdoor towels.”

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