Tag Archives: week 5

week five: “THE SECOND THING YOU NEED TO BE A GENTLEMAN IS MINTY FRESH BREATH!!!”

things about this week that were just awesome:

1.) these guys are super into being gentlemen. like they decided it was their theme for opening campfire.

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2.) it’s nearly impossible to hold them back from holding open the door for others. we had to start limiting it to three gentlemen at a time, so that everyone else could actually get through the door. and yes, all of those below are peoria gentlemen.

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3.) wacky wednesday. we got to choose a theme for the afternoon and decorate the whole cabin. we decided we had lost our theme, and held some theme tryouts. one of them (my favorite, admittedly) was the gentleman bootcamp. a couple of the guys were really excited about it and decorated a whole corner of the cabin in camouflage, with one as the commander and the other as the cadet. they shouted a few directives back and forth, and the cadet ran outside to straighten shoes. all of us had a blast.

it’s always so encouraging to see when the guys legitimately want to be serving others by being gentlemen, when they see it as fun. i hope that it’s something they carry on after they leave camp, but i know that God’s in control of all of that. i’m more than content with the role i get to play here at camp.

4.) bible study. it’s the best. this summer we’re going through the prophets in the old testament, and we talked about isaiah. i love being with campers all day every day, but it’s refreshing to have good conversation about important things with fellow believers. we have good food, good fellowship, and lots of fun. such a blessing.

5.) these guys are just the best. and we have fun as a group. everyone seems to get along, and it’s been great watching as friendships have developed.

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7.) it’s just impossible not to have fun with these guys. one of the reasons i love my job so much.

8.) clinics. riflery was a blast, mountaineering is always encouraging, and hip hop is basically guaranteed to be the best (also we got some swag).

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9.) closing campfire. for some reason this week was extra fun all the way through. jack and mike brought out their hilarious “who’s on first” skit back. cheers were full of life and craziness. hip hop performed. and a mysterious sweater somehow made it on stage for literally every single act.

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10.) have i mentioned these guys are awesome? i’m going to miss them. i already do.

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week five: “i’d like a bunch of cokes, please, and i want to pay for them all with one of those big checks.”

this weekend was so great.

waved goodbye to my two stayovers and left them in the hands of johnny d. and jimmy, which means my guys were basically guaranteed the best weekend of their lives.

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then becca and i drove to indy to have lunch and spend time with the family. it was basically the best thing ever to see all of them, because it felt like it had been so long!

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the best part was that, apart from just hanging out, we had nothing planned. i wrote some parent letters, talked a lot with mom and dad, and just enjoyed listening to the sound of my family loving on each other. christina, christy’s friend from denmark, was there with us, and it was basically like having another sister. it’s always so great when people fit so well into our family.

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i love these people, and i still am not sure how i got so blessed with them as my family.

we had an awesome surprise when the thomas family joined us! jordan, becca, and i go to school together (you should check out jordan’s blog), but i hadn’t seen her brothers and sisters in many, many years (to give some perspective, her youngest brother, who i’ve known for a while, told me it was nice to meet me). it was crazy to see how grown up everyone is.

after a quick bite for dinner, becca and i piled back into the car to drive back to camp. i joined up with my stayovers, said hi to some friends, and then went outside to supervise some gaga while i wrote my parent letters (only had to pause them once, to add my favorite rule… if you point at someone and tell them “you’re out!”, then you are now out. same goes for if you use anything but positive words when playing).

a little later i went to the sieplinga’s house with james, jack, john, olivia, and scott to finish parent letters and hang out. we listened to a francis chan sermon, talked about life, and greeted joel and renee when they came back from a wedding they had attended. then we all (minus joel and renee) decided to drive and get pizza somewhere, because why not.

this is the part where i’d have pictures, but i left my memory card out, so you’ll just have to imagine this next part. here are some of the things that happened:

1.) driving with the pirates of the caribbean soundtrack making everything more intense.

2.) meeting jessica, a server at taco bell, and misunderstanding her to the point of ordering inside the lobby even though it was closed. she was a champ.

3.) eating taco bell on the hood of scott’s car (affectionately named max).

4.) driving to mcdonald’s and finding out their ice cream machines were being cleaned, they were out of soda, and we were only able to pay with cash.

5.) driving to wendy’s, seeing the drive thru was closed, and singing our hearts out in sadness.

6.) driving away from wendy’s and noticing that there were, in fact, people in the building, and they had heard our song.

7.) driving back to wendy’s drive thru and singing the lion sleeps tonight. then, upon request from the guy working that night, singing happy birthday (order of the oar style, of course). he told us it made his day. no big deal.

this is why friends you make at camp are friends you keep. i’m a fan.

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week five: “i solemnly swear that i am not ticklish.”

fridays are the best. everyone’s excited and wanting to get the most out of their last full day at camp. i decided to take lots of pictures because i feel like i slacked on that a lot this week.

clinics were especially awesome. i came to the court to see this happening:

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these kids rock. we played three games on friday, and throughout the entire time, they were encouraging each other regardless of which team they were on. dan brought some brazilian candy as a surprise for them, and there were lots of hugs and high fives as we said goodbye. one of the guys is a stayover, so i’ll get to see him next week too! score.

hip hop was chosen to perform at closing campfire! they were all so psyched. one of them suggested we get some giant fans to blow on them at the end of the song, so that their hair would be blowing around and it’d look cool… so we got some giant fans to blow on them at the end of the song, so that their hair would be blowing around and it’d look cool. adam and tom pulled some strings and got them for us, an even though it was only for a few seconds at the end, it made everyone’s night. it was the best.

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one of my favorite things to do between clinics is to watch kids with their counselors. people were feeling especially silly today.

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friday was also the day that miami received the prize for our wacky wednesday performance! we won a rest hour serenade with cookie cake, and it was the high of many of my kids’ days. john and matt came over and divided up the cookie cake, and then john played background music for the best game of mafia i’ve ever seen. it was epic.

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other awesome things that happened on friday include, but are not limited to:

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intense games of carpetball.

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pictures with zain, our rockstar cilt.

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superhero/cartoon themed dinner with plenty of disney music to keep us all happy.

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watching step clinic and martial arts (and yes, those are cardboard robots) perform at trading post.

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seeing so much orange at closing campfire.

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secret pictures taken unbeknownst to the camera owner.

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people loving other people at chapel.

and then it was saturday, and i had to say goodbye to some of my favorite people ever. i don’t know why God keeps blessing us with such amazing kids, but it makes me excited for the weeks to come. how in the world did i get so lucky?

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week five: “yoga is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

the summer’s halfway over, folks.

i know. insane. doesn’t seem possible. at camp this means that the next four and a half weeks will somehow simultaneously fly by and seem to last forever.

this week’s campers (and don’t ask me how i swung this) are absolutely amazing. we have two stayovers (one’s from spain!), and they are two of the coolest people i know. and basically i wish the other eight were stayovers too. as it is, the week is almost done and it doesn’t seem possible.

things i love this week:

1.) nate with our kids. i feel like i haven’t given nate nearly enough air time on here. nate is amazing. he is 100% about the kids and making their weeks amazing. he’s also about helping others and being there for people. he’s also all about Jesus. he loves that guy, like a lot. each day i’m more thankful that he’s my partner.

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2.) costumes at opening campfire. miami chose the ever popular “wacky” theme again this week, and i think it’s fair to say we were totally shown up by these ladies and gentlemen:

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the ladies were an obvious choice. the girls looked beautiful, and you could tell they felt beautiful too. the guys in black were a horde of beetles from main field that show up around wednesday of week 4 with no warning and never leave. scales and matt would call out to their beetle campers and everyone would buzz around, running into people (the beetles in the field, you see, are blind). it was hilarious.

3.) hug attacks. enough said.

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4.) peteca clinic with dan! we are reunited, and this time we have ten kids! three was awesome, but it’s even cooler to see everyone work together as a regular-sized team. plus it’s been really cool to see how dan has totally made the clinic his own and is having a lot of fun with it.

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5.) the gentlemen games. these guys, more than any of the others, were obsessed with not being seen. we signed our complements “sincerely, the ninja campers” and ran off giggling to the next cabin. we even managed to sneak a sign to people hanging out at ben and amy’s for their nights off, as well as the nurse’s office. the following day, one of the cabins put flies on the ninja campers, but pointed to another cabin. i don’t know if i’ve ever seen grins that big on any of my campers before. they were beside themselves that no one knew it was us. it was the best ever.

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6.) day camp! seeing them run around and be excited about life and their games and their cheers and their counselors. today they were playing gold rush, so i had to get a picture.

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7.) the nature center. today my guys got to do the obstacle course outside for a couple of minutes, but you’d have thought it was for the rest of their lives the way they got so excited about it. this is why i love the brave unit.

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8.) wacky wednesday. it is insane and stressful and chaotic, but it’s a lot of fun. since wednesday was the exact middle of the summer, we took a rest hour to decorate our cabin in a certain theme so judges could award us points. the boys couldn’t decide between a haunted house, a jail, and a zoo, so we decided to go with a haunted animal prison. i mean duh.

all the guys came up with the descriptions for the animals they would be. many were very creative.

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9.) coord cookout. and by that i mean the time of the week when we grill 300 hot dogs and shove ice down each others’ backs and are generally sassy with each other. it’s a beautiful time, and it was the first one in two weeks where we had all four of us here! kellie is BACK this week, which means that everything is awesome!

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today she gave one of the hot dogs a mouth and spoke to it in a british accent for the rest of the night. we wonder about her sometimes. but i suppose i can’t talk… i grilled a hot dog with a face and tie for one of my campers this week who wasn’t thrilled about the menu.

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this is why we’re coord partners. we just work so well together (when we aren’t insulting each other in creative ways). in fact, all the river village coords are amazing. i love them all, and it’s been so awesome this summer to have the chance to get to know them better and rely on each other. they’re such good people.

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i don’t know how half the summer snuck past us like that, but i’m definitely excited to see what the next half brings.

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week five: turnaround.

things have turned around in awesome ways this week.

yesterday was a tough day. we call it wacky wednesday, because it’s the exact middle of the summer (the middle of week five). we come dressed as a certain theme to morning flagpole (we were nerdy ninjas), we spend our time in between clinics giving hugs to the hug-o-matics (staff people dressed in silly hats, naturally), and during rest hour we decorate our cabin to fit a specific theme, and put on a small performance. we decided to be the miami insane asylum, and when the judges came by, we welcomed them in as reporters, introducing them to all the inmates (who went crazy because of things like not sleeping at rest hour and eating too much candy). after the tour, all the inmates broke out and we had to rush the judges out of the room for their safety.

the kids had a blast, but organizing everything for the day was just really stressful. no matter how well wacky wednesday is explained, it always manages to be a little confusing, especially for everyone who hasn’t done it before. and then the whole atmosphere is just crazy. i was tired and didn’t really have the energy that wacky wednesday requires, and so it was a long, long day. it was fun, and the kids had a blast. but it was long.

some of the guys this week also have some trouble listening and showing respect. it makes it difficult to remember that their actions don’t define them. that God is as crazy in love with them as He is me and every other person in the entire world.

but then that night devos went in an unexpected direction. we were talking about friendship and fellowship, and how part of friendship means knowing about each other. we went around the circle and shared things that make our day, something we want to do before we die, and something difficult we’ve had to face. i totally wasn’t expecting it, but emotions ran high, and some of the guys broke down. our devo suddenly became about trusting God and how He uses other people to encourage us. i watched as guys got up from the circle to comfort their cabin mates, and i was reminded once again how God’s plan, even for the day-to-day stuff, is just way better than mine.

and then today was just an awesome day. i was beginning to feel like i wasn’t making any connections, and God provided half a dozen opportunities to meet up with a bunch of my campers, getting to know them and just hanging out. it was such a blessing.

top ten things i love seeing at camp:

1.) my campers wearing their cilt’s neon yellow baseball cap.
2.) campers holding their counselors’ hands.
3.) day camp wandering around the loop, singing camp cheers.
4.) lake village counselors.
5.) becca.
6.) campers that are excited about the fact that they’re allowed to be crazy.
7.) the golden toilet seat hanging from my campers’ necks two days in a row.
8.) my cilt interacting one-on-one with my campers.
9.) campers making it to the top of mt. wood.
10.) campers encouraging each other. 

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