Saturday, July 29, 2006

Home for a Couple of Days

We survived one week of camp, and now we're resting and gearing up for another week. We had a great time! Our kids especially enjoyed themselves. They were all teen workers for the week. They helped in the kitchen, cleaning washrooms and shower rooms, setting up and playing games, acting in skits, and setting up the dining room/chapel (one and the same room). We saw about 5 kids saved this week - including 1 in my cabin! There were 71 kids there, the largest group yet at Camp YES!

I had 5 little girls in my cabin. This was their first year as campers, although 3 of them have been at the camp for several years, since their parents are all in the ministry in one aspect or another and work at camp every year. Two of my little girls had never been to camp at all. One of them warmed right up to the whole camp experience because her friend was there with her. The other one eventually warmed up to everything except me - she just plain old didn't like me! LOL Being their first year at camp, all of them needed help with their showers the first day, how to adjust the water, keep their fresh clothes from getting wet, etc. On Thursday, the last full day of camp, I had all of them do it all on their own, and I just checked in every 5 minutes or so. It went pretty well, until I got overconfident in their abilities and didn't check up on my last showerer for a few minutes. As I turned the knob on the shower room door, I could hear squealing inside. Not good. I found my camper in there dancing around with another camper from another cabin, and their fresh clothes were soaked, sopping wet. My camper informed me that her clothes were wet (really?!), and I instructed her to wear them back to the cabin and change into dry clothes up there. Twenty minutes later, the bell rang for evening chapel, and this little girl comes charging down to the chapel . . . in those same sopping wet clothes! I could have died! Upon questioning, she informed me that she (1) didn't have time ("I sent you up there 20 minutes ago!") and (2) didn't have any more clean clothes ("Why didn't you tell me that before?"). Her mother was there, so her dad sent her to help my little camper while I took the other girls into chapel. Turned out that she had clothes in her dirty clothes bag that I hadn't seen that week (could they be clean clothes?)! Oh my, I had forgotten what it was like to have an 8-year-old girl! LOL

Question - why does a little girl beg not to be seen and hide when her adult counselor, who herself was once a little girl and now has her own teenaged daughter, tries to help her turn on her water and adjust it? And why does this same little girl later dance around in her underwear for 15 minutes in front of all the other little girls AND said counselor while putting on her pajamas for bed?

My junior counselor was also a rookie, but she was great! She made fast friends with all 5 little girls in our cabin, and by the end of the week, they were her shadows. She helped me with getting the girls up and dressed on time, with getting more drinks and food for meals. She also did the girls' hair each night for evening chapel. They loved that! One night she did all their hair the same, and they loved it.

During Wednesday morning's chapel service, one of my little girls raised her hand like a shot that she was unsure of her salvation. Her parents were there, so I talked with her mom about it, since the girl didn't come to me during the invitation. Her mom said she'd made a profession of faith a few years ago, but they hadn't seen any changes in her and they were anxious for her to be saved. The camp preacher for the week had also mentioned to them that she had raised her hand, so her dad was watching the next morning. After chapel, during which she'd raised her hand again, he took her aside and talked to her. After about 15 minutes, she came into the cabin, climbed up on my bunk beside me, and whispered in my ear, "I got saved this morning!" What a blessing! I was thrilled! Her parents noticed changes in her that very evening, and I noticed some the next morning. They weren't blaring changes, but things that showed she had a calmer heart and that she had the Holy Spirit inside checking her behavior. She won't be a model child overnight (who of us were when we got saved, or are now?), but she will grow in the Lord, and I can't wait to see what the Lord does with her life!

Wes was supposed to be just a general worker this week, but on the first morning of camp, one of the men counselors got a call that his baby was in hospital with dehydration from a stomach flu. While his wife was there with the baby, she began vomiting too, so he was much needed at home to take care of his family. Wes took over his cabin, the same age as my campers. We both have some stories to tell! LOL We were afraid that the stomach flu was going to run through the camp, because a little boy from another family got sick the first night, and the daughter of the counselor who had to leave got sick too. It turned out that the other little boy must have just had too much junk food, because he was fine after a few hours. No one else got sick till the last night, when a girl got sick in one of the cabins. Her junior counselor came to my door and asked if she could sleep in our cabin, because her stomach was too weak to stay in there. So we let her stay with us, and the girl in her cabin was fine the next morning. Another case of too much junk food. I guess that's the case 95% of the time with the junior campers! ;)

My favorite time was something I've never experienced at camp before - HHH. That's Horizontal Half Hour. Thirty minutes when the whole camp goes to their cabin and lie down. I made my girls lie down perfectly still and quiet for 15 minutes, then they could sit on their bunks and talk quietly. One day all of us went to sleep and only woke when the bell rang for snack shop! It's amazing what a difference a few minutes of rest makes in everyone's attitude!

My decorating themes were things I had at home. Beth has a lot of Winnie the Pooh things, so that was one day. I printed off some Pooh pictures and used Beth's giant Pooh bear. Another day was a tea party, and we used a little teaset and some stuffed animals. The last day was the Fruit of the Spirit. I printed out fruit coloring pages and had the girls color them, then we hung them from the rafters in our cabin. That was the best day! I gave the pictures to the girls afterwards, as well as the Pooh pictures. I got some good ideas from other counselors for next year, too!

I took a camera, but was so busy I forgot about it for most of the week. There will be pictures posted at GVBC's website, so I'll point you in that direction when the pics are up. Continue to pray for camp next week. This will be Teen Camp. We'd love to see the Lord work there too!

6 comments:

  1. So glad all went well at camp. So very glad that you're back for the weekend, we've missed you!

    R

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  2. Susan, I enjoyed reading your account of camp. Praise the Lord for the salvations! I've missed you this week!

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  3. Tonja9:00 PM

    Susan,
    Hi! This is Tonja Brownlee from Alvarado, Tx. This reminds me of the time that I went to camp with Andrew his first time going to camp without you! He became my friend that week and was always my friend after that!
    Oh, yeah, I found your blog last week after looking for something on a google search!!!
    Its good to see and hear from y'all!

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  4. Hey, Tonja! I thought of you the other day, just out of the blue, and wondered how you guys were doing. It's amazing that you found me! Please e-mail me sometime - my address is on my profile page - and let's keep in touch! Andrew was not the only one who loved you dearly - Beth did too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Tonja1:17 PM

    Susan,
    I know about Beth also, I have not forgotten her either!!! There was a girl at Youth conf. that reminded me of her. It was just at camp that Andrew stuck to me like glue!!! Well, at least when the boys and girls could be together, I would even find him waiting for me at times!
    I'm glad that you were thinking of me!
    I will email you soon!
    Tonja

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  6. What a blessing hearing your stories of camp!! It is quite an experience being a counselor for sure. I was one years ago in the teen girls cabin. It was a bit nerve-racking (sp) at first...but by the end of the week the girls were telling me what a blessing it was to have me as their counselor and friendships were established. I thought they would think I was mean...but they didn't really mind the rules that had to be enforced. I pray your week with the teens is as rewarding as your week with the littler ones was. Thanks for sharing with us about your week. Can't wait to hear about the upcoming week.

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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