Tuesday, June 24, 2014

camp chat

This year was my second trip to #LHCAMP at Ocoee Retreat Center (aka Horns Creek) with about 650 middle schoolers from our church. And once again, I HAD A BLAST!

Here’s what a typical day at our camp looks like - -
Rise and shine
Meet in the field (all campers and volunteers) for exercise, fun and skits
Quiet time (devotion) for campers / Counselor meeting for adult volunteers
Morning worship service
Back to the cabins for family group with campers (discuss the message from morning worship, quiet time topic, etc.)
Tidy cabin time (they have a contest every day for whoever has the cleanest & most creative cabin)
Recreation time
Back to the cabin to clean up for dinner
Family group time with campers to prepare for evening worship
Evening worship service
Campfire share time
Back to cabins for family group time (allow campers to share about worship service, etc.)
Lights out at 11:30 (yeah right)

If that sounds like a lot it’s because it is a lot. They like to keep the students busy because busy students are less likely to get in trouble. Also, keeping them on the go like this gets them good and tired. And when they’re good and tired they’re more likely to be open to the things of God.

This year my group was a lot larger. Last year two college gals and I had charge of 8 beautiful young ladies. But this year there were 22 in the group. My poor ole memory had its work cut out for it. Remembering names - not my strongest skill. Anyway. Most of our campers were rising 6th graders. The rest were rising 7th graders. They were pretty great.

And my co-counselors were a couple of lovely gals who had just graduated high school.

Don’t be fooled by their youth & beauty – they were awesome! As it turned out, our group got to be in one cabin together – just us – so it was like we were a family for the week. That was neat.

We did our morning share time on the deck of our cabin.

Right behind the deck there was a little stream. It was peaceful and especially beautiful in the morning.

We did our evening groups in the living room of our cabin. 

I learned a lesson early in the week – passing around a big bag of mini chocolate candy bars at 11pm isn’t the best method for getting 22 girls settled down for Jesus talk.

In all seriousness though, these girls eventually opened up and shared some things that were pretty heavy. Sometimes as adults we forget the baggage you carry around in the teen years. My heart ached as girls shared about financial difficulties, death, bullying and family problems. We cried and prayed together. God was definitely in our little cabin in the woods.

It’s always so awesome to literally sense God helping you say the right things in these types of situations. Things I had heard my dad preach over the years. Stuff I had learned through reading the Bible & my own personal study. It would just come rolling out. Being spiritually equipped feels so good. And to be blessed with two spiritually sound well-grounded co-leaders was icing on the cake.

At camp F I V E of our cabin mates asked Jesus into their hearts. And one girl recommitted her life to Christ.

That’s what camp is about – LIFE CHANGE ! ! !

I’m so glad I got to be a tiny little part of something God did in east Tennessee during a week we set aside for kingdom work. Sure, a lot of kids went to camp because they were enticed by hanging with friends sans parents, ziplining, playing paintball, swimming and rock wall climbing. . . and we did all that… it’s loads of fun of course…  but the most important thing is that hundreds of students turned to Jesus last week. And that has eternal consequences!

God is soooo good!

Here’s one of my favorite worship songs we did at camp. ENJOY!  

If you’re more lookin for a more upbeat song, check this one out. And you might wanna put on your dancin shoes.
Brighter by Hillsong Young and Free