WOW! What a week!
God is so good!
Is that an appropriate way to start this blog? Without any context? ABSOLUTELY! Because, let's be honest here: Even if this week sucked eggs, that sentence would still be true. Oh wow! Good is so GOOD! Okay, okay, okay. Sorry, I'm just really excited!!!
This last week, August 22nd-26th, my church put on our annual Youth Summer Camp. It was such a great week filled with great teaching, lots of intermittent screaming, hiking, swimming, water sports, table games, worship, and yes...even a "Fake Crying" Contest. While I am merely human, and couldn't witness everything, the things I did get to experience this week blessed me and changed me for the better.
To start, it wasn't supposed to be hosted at my parent's wedding venue. A week prior, on 16th 2021, a call went out in our area that the Corkscrew/Ford Wildfire had spread up the mountain and was headed for our home, and the homes of several of this camp's adult volunteers. For 4 days, we all watched the fire spread, move, and be contained. However, as camp got closer, we realized non of us could leave our properties for a whole week of camp. So, with a lot of prayer, and discussion, we moved camp to Mont Lamm.
With our tents, and a new plan, we set up camp on Sunday. Packing up the generous "gift bags" for each camper, setting out our cots and blankets, and sharing in one final sermon before going home to sleep, we were ready! Campers started arriving at 10:30am on Monday, and the last one was there by noon. Once everyone got settled in, we went on our first hike up near Horseshoe Lake. The hike was an enjoyable experience for all....well. Except for me.
When we finally reached our destination and were sitting down for the first Sermon of camp, I was hit with an extreme asthma attack. I didn't have my inhaler on me, and we had been hiking for an hour. You do the math on how bad that was. Honestly, I was scared. There's a thing that happens to an asthmatic when you are unable to breathe like that, you suddenly get claustrophobic, panicky, highly irrational, and, in my case, weepy. I tried to handle it on my own, away from the group as they listened to the first teaching on The Word of God. I don't want to paint myself as some sort of victim. You all should know that a) This was 100% my own fault and b) I was too stubborn to tell anyone how freaked out and unable to breathe I actually was. I was the dummy who left my inhaler in the car. And I was the big dumb dumb stupid idiot for not saying anything to my Mom or anyone else when it hit me. Anyway, by the grace of God, my mamma noticed my weird behavior and helped me find a solution. Kaleb D., a dear friend and now semi-hero, RAN all the way back to the car, grabbed my inhaler, and then RAN all the way back to help me. With one request of my mom, he was up and outta there! With tears in my eyes, and the panic easing in my heart, I learned my first lesson of the week. 1. I'm not supposed to go at life alone.
That was the first day.
The rest of Monday was pleasant and easy.
Nothing else dramatic happened, and I got to know the girls in my cabin better!
On the second day, we had yummy food, worship and teaching, and oh...about 4 hours of free time. Haha! While I'm not sure how everyone chose to spend their free time, I worked on the slides for the evening teaching, played table games such as slap jack, O.G., and The Wrong Game, took some videos for the camp video, and then took a nap. It was very nice. The evening teaching was great, and the ROOTS discussion afterwards was even better. Even though I found myself not knowing the answers to several of my girls' questions, I loved hearing their thoughts on God and what they thought about. Then, we ended the night with warm chocolate chip cookies and milk, and late night giggling in the tent. Big take way from today? 2. I don't know everything and that's okay, because then we can discover the answer together.
WEDNESDAY WAS THE BEST DUDE!!!!!
Okay, so Wednesday was Riverview day! After breakfast and teaching, we all packed into the cars and drove an hour to Riverview Bible Camp, where we spent the afternoon practicing archery, walking, swimming, climbing giant water toys, and going down the waterslide! It was a fantastic afternoon! Then, it was time to go home. Before we left, we all gathered for a quick chat and as a group, we shared stories on how we had gotten saved. Some remembered in perfect detail, others not as much. But the stories flowed, and the conversation was encouraging. As we all packed into our vehicles, I pulled out the camera for one last areal shot of the cars. It just so happened, that at that very moment Seth, one of our campers, decided he wanted to pray the prayer and receive salvation! It was so exciting! I decided it was best to not film as he prayed, surrounded by all his leaders and new friends. His siblings in Christ. But, I am so glad I got to be there in that moment. We all shouted in one great voice, a cheer for Seth! He was saved! With hugs, pats on the back, and congratulations exchanged we all climbed back into our vehicles and began the journey home.
The drive home was chill and you could tell everyone was tired. Our car was filled with conversation. Specifically, Q&A's on how the bible was written, who wrote what, and specifics on the book of Revelation. It blessed my heart to hear these girls who all started as strangers, speaking out and asking the questions in their heart regarding God. Plus, I learned a ton along the way. when we got home, we all changed into sweatshirts, hoodies, and lounge pants and went to dinner. The teaching that night was awesome, as was the discussion that followed. (it may seem like I'm repeating myself on the teachings, but BRO! They were all truly incredible, and I honestly don't have the time or space to write, in detail, everything that happened.)
Take away #3 was more like a reminder for me. It was this: All of Heaven Celebrates when someone accepts the free gift Jesus died for.
Wednesday ended with a scavenger hunt.
Each tent cabin was tied together with duct tape, and we had to find all 7 glow sticks hidden around the property that matched our group's color. It was wildly insane, and I quickly learned how many of my girls were natural leaders. All. All of my girls were leaders. My wrists hurt from all the tugging....lol.
Thusrday came, and everyone started to get ready to go home. But not before we had one final teaching and a special "Filming" of the hit TV show "Cooking with Shannon and Carisa". A hilarious skit put on by two of the camps leaders! While I didn't get that on video, someone did. So, If you're curious I'm sure I can show you what took place. Just know, I laughed my butt off!
Just like that, we were sent to take down the tents and clean up the grounds. The whole process took no time at all, and I couldn't help but feel sad as I watched my girls drive off one by one.
Summer Camp 2021 was so wonderful for me, and I'm so glad I have a place to write down my highlights. I'm also glad that I had a team of people filming their favorite moments with me. So, I present below:
The Vine Youth Summer Camp 2021 - God Speaks Camp Video
Until next time my friends,