This morning, campers hopped out of their cars and led their parents to the pavilion. After getting a name tag and saying goodbye to their parents, they rushed into the pavilion where counselors played basketball, waiting for them to arrive.
After silly camp songs and the Doctor’s Waiting Room skit, campers split up for their first activities. I got to go around camp to see everybody in action. The Activity Staff is doing a great job leading activities and the Counselors are keeping kids engaged, making sure they’re safe and having fun.
My first stop was the river to visit the Red Team. Tyler and Kariana’s campers sat around a campfire, warming up after their swim. They chatted with me for a few minutes, telling me how much they enjoyed swimming or how “freezing cold but super fun!!” the water was. When Tyler stood up, a group of kids followed him. He helped them buckle up their red or yellow life jackets before they got back in the water. The rest of the kids stayed with Kariana to play a game with hula hoops in the grass.
The next stop was the Horse Barn. When I got there, the Blue Team was doing pony rides. Harlie, Tessa, and Storey led the horses around the ring while the campers rode. As they rode, the Barn Staff talked to the campers about the horses and asked questions to get to know them better: “What is your favorite food?” “What has been your favorite part of camp so far?” and “What’s your favorite color?” Emily and Harrison stood by the benches, entertaining campers as they waited their turns for the pony ride.
I caught up with the Green Team as they headed to the Gaga Ball pit. Even though the kids were tired after their hike around camp with Jonathan, they jumped into the wooden pit ready to play. As the ball bounced, they shouted “GA-GA BALL” and then started the game. They stood with their backs against the wall and swatted the ball towards others, trying to get them out by hitting them somewhere from the knee down. After kids got out, they climbed over the side of the pit and sat with their counselors David, Corrie, and Noah to wait for the next round to start.
After eating hot dogs, French fries, and rice crispy treats for lunch, everyone went to free time. I hung out with the Pink Team. The Pink Team is the oldest group of campers and they’ve loved playing Nine Square outside the Dining Hall. They rotated through the different positions, laughing and forming alliances as they tried to advance through the different squares.
A couple of the girls from the Pink Team sat in wooden rocking chairs on the porch next to their counselor, Isobel, and talked to her while they watched their friends play. Another girl spent free time sketching in her new Long View Ranch journal from the Camp Store. When she finished drawing the dragon, she was eager to show her other Color Team Leader, Ethan.
Harrison finished the day by sharing the next part of Joseph’s story from Genesis 39 during our Afternoon Gathering. Harrison asked kids to raise their hands if they knew what sin was and he reminded them of an easy definition: anything you think, say, or do that goes against God’s Word. After making sure they understood, he talked about how Jesus forgives us for our sins.
Red Team playing in the Game Room
Isobel with Pink Team
Pink Team playing foosball in the Game Room
Emily in the barn with Blue Team campers