On the second day of Staff Training, we started preparing for activities. The staff split into two groups to alternate training for paintball and river tubing.
To get to the paintball field, the staff walked down a trail through the woods. Tires, barrels, and cars with Long View Ranch’s logo on the sides are around the field for participants to hide behind while they play. Ethan taught the staff paintball rules and procedures. They put on neon protection vests and helmets to referee paintball games for a group of kids.
Jonathan, one of our Activity Staff members, described getting to referee the games. He heard whistles and “don’t shoot the ref!” while kids ran around the field avoiding paintballs. After learning how to lead the activity, Jonathan took a turn with the whistle and called the games. He is looking forward to working in the paintball field this summer. Jonathan loved that he “got to see the kids have fun and teach them something new.”
The Summer Staff also learned how to lead the tubing activity. They went down to the river where Luke and Noah taught everyone how to inflate the tubes. After getting everything ready to go, the staff led a church group on the two-hour tubing trip down the Nolichucky River. It was raining when the first group went tubing, but by the time the second group went the sun was shining and white, fluffy clouds stretched across the sky.
Corrie, one of our Counselors, was surprised by how much wildlife they got to see while they floated. She could hear birds singing even over the rushing water and laughing kids. Groundhogs ran out on logs in the water, and a black heron followed the group the whole time they floated. Corrie said that it was special to be “forced to slow down and recognize God’s beauty in creation” while getting to talk to the kids and other staff members around her.
After activity training, we went to the campfire for a Long View Ranch tradition: fry bread. We all learned how to roll the dough and cook it over the campfire. After dinner, we sang hymns around the campfire and Matthew taught another Bible lesson from Genesis. Before our final meeting for the night, we headed to the Game Field for a game that was a mix between Wiffle Ball and Kickball.