The fourth day of staff training, we rotated around to run the camp activities for a church group.
Our horse staff led a trail ride around camp and through the woods. They teach campers barn safety and how to ride horses. When they do a trail ride, one of our staff members leads the group and one follows in the back to make sure that everyone is safe and stays on the path.
Isobel, one of our Counselors, helped with archery during a rotation. She enjoyed getting to encourage the campers to take their time while they learned how to shoot a bow. Camp is a great place to learn new skills. After the activity, she talked to me about how thankful she is to have an opportunity to teach kids and be patient with them as they try something they’ve never done before.
Jonathan did a great job leading Wood Shop. He went over safety rules: glasses to protect your eyes from the sawdust that floats around in the air and which parts of the saws to avoid touching. Our counselors helped the group do their projects and entertained the kids who finished earlier than others.
In the office, we’ve been busy planning for Day Camp. Lots of our time this week is devoted to making schedules, running errands, and answering questions about the weeks ahead.
During the afternoon, Nick, our Camp Director, went over First Aid training with us. We take lots of precautions to prevent injury, but still want to be equipped for dealing with the scrapes and bruises that inevitably come from a fun-filled week. Nick showed us the hidden treasures stored in the bulky First Aid kits: band-aids, ointments, gauze, and more.
After First Aid training, Abby, Bryce and Sara Douglas led us in worship again. We’ve been singing the songs we will use during camp. We finished worship by singing lyrics from Graves into Gardens a cappella: “Lord, there’s nothing better than you.” It was a sweet moment to hear everyone joining their voices to sing that together. We want campers to believe that too. Camp has a lot of great things-- yummy food, fun activities, and opportunities for great memories-- but none of it is better than Jesus.
We finished the evening in smaller groups. We took a short learning style test, and then talked about the best ways to understand campers’ learning styles. We brainstormed different methods for helping campers learn and stay engaged, and some of our experienced staff members shared stories about what has and has not worked well for them in the past.
Our staff members have been thoughtfully preparing for camp. They’re working hard at activities and asking great questions about different camper situations they may face. It’s been a long, tiring week but in the common area of Black Bear Lodge, the staff members get up early or use their free time to play card games, strum on guitars, or encourage others. I’ve been so grateful to see their great attitudes and fast friendships!