Last week was one of my favourite weeks of the summer: Kids Camp!
It was my fourth year counselling and my first year as a SENIOR counsellor so it brought a whole new level of responsibility and excitement to the week. I had two amazing junior counsellors, and we had a cabin with ten girls from grades four and five and they were so full of energy but all such sweet girls!
Our theme for the year was “Rolling River Rampage”, and the verse of the week was “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” (Isaiah 43:2) Everyday we did VBS rotations where the kids heard a story and then did activities that helped to increase their understanding of the stories. Overall this part was really fun – especially the crafts and the science experiments!
I won’t lie – this was one of the most challenging weeks that I have had as a counsellor thus far. Bedtime was tough, and the one night there was a really bad storm that made the power go out and consequently turned on an emergency alarm in our cabin – at 3 in the morning … every few seconds … and the key was missing so we couldn’t turn it off .. which led to the three of us running on about four hours of sleep the next day. Then on top of our sleep deprivation one of the girls knocked down a robins nest and broke the eggs which was extremely upsetting. There were a couple of moments amidst the girls fighting over who got to hang out with who and not listening to any instructions where I wanted to go home. But it was in those moments where God would send something little to remind me of why we, as counsellors, dedicate a whole week of our summer to kids camp. Whether it was one of the girls coming up to me with the biggest smile or listening to them singing during worship, the days were always sprinkled with these little reminders that the challenges were more than worth it.
Part of the reason this post is coming out a week late is because I’ve been trying to think of my favourite part of camp this year and I couldn’t narrow it down! But I managed to get it down to three. First, there is something so absolutely spectacular about standing in an auditorium with 120 kids and closing your eyes and just listening. Hearing this chorus of little voices praising their Heavenly Father. It gives me goosebumps every time! There is just something so precious about it. We can learn so much from the faith of child – the way they believe without questioning, the way their beliefs aren’t yet tarnished by all of the junk out in the world, the wonder that they are so filled with!
Second, our campfire time! They split the kids into three different campfire groups and ours had the privilege of being led at campfire by Stephen Stewart – if you know him, you know how gifted he is at speaking! One of the things that he taught the kids was that they are God’s beloved. He got them to repeat “I am a child of God and He calls me Beloved!” after him three times every night as we wrapped up campfire and I think it spoke to me more than the kids in all honesty! It’s something we can so easily forget and was such a beautiful little way to be reminded of that.
And finally, I had so much fun as a counsellor WITH the other counsellors! Between my two juniors and three other counsellors across the hall from us, we just had SO much fun together. We stayed up after our girls were all sleeping just to talk and always ended up laughing hysterically. I love that camp has such a neat way of taking people who are strangers at the beginning of the week and turning them into best friends by the end – and it’s so nice to see that it doesn’t just stop when you’re not a camper anymore!
Once again, I was so beyond blessed to volunteer at this camp again. It holds such a special place in my heart and I’m already getting all excited for next year!!!