Bug Bites & Seventh Graders

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I was at camp last week. In case you don’t actually know me, Andy and I volunteer with the junior high youth group at our church. It’s actually a pretty significant part of our life. I’ll be the first to tell you junior highers are seriously underrated as human beings go.

This year, because of some scheduling changes and a bump I got in vacation days, I decided I would go to summer camp as a counselor for the first time. Andy stayed home and enjoyed clean showers, but did more than his fair share of work on the house.

The church camp is in Michigan. We’ve been to it for winter retreat for several years now, but remove the snow and ice and it’s truly a spectacular piece of property. It’s exactly what you imagine for a camp. A big lake, wooden cabins, smelly shower houses, and borderline unhealthy but filling food. Andy and I went to a [different] camp in Michigan all through high school and we know those weeks without cell phone reception are priceless.

I spent all day, for five days, with my group of 13 seventh grade girls. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. We canoed, did archery, tubed, and paddle boated [note – do not take four wimpy girls on a paddleboat with you. They will get tired and decide not to paddle anymore and you will be left straddling the middle and getting a workout trying to get back to shore]. We sang silly songs on the dirt road to the beach and songs from our heart in a lodge that smelled like damp feet. We played. We danced. [They told me to stop dancing]. We jumped and ran and twirled and had a blast.

Most importantly, we learned about God. And our need to surrender everything to him. The theme for the week was War and everything from the games to the messages tied into this. It all culminated in giving the kids the opportunity to sign a white flag indicating they surrender to Christ. It was impacting for the kids, and for me too.

I’m covered in mosquito bites [thanks a lot unscented mosquito repellant],  have scraped up legs from taking a tumble while chasing kids in  “Leader Hunt,” and feel like I’m in a perpetual allergy-induced haze. But God was glorified, kids were changed, and fun was had by all. It was a good week at camp.

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