Monday, February 25, 2008

Jr. High Discipleship Camp!

What a blast! I was lucky enough to get to go help with the Jr.High Camp last weekend! EVERYONE had a great time! As many of you know, my specialty is preschool age kids so initially I was a bit out of my comfort zone - but that quickly changed:) I just forgot about being a mom and turned into a kid (for the most part). We had 70 kids from our church. Most of the kids went on a bus - i rode on the bus on the way there... that was a loud experience (i rode home in a car:)) but hey, you have to experience it all! It took us about 5 hrs to get there (we stopped for dinner too). We went to the Wildhorse Young Life Camp near Antelope, OR. The picture above is taken from a hill that we climbed of the camp. They have a Sports complex, Dining Hall, Worship Room, store etc... There was tons of things to do during free time -a sports complex that had a skate park with foam pit, volleyball courts, basketball courts, exercise equipment area, several rock climbing walls (which i pulled my shoulder muscle on:(), ping pong, foosball, pool... outside there was a huge open field for playing soccer, wiffle ball, and the "Screamer" (a swing that is pulled up 50 ft. from the ground, you then pull a string to release you...) - during the summer months there is a zip line that goes over the lake, a pool, a ropes course etc... We had tons of fun with all of these activities. But i thought that the best part was what they call "club and cabin" time. During club time the 400 kids would gather together and do some skits, sing praise songs and listen to the speaker talk about "The parable of the Prodigal Son". He did a fabulous job breaking down the verses at each club time and really connected to the kids - we then would go back to the cabins and talk about it - it was really awesome! I was in a cabin of 8 girls and 2 other "seasoned" moms (they had done this before:)) We each took turns in sharing - everyone participated - i was so impressed - especially when we asked them at the begining of the weekend what they hoped to get out of it and most of them wanted to get "closer to the Lord". By the end of the weekend the girls felt more comfortable in going a bit deeper in their sharing and we were all in tears:):) But they were good cleansing tears - it was awesome! I definately want to go back and do it again. I was also extremely impressed with how our church has such a totally awesome group of kids! They were by far the BEST behaved kids there!! no joke!!! I was so proud of their manners at meals, during worhip and freetimes. I also really enjoyed getting to know the other youth leaders (8 of them at camp) better - they are really great people that absolutely LOVE these kids and the Lord!

There was 1 activity that will stick in my mind forever! I still haven't been able to talk about it with out tears coming to my eyes... The speaker, Robb, spoke about sins and asking for forgiveness when we sin and also about washing away sins. He also spoke about the time when Jesus was a servant and washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:5) and how that represented a spiritual cleansing. He asked for all 400 kids to leave the club room and to go outside for 5 minutes while they got the inside ready. I could not beleive it! All of the kids went outside WITHOUT SAYING A WORD! They each sat by themselves and was spread out on the grass praying and asking God to forgive their sins! it is something that i have never seen before and will never forget! They all stayed extremely quiet and just prayed - i was amazed! Then Robb asked us all to come in quietly and they did! We all sat down and he explained again about the washing of the feet and how they could have an opportunity for a spiritual cleansing by washing their hands - each kid could go to the their youth leader to have this done but only if they wanted to. I was again amazed at the number of kids that went up there - when i saw Taylor jump up to get in line - it brought tears to my eyes... then soon his buddies were up too - it was an amazing sight. The cabin time after that was pretty emotional - (the kids were pretty tired too...) But WOW - what an experience, i am so glad that i was blessed with it:)

The other really exciting thing that happened that is known as the "Wildhorse curse" (i guess that something usually happens either ont he way there or the way home)is that the bus got a flat tire about 20 miles south of kennewick - luckily, it was able to drive really slow and we made it home safe! Taylor was on the bus and i guess the kids were freaking out!! but now they have a great story to tell!!! :):)
Taylor, Bailey & Hayden Playin Pool

April Wood and her friends on the "Screamer"

Jason just hangin out in the sports complex

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