Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 - Summer Youth Camp - "An Arrival"

     What an amazing day we had today!  Everyone reading this really should have been here to experience this day.  Our day began in typical fashion with quiet time and breakfast.  We were served pancakes, bacon, and fruit.  Then it was a mad dash to finish setting up for camp which involved shuffling our things to different rooms, setting up the chapel, painting our sports field and several other tasks.  Of course it poured down rain this morning which made us all a little uneasy about the day ahead.  But, the rain eventually subsided and the clouds remained which kept it fairly cool (at least by Belize standards) for most of the day.

     Our campers started to arrive around 10:00 A.M.  They were met with smiling faces by members of our team and were then directed to their cabins where they would be sleeping.  Several played soccer or volleyball while we were waiting for the remaining campers to arrive.  Others just talked.  Lunch was served a little after noon.  The young men served lunch to the young ladies.  Once the ladies all had their food, the young men were then able to enjoy their lunch.

     Then it was off to the chapel where we formally welcomed everyone to camp and went over the camp rules.  Rules, while not popular, are a necessary requirement for this camp.  The groups were then released one at a time and spread out across camp where they participated in several ice breaker games in order to get to know each other.  Then the guy groups were combined into one and they played a couple of tag games.  After tag, the guys tried their luck at Ga-GA Ball (Panda Ball).  This is a dodgeball type game played in an enclosed arena.  Players have to bend at the waist and swat a ball across the ground trying to hit other players in the legs to eliminate them.  Last one standing wins.  This was a very popular game and was played for almost an hour straight.

While the guys were playing games after the group welcome in the chapel, the groups of young ladies were off to work to decorate their rooms.  It turned into a competition between the groups and there were plenty of creative ideas that were used.  Eventually, the ladies made their way down towards the sports field where the guys were playing soccer.  After a few minutes, the rain returned but it did not deter our campers from having a good time.

After the rain subsided once more, soccer, volleyball and basketball resumed.  Around 5:00 P.M., everyone headed towards their rooms to take showers and get ready for dinner.  After dinner, we all headed to the chapel for our evening worship experience.  Before beginning worship, Matt and Sarah put on a skit for everyone that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  We then sang several songs and that was followed by Joy sharing her powerful testimony with everyone.  At the conclusion of her testimony, she played the song "Blessings" for everyone to reflect on.  There is a verse in the song that says, "When your blessings come through raindrops..." and when that line played through the speakers, a strong and sudden downpour started and lasted only until the end of the song.  Must have been God's way of letting us know he was with us this evening.  

Following worship, everyone headed back to their cabins to prepare for lights out.  There was some minor horseplay while the kids let off their last bit of steam and now they are all sleeping safe and sound.  We had a great first day of camp.  There are too many pictures to post them all, but some additional photos can be seen below.

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