Friday, June 19, 2009

What French Fries?

Last year I went to the Wyoming Alliance Kidz Kamp for the first time as a counselor. This year I felt God calling me back. The two experiences were quite different...let me show you the final paragraph of my blog post from last year:

Overall, it was totally worth every bit of sleep deprivation, whining, lack of privacy, etc. Am I glad to be home? You betcha. I cried when I got to wrap my arms around The Prairie Kid again. Would I do it again? You betcha. But I would do my best to recruit more adults to help because we were short on staff and that made it a much harder week. (emphasis added)

And recruit I did! I talked and touted Kidz Kamp all year with my fellow adults at church. And even with some high schoolers that I worked with. And God called many others to go and serve. YAY! It did make a HUGE difference and so did many other a responsible counselor-in-training, and an amazing group of girls in my cabin, and the experience of having gone before and having a bag of tricks in my back pocket. I never could have imagined how far a bag of nail polish and nail stickers can go in changing the atmosphere in a girls' cabin! : )

So, in a nutshell, I HAD A BLAST! The only true reason I was ready to come home was so that I could get some decent sleep! I mean it, I wasn't even at a place that I wasn't really missing the rest of The Prairie Family yet. Of course I loved being with my two Prairie Men again but I could have stayed at camp for several more days. We were having so much fun that a group of us counselors would stay up late and hang out in the nurse's room. Just like I told the campers, I am not at liberty to discuss whether or not McDonald's was snuck into the dorms after lights out. I loved getting to know some of the people from my church the way we got to by getting into a caravan of SUV's with a bus full of camp-crazed kids and communing together for 5 days at the state fair grounds.

I hid behind a camera much of the week. I also put together slide shows every day which was a fun project. I don't have many pictures of me at camp since I got to hide behind the camera but there were a few. I am planning on downloading the bulk of the camp pictures at church tomorrow because they were all stored on the director's laptop. For now I will just post a few that I actually ended up in.

This is my incredible cabin. Tanya the Tremendous was my co-counselor (she's the beauty left of me) and Andra the Amazing was our counselor-in-training (she's the beauty with the little one leaning over into her lap). We shared our week with 10 great girls: 4 from Cody, 4 from Douglas, and 2 from Saratoga, Wyoming. These girls were awesome! Our cabin name was Shoshone River. (Shoshone means "stinky water" but I brought an air freshener for our room and it helped! Hee, hee)

This is a picture of us passing out chocolate cake to two of the girl's cabins during a rotation.

And here I am enjoying my favorite activity of the week: floating the North Platte River. Weird picture of me...must have been talking or laughing...oh well.

Here we are trying to get out of the river. My feet got planted in inches of black, thick mud and for a bit I wondered if my Teva's would make it out of the river with me!

Maybe I should have asked them if I could have kept that cool life jacket. What an accessory! Don't you think it is stylish?

And here we are stinking up the bus with our lovely river smell...and thanks to the crazy guys sitting in front of me (who were the worship leaders for the week) we got to sing fun songs like "She'll be coming out of the river when she comes" and "The wheels on the bus"...but my personal favorite was this verse in "Old MacDonald" graciously provided by one of the campers:
"Old MacDonald has a farm, eee-i-eee-i-o. And on his farm he has a lousy wife, eee-i-eee-i-o. With a nag, nag here, and a nag, nag there. Here a nag, there a nag, everywhere a nag, nag." Wasn't that a nice contribution the camper added to the camp experience? I am so touched.
The theme of camp this year was "Friends of God" and focused on the fact that God does desire a friendship with us. He is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother. He is the generous, unselfish, committed Friend that we can count on like no one else. He gave the ultimate sacrifice to be friends with us. I loved seeing this truth come alive this week. I loved hearing the kids talk about what God has already done in their lives and hearing them sing praises together. It is a wonderful sound to hear kid's voices together praising God.

I will probably have another post or two about this week in the near future. Meanwhile, I am hoping to get some rest and kick the cold I got from Rodeo Bible Camp that is still hanging on and filling my head head with, well, let's not go there!


Beck said...

Yay God! Sounds like a wonderful experience. I'm thankful for people like you and the others willing to invest in kids.

Sarah said...

I wish I could have been there. You did an amazing job recruiting! My last year I took 20 kids and no help. Kudos!