For the past year it has been my dream to take a group of kids from HSE Junior High to Wyld Life Camp. I've prayed about it, we've met with parents, talked to kids, done fundraising to start a YL club and made the dream come true. On Wednesday morning at 6:45 am we met at the North Central parking lot and loaded our bus to set out on a grand adventure. 34 kids, 8 leaders, 5 days
We traveled with North Central and I was extra excited that Anna, a Camp Tecumseh camper the past two weeks, was coming with us. Loaded on the bus, everyone was bursting with excitement about what was to come.
We played the iPod shuffle game, a straw and ring relay, and Switch to meet half the group. There was a pit stop for lunch, viewings of Dark Knight and Monster's Inc, and an ongoing countdown of our time left on the bus.
Finally we saw the entrance to camp--TIMBER WOLF LAKE!
I'm so excited about all of our leaders this week. Riley, Michael, Stephen and Hannah were all Carmel Young Life kids, Wyld Life leaders and are now in college. They love kids and God and were the perfect additions to this group. Both Ryan and Abby have been involved in Young Life before in Fishers and are excited to join in this team to start it back up again. I teach with Kathy and when I was telling her about it in the hall one day she said, "I want in," and has jumped in with both feet. There is so much joy, sass, laughter, adventure, volume, prayer, friendship and craziness in this group.
When they first got off the bus and were greeted by the dancing and singing Work Crew my girls were a bit shell-shocked. But it only took them a couple minutes to figure out that this place was awesome. We moved into Pine Camp quickly before heading off to our first thing. I've been in charge of so many different cabin groups in the past decade but these 11 girls are one of the best.
We went to the Giant Swing on the other side of the lake to watch the boys from our area. All of the guys and girls are friends so it was awesome getting to hang out together all week.
Once you're hooked in, the swing is pulled up to the highest point before you pull the cord to release you into a fall. You could have heard Rhett and Mark's screams from the other side of camp.
I'm so excited that Katy came on this trip. I've known her for the past two years and she is a constant blessing in my life. Whether it's stopping by to talk during passing period or coming to FBC every week, Katy is such an awesome girl.
We brought four 7th grade girls too, three were in my class this past year. They perfectly fit in with the rest of the group and I loved getting to know them better.
We had to do a quick swim check in the freezing lake but after they got out the girls didn't want to get out right away.
YL meals at camp are always incredible but the best part is easily Big Cookie. A pan of gooey, hot, melty chocolate cookie that isn't fully cooked topped with a thick layer of vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup. It's the million dollar dessert.
Rather than waste time cutting up the Big Cookie we opted to just all dive in. We basically scraped the pan clean.
I love getting to share meals together; talking about our day and what we're excited for, playing double tap and answering meal questions.
Outside we ran down to the beach to the Green Machine where the Summer Staff showed us all the things we would be able to do during free time this week--buying YL apparel at the store, making things at the bead box, the zipline into the lake, tubing, paddle boards and kayaks, rope swing, giant blob, giant swing, snacks at the Blue Ox, and ga-ga.
Then all of camp, about 460 people, played games together in the field.
One of my favorite things about camp right away was that the grass here is so green and soft--no drought in Michigan. I also love that Young Life is so good at hype and keeping things fast paced with music and characters and directions.
We ran around like crazy--laughing with our friends and meeting new people from other areas.
At the first club we coached our kids about how to get to the front row--they proceeded to get the front the rest of the week. Tyson led music and we sang loud. I love all aspects of club--the video of the day, songs, upfront game on the Shirley Show, more songs, and a talk from Mike.
All of camp had a dodgeball tournament in the gym. P-I-N-E, PINE! PINE! PINE!
We were crazy enthusiastic and once we figured out the rules for the game did pretty well. I love that whatever the activity is, these girls go nuts together and make it all the most fun thing they've ever done.
We were surprised by late night pizza and pop before bed. Nothing like pepperoni and Diet Coke.
The girls kept saying how much they love this place and next year they want to bring all their friends. It was seriously the best day ever. Our first cabin time, like devotions, was so cool because everyone was honest and asking questions and being real with each other. It was hard to imagine what the rest of the week would bring.