Monday, February 22, 2016

"Plot twist: BC Serna is the speaker at Camp Club."

Monday mornings start off with a bang with this group of 7th grade girls. Guys--they're amazing. They all show up before me every week, they all read the two chapters every week, they're all ready to share and talk about what we're learning. It's a dream. This time together is quickly becoming a favorite part of my week 2nd semester.

Tonight a seemingly impossible dream came true. We brought YL Camp to Club and squeezed a week long experience into just an hour and a half. It was insane and beautiful and chaotic and organized. But before I tell you about the magic-- I've got to say that tonight was such a picture of the body of Christ. From Ryan and Kathy to committee members to every single leader on our team to the kind souls at Chik Fil A-- no one could have pulled this off alone. Everybody was in.

We locked the door into the barn and put up a sign that said, "YL Camp is closed. See you soon! #getexcited" I waited out front with a clipboard and assigned kids to cabins as they rolled in. Once we achieved critical mass we rolled up the barn door, with music blaring of course, and kids ran in through the leaders' Tunnel of Love. Immediately the mob of kids ran to their cabin leader and put on their cabin costume. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

Feldman and Feldman rocked jerseys.

Scott Black had his own marching band (hands down, my favorite costumes).

Dianne, Molly and Emily's girls went to Hawaii.

Jackie and Kylee's crew had an overall good time.

Joey and Beesley rounded up the nerds.

Scott and Austin crushed the trash bags and paint (this has been a cabin costume at ever YL camp in all of history).

My crew got to wear Camp Tecumseh staff shirts for the night. This squad is too varied in age for it to ever be a reality, but having this cabin for a whole week would rock. 

Liz, Kaelyn, Erin, Julia, Ashley, Rachel, Haleigh, Chloe and Kegley have been some of the main characters of my YL story from the very start.

Jackie welcomed everyone to Camp SharpWolfLakeAway and asked about their long bus ride to camp. She was just telling us all about what camp has to off when she was interrupted by Old McDonald and Mad Cow. They were upset we were trespassing on Grandpappy's farm which used to be a petting zoo and threatened to make us all leave.

Jackie interrupted and told us all, "CAMP IS YOURS!" and everyone ran in much delight to play during free time. Basketballs, footballs, frisbees and soccer balls rained down. Literally. We threw them out of the upstairs windows into the gym. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

Tonight was one of those YL nights when we couldn't stop smiling. Even though it was a Monday night in Fishers, IN it really felt like we were at YL camp. I slipped right back to Spinnaker with Julia, Meric and JP. Julia was living the freaking dream wearing a Tecumseh staff shirt for the first time.

While the guys chucked basketballs around the room the girls started the first dance party of the night. Our girl Gracie knows how to throw down. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

Beesley and Mike Feldman traded in their identities tonight to become Simmons Richards aka the characters we met at Castaway last summer. They nailed the run on lines, jogged in place the whole time and got some of the kids working out upfront.

Then they announced the Cabin Volleyball tournament. Leaders held up the volleyball nets jump ropes and cabins battled each other to pass, set and hit their way to victory.

Because there were four games going on at once and no real boundary lines there may have been a few volleyballs to the face... but everyone still had a smile on their face. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

The Simmons Richards announced that there wasn't just one winner of the volleyball tournament-- everyone was the winner because EVERY CABIN GOT BIG COOKIE! You know we chowed down, every last bite. From the start, devouring Big Cookie simultaneously has been one of HSE YL's strengths. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

Old McDonald and Mad Cow (who can't speak because she lost her tongue in the war) reappeared, very angry, and cut the power on the whole barn. Seriously, they turned off all the lights in the whole barn and it was pitch black. Luckily I brought a head lamp since we were going to YL Camp.)

(p.s. The person in little girl Mad Cow is really KCraig. Our friends at Chik Fil A showed up earlier in the night to help her in the costume and explained all the cow rules.)

Next, every cabin ran through the obstacle course on the turf side of the barn-- in the dark. We made up a cabin cheer, hopped on one leg, kept balloons in the air for 30 seconds, did a dizzy bat spin, painted faces in the dark, crawled under a sheet tunnel and made the word "CAMP" with our bodies. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

Dance Party #2 of the night happened in the dark while we waited for all of the cabins to finish running through the obstacle course.

Joey and Kylee, aka the Dance Brigade, showed up to perform their choreographed routine to Uptown Funk. They killed it. This needs to happen on a regular basis. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

Everyone jumped up to join the Dance Brigade, the lights turned off again, glow sticks rained down (yep, literally) and we danced and sang like you only can at Camp SharpWolfLakeAway. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

In Ryan's words, "The lights turn on at the end thanks to the magical power of the children's dancing. Dance Party ends much to everyone's chagrin." Ryan and Jackie came up front to sing "Still haven't found what I'm looking for" in harmony and it was beautiful. So many people named their song as a highlight of the whole night. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

Scott Black came up to give the Club Talk tonight and totally nailed it. He spoke to us about being reaffirming and supportive of others because that's how God first loved us. Christians so often get a bad rap of being arrogant, boring, close minded, etc but we want to mirror a God who is selfless, exciting, open, forgiving, accepting, trustworthy. How can we become more and more like Christ to give people a picture of the God we love?

Old McDonald and Mad Cow appeared one more time. Instead of taking over the Barn and turning it into a petting zoo, Old McDonald instead wants to turn it into the world's largest Chik Fil A. He told us that we're starting tonight by giving everyone a free Chik Fil A chicken sandwich RIGHT NOW. Immediately everyone rose to their feet and ran to the back of the room to get their sandwich. WE LOVE YL CAMP.

God Bless Chik Fil A and Camp SharpWolfLakeAway.

We'd only been at camp for an hour and a half but it basically felt like a whole week. We've got 10 of the 14 Spinnaker girls, 8 of the 12 Jib girls and we all can't wait to go to Timber Wolf or Wilderness in just a few months. 

I love Alana's spunk and enthusiasm and can't wait to climb a mountain together. Meric and JP have each got a chunk of my heart and I love being their leader. Ashley and Rachel must have two of the sweetest souls-- their smiles don't leave their faces and their giggles are actually filled with sunshine and rainbows. WE ALL LOVE YL CAMP.

Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"You're sassy and I appreciate that and I respect you."
"If I vomited right now you'd be finished."

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