Monday, April 02, 2012


This past weekend I was blessed to go to Camp Barnabas for a weekend of camp. I always enjoy going to camp, but I will admit, I was nervous because my wonderful friend, Laura, has moved on and I was a little nervous about that. However, what I found was that I was there for God and the campers, and while I missed Laura, it continued to be an AMAZING experience for me.

I really had zero expectations for the weekend. I had no idea who was going, but I knew I was where I supposed to be for the weekend, so I was excited to be there. I had been told that I wouldn't be guaranteed to be a Cabin Mom, so I just prayed the whole way that I would get to be one. Sure enough, I was able to serve the campers and CIA's as a Cabin Mom for G1! I was pumped!

When we went over Camper Cards, I recognized one name on the cards, and was excited to be with the adults with disabilities. I don't go to any of those terms, so I was blessed that I was going to get to know some new people!

I should pause here and share that I was SO EXCITED to have one of my favorite CIA's, Selby, in my cabin! She was in my cabin last year and I LOVE that girl! She has such a heart for the Lord, and serving others. We hugged, and I was excited for the weekend!

After arrival, I wound up on the deck with a lot of people waiting for dinner, and we bumped into Carley. Carley is a sweet gal who I had met before, but never had before in my cabin. Due to the fact she goes to Barna-Prep, she didn't have a cabin yet, and we had one camper not show up, so I asked if we could adopt Carley, and Jason said yes! It worked out great because with one camper down, we had one CIA without a camper! It worked out GREAT! Plus, I was excited to have Carley in our cabin so I could get to know her better! *grin* The weekend was shaping up to be a great one already, and it had just started! *grin*

To be completely honest, I hadn't met all of our campers prior to dinner because of how late it was, so it was at dinner that I met Lela. I had seen Lela around camp before during previous terms, but never knew her name or anything about her. I got to know her because she didn't want to take her medication. Lela is probably one of the coolest non-verbal campers I have ever met. She clearly didn't want her medicine, and while we were all learning about her, I liked her right away. She became a definite highlight of my weekend.

I could tell you every little thing we did, but I will refrain. It was a lot of fun. Our activities included Treasure Hunt, Cafe, Boats, and Music. I missed a couple of activities, due to various things, but it was fun when I was present for the activities.

The thing that stood out to me throughout the weekend were the sounds out at camp. I think the sounds are so unique that I kept grinning throughout the weekend. For example, there is a camper named Preston that you can hear from pretty much anywhere in camp. He's not yelling in pain, his voice is just loud and his speech is limited. Therefore, I heard, "Bah, bah, kah" etc, all weekend, and I LOVED IT. I was amazed Saturday Night at Wrap Up when Jackson arrived to Wrap Up and I actually heard Preston say a full word, "Jackson". I grinned. He's been a favorite camper of mine for years, even though I've never had him in a cabin, as he constantly makes me smile. He doesn't know me, he's autistic, but boy was that kid cool!

The dining hall for me is such an amazing place. This, in and of itself, is an amazing statement because food is NOT a favorite part of my day. I love the chants, cheers, singing campers, and dessert whistle. I don't think I've ever shared the dessert whistle. After the main meal is served and eaten, Billie came out with the whistle and everyone chants "Blow the whistle." In between, the girls holler "Please!" It's an amazing thing. Perhaps it looses something in translation since you weren't there, but to me, the dining hall is a favorite part of my day out there.

I want to share a story that was a favorite of mine from the dining hall this weekend. We were at breakfast on Saturday and we had pancakes and bacon. *grin* (One of my favorite meals!) Due to the fact there weren't enough chairs, I shared the end with one of our staffers. On the other side of me was Lela. We started eating, and suddenly Lela gently took a piece of bacon off my plate. I started laughing, and everyone followed with laughing and grinning. At lunch, she took several of my pretzels. I have to admit, it made me grin even though we said, "No, Lela." I love that girl!

Lela didn't talk, and we had another great moment with her when we were at the end of the Treasure Hunt and we were all sitting and relaxing after walking a lot. It was quite warm, so we were all drinking from our water bottles. I got up to go to the Barn-A-Bunk for a moment, and as I went to pass her, she grabbed my arm. (It didn't hurt, she was gentle) I turned and she took my water bottle and started drinking all the water out of it. We all started laughing. After that, I made sure she had a water bottle that was full. *grin* It was one of my favorite moments from the weekend. Later in the day, Lela had a seizure and left camp. Even though she left camp, it wasn't before she left a permanent mark on my heart. I love that girl.

We had fun in our cabin too. Teresa was a constant source of laughter with the "boo" game. I will admit, it wasn't a game I played, but the CIA's were AWESOME with her and while they may have become tired of the game they didn't show it. They did an AMAZING job with her! *grin*

Kimberly, Selby, and I had a great time. I was blessed by how patient Kim was with all of us. For some unknown reason, I kept calling Kim the wrong name all weekend. I kept saying, "Emily." I'm not sure why that name stuck, but it did. Anyway, she was patient with us, and enjoyed spending time with us.

Nike and Rique (Spelling?) were a lot of fun. I really didn't get to know either of them well because they sort of did their own thing. They actually got up and sang in the dining hall, which was fun!

Carley was a highlight too. We have a lot more in common than I ever expected. It was so much fun having her around and I was glad that we adopted her for the weekend. We laughed a lot, and cheered for KU as well! I'm glad God brought Carley into my life. I'm a blessed gal.

Our staff, Brea and Lauren were the most laid-back girls I have seen out at camp, but they always got the job done. God is going to use those two in amazing ways in years to come. I really believe that.

I didn't really get to know Jamie until yesterday. I had the pleasure of walking to church with her, and I enjoyed talking to her. She is also a Barn-A-Prep student, and she is very popular out at camp. I really enjoyed my time with her!

Wow, I didn't plan on this being a long post.

Finally, we ended camp with my favorite song that I've only heard out at camp. It's Zephaniah 3:17: For the Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over You in song...

Now I can't wait until this Summer. There will be ore amazing people to meet and more memories made.

Love. It.

GREAT!!! *grin*

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