Friday, June 06, 2014

Term 1, 2014, Camp Barnabas, Adult Friends

For the second year in a row, I attended Camp Barnabas' Term 1, Adult Friends Week. While I was slightly hesitant due to the lack of a break between work and camp, it turned out to be a gift from the Lord.

Upon arrival, we had our usual training stuff. You'd think I would hate that, but I don't. That time is a good time to get to know our cabins and learn about our future campers. In one of our sessions, one of the camp leaders said, "This place changes you." I couldn't agree more. *grin*

From our first cabin meeting to camper pickup today, the Lord continually met me in the coolest ways. The most amazing thing is how I'm not as tired as I usually am after a week at camp. I figure I want to share all I can tonight before I forget stuff. (This getting older stuff is for the birds.) *grin*

Upon meeting everyone in our cabin, I had one thought, "I Love how He brings people together who don't know each other, and we all become a family by the end." This week that was very true.

Training seems long because you sit for hours, but it wasn't too bad. I started doing thank you cards in the session, as sitting still is hard for me. I was SUPER tired Sunday and Monday, as my body had to adjust to lack of soda and candy. Truth be told, I feel better now than I have in a long time. I drank tons of water (I always do at camp) and literally felt better.

Camper cards always make me pray, and I prayed for the week as the girls were going through the cards. I went into the week not knowing one of our campers. I was slightly bummed, as I really wanted some of my campers from last year. Of course, He had other ideas. *grin* It was a stretch for me, as I usually know the campers, but since I have only attended Term 1 last year for the first time, I didn't know any of them. As it turned out, I LOVED every one of them. *grin* Happens every time.

Something that is always amazing is how perfectly each CIA and camper are paired up. They pray and then pick based upon the time with the Lord. It ALWAYS works out. *grin* I love how He does that!

So, Anna (CIA) took Paula (Camper). Anna changed this week. She went from a shy young lady, to a gal who could entertain the campers through her animal impersonations. She's pretty amazing. And Paula, well, she was shy but Anna was able to make her feel included. It was AMAZING. *grin* I was so happy to see Anna happy at the end of the week. She did a GREAT job with all the girls.

Molly (CIA) took Brittany and Amanda. Yes, she had two campers because we had fewer CIA's than campers. This was Molly's first year as a CIA, but you wouldn't have guessed that by watching her. She did GREAT with both girls. Speaking personally, I enjoyed the time spent with Molly, walking all over camp with Brittany. I'm praying Molly goes out for Staff. Barnabas would be BLESSED to have her. Amanda was an amazing camper that was patient in ways I probably wouldn't have been as a young adult. I hope to be in Amanda's cabin again, because I want to get to know her better. I spent more time with others, and didn't get super close to Amanda.

Brittany (Camper) is a precious young lady who walks at my pace. We got to know each other very well, and He knitted our hearts together. I had seen her around camp before, but I never knew her name. My life is better now with Brittany in it.

Dani (CIA) was paired up with Traci (Camper) and I adored both the girls. Both of them loved to laugh, Traci especially! *grin* One night while waiting for dinner, we wound up laughing so hard my side hurt! It was AWESOME! I don't know Dani as well because Traci did so well on her own, but I did think Dani did an incredible job with Traci.

Kelsee (CIA) and Leanna (Camper) were paired up, and I know God worked on both of their hearts this week. Leanna is a sweetheart who is coming back Term 7, just like I am! That made me SUPER happy! *grin* Kelsee has amazing potential, and she will remain on my prayer list in the days and years to come. She's amazing, I am just not sure she sees what I do in her, which is all good. *grin*

Lydia (CIA) was paired with Julie and Cassie (Both campers). I think Lydia had two of the most entertaining campers in the cabin. Lydia did an AMAZING job, helping EVERYONE, not just her campers, with a cheerful heart. She made me smile a lot. Julie's verbal skills kept us smiling regularly, and loved everyone in our cabin freely. She also carries joy just by being herself. Each night at wrap-up, she was dancing and clapping, and inspiring our cabin to enjoy the music. It was neat. Cassie, well, was Cassie, and her verbal abilities ALWAYS made us laugh. She was GREAT at telling each of us that she loved us. At first, I had to get used to it, as it sounded a little robotic. However, the more she said it, the more I understood that was her true feeling. She just struggles to share new thoughts and would share the same things over and over. I felt it was the Lord reminding our girls how loved they are by Him. We all loved Julie and Cassie in special ways. *grin*

Grace (CIA) and Amy (Camper) were paired up, and that was also perfect. Amy had us laughing often through her, well, sounds. She burped a lot, but also just made sounds that would turn into laughter. We loved Amy! Grace also held a special place in my heart, as the Lord stretched her all week since she was homesick. Grace did a GREAT job, and I don't think Amy even knew that Grace was homesick. She really pushed through, and I was proud of her. I hope she comes back, as she did a great job while being homesick, and I can only imagine what He would do through her when she wasn't homesick. I'll be praying for her in the days and weeks to come. *grin*

Grace (CIA) and Rebecca (Camper) were paired up. Now don't get confused here, we had two CIA's named Grace. I will admit, both gals named Grace were homesick, but they both pushed through. I was so proud. Also, Grace did a great job being honest and real during family times, and I LOVED that. *grin* I tried to give Rebecca a nickname all week, and she wouldn't let me. It was kind of funny to me, but I respected her wishes. I didn't know Rebecca well, as she did well on her own, but I liked her a lot. She made me smile often, as she would say, "There's Mommy", referring to me. *grin*

I think the added bonus was that my girls from last year also returned. I spent a small amount of time with my girls from last year too, which made me smile. Crystal (Camper) poked me every time she saw me, and called me "Momma Shannon." *grin* Today before we left, Crystal had me sign her shirt. I have to admit, that made me smile. *grin*

Ashley returned (camper) too and I was able to make her laugh every time I saw her. It was fun. Today she kissed my hands twice at breakfast. She is precious!

Red-Head Ashlee was also back (Camper) and would mess up my hair or hat every chance she had. Red-Head REALLY likes me a lot, and we haven't been in the same cabin for YEARS. However, I smiled a big smile because she still remembers me. *grin*

Becky (camper) hugged me every time she saw me. Her staff figured out how to make her walk faster, but making it a walking race. Becky seemed happier this year, which I was glad to see.

Mary Kate (Camper) was also back, but said very little. She hasn't changed much, but seemed to be having a good time. Mary Kate never really said a lot, but came back, so I was happy to see her.

Jennifer (camper) returned and more than once I stopped to help calm her down. We had several storms move through, and she is scared of storms. I was proud of her, as she pushed through. I hope Jennifer comes back next year.

Lela, oh, Lela, that will be a separate post tomorrow. The Lord TOTALLY spoke to me through Lela. *grin*

Other highlights included the new dome at the tennis courts, being asked by leadership to do something new for one evening (I liked it more than I thought I did.), making unity ankle bracelets, sharing my testimony during gospel, winning Honor Cabin on Day #1, laughing, being a third, Wrap up, catching up with staffers, seeing Julia and Taylor, and being caught in the rain with Brittany and Molly.

Finally, I stopped by and saw Ronni and her family before heading home. It was WONDERFUL to see her. She has grown up! It was a great end to the trip.

So, now I'm home on the couch and am quite happy here. I plan on resting tomorrow. I LOVE camp, but I also like being home too!

By the way, yes, I walked away changed too. It's something I can't put into words. I just know that He blessed me this past week in ways that I can't explain, and I'm happier tonight than I was one week ago.

Thank You, Lord.


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