Monday, March 20, 2017

Thoughts on Spring Barnabreak 2017

I am ALWAYS amazed at how much I go into events at Barnabas expecting the same thing over and over again, while in reality every trip is unlike any one before. There are always new people, experiences, and memories to be made there. While I'm wiped out today as I write this, that's totally cool because I'm on Spring Break this week and naps can happen at any time. *giggle*

I like to blog about my trips there because I don't want to forget what happened out there. So, you (once again) get the bonus of reading my ramblings as I remember this past weekend. *grin*

I arrived late on Friday due to my teaching responsibilities, but I'm so glad I arrived Friday night so I could jump right in on Saturday. There was a paper on my bunk reserving a bottom bunk for me. I just grinned, as it felt so right. *grin* I talked to a few people when I got in on Friday, but I honestly wanted to sleep as early as possible because I knew Saturday would be a busy day. *grin*

I was up and at IP at a little after 8 and said hi to some of my friends. I found out first thing that Avery made my reserve sign for my bunk. I just grinned, as that was just so awesome. *grin*

Lauren rolled up behind me, and I was so excited! I got up and immediately hugged her! The cool part is that it's camp and that is just what happens out there. *grin* It was SO GOOD to begin my day with Lauren at camp. Totally.

I looked out at the crowd and just smiled. The incredible part of Barnabreak is that some people return that couldn't give a whole week during a summer, but can serve for a weekend. So, I saw so many amazing people that are too many for me to list. However, those women have touched my heart more than they could possibly know. Truly. *grin*

When IP was dismissed to breakfast, I stood there waiting to figure out where my girls from my cabin were located. *grin* Adrian helped me, so it didn't take long. I jumped right in, and was so glad to be in the cabin I was in. Truly. We had two cabin Moms, which worked out SO WELL. *grin*

I typically write about my campers in my cabin. I pondered this on the drive home, and honestly Barn-A-Breaks are so quick that I can't learn everyone's names. I will say, all of our volunteers did a GREAT job in our cabin. As I sit here I can't think of one girl that I was with more than any other, as our cabin was fairly high functioning.

I found out immediately that Martha Grace was in our cabin. Gosh, I was so excited! Martha Grace is an infamous camper that EVERYONE knows. She is precious, and it was so much fun to be around her again. My favorite Martha Grace moments were in the cabin when we were hanging out and she would come and go from me. I can't really explain it in words, but, it's precious and I soaked up every second. Totally. *grin*

I had Lauren again, and she has really grown up. She didn't bite like she used to, which made me just smile. She's also good at communicating via sign language, and I loved it. She is precious.

Jennifer. Ohmygosh, I haven't had Jennifer in my cabin in about 4 years. She is an adult with Autism, and I adore her. She says almost every thought she has, and it's precious. At one point she got upset because she wrote "B8" (our cabin) on our poster but it looked like a young person's writing, and one of our other campers flipped over the poster and started over. Poor Jennifer's feelings were crushed. We worked through it, and I was SO GLAD I was able to help her calm down. She will forever be a favorite of mine, as she's so much fun and loves people in her own way. I'm so glad she's coming to Term 1, so I will see her again! *grin*

Chelsea. Oh, Chelsea and I have been in a cabin together before, but this trip we REALLY connected. One of my things is finding a funny thing to do with each camper to make them smile or laugh. With Chelsea, we had our thing, and it was SO MUCH FUN. Every time I was around Chelsea, I could feel the love in the air. It was SO good. At the end of the weekend we were in the shirt shack and I said "bye" to Chelsea and she came over and gave me the biggest hug! I adore that young lady. Truly.

Emma. Ohmygosh, Emma was such a bright spot in our cabin! Emma is a young lady (16 years old) that reminded me so much of me when I was her age. Okay, well, Emma was more mature than I was at 16, but, we walk alike, have similar haircuts, and I REALLY enjoyed watching her on Saturday. She jumped right in (just as I did as a kid) and was a really good basketball player, and sang the National Anthem so well. *grin* I can't sing like she does, but we walked the same way, and just had a great time. I found myself wishing I had more time with her, as I would've enjoyed getting to know her better. It was priceless. Totally. *grin*

Oh, I should mention the National Anthem, as it was part of our March Madness Tournament. Our second activity was in the dome with basketball games with cabins against cabins. We sang in between every game, and it was so precious. We had some campers that can seriously sing. Emma got up there and REALLY nailed it. It made me smile. Yeah, we had a few that couldn't sing at all, but I even enjoyed that because in the "real world" they wouldn't have had that opportunity. We did our usual camp modifications to the song, and it was truly a highlight for me. It always is, but, I enjoyed it even more this time. Seriously.

We had amazing volunteers, and I can't came name them all. Without name tags and enough time, I was at a loss. I did enjoy talking to the teens though, and they all did a fabulous job.

I sit here and it's so hard to explain Camp to people who hadn't been there.

Those people, campers, volunteers, and staffers, have no idea how much this I love them. They are my family, and every trip out there feels like a family reunion. I realize that the staffers come and go, but, that's cool too. I get new friends all the time out there, and they all LOVE JESUS!

I'll admit it, Friday night I was exhausted and I wondered briefly if I should stay home. I'm so glad I didn't though. I'm exhausted now, but that's okay. Spring Break is a gift and a nap can happen at any time.

As I was leaving to load my car up, my dear friend Kay was on her porch (they live at camp) and she asked when I was returning. Truthfully she would love to have me all summer, and I would love that but I don't know how that would work. *grin*

I said something to her about how much I love camp.

Kay replied with something that has had me smiling since, just because it was such a cool thing to say.

Kay said, "Camp loves you too. I love you, but you need to know that CAMP loves you too!"

Perfect way for me to end the weekend.

I love Kay, and Camp, and am ready for Summer to get here SOON.

For now though, a nap needs to happen.


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