Friday, June 09, 2017

Camp Barnabas, Term 1, 2017

I just returned from a week at camp, and wanted to write a little bit. While I'm tired, I am not ready to sleep just yet. When I do, I will sleep tons. This is more for me than for you because I type faster than I handwrite.

I arrived Saturday at 4pm at camp. I picked a bunk, and met my roommates. One was a returner, but the rest were new, which I loved! I really enjoy meeting new people, especially in the Barn-a-Bubble. *grin*

It was raining during rotations, so we didn't walk far to our rotations and I was secretly happy about that. We did training rotations, dinner, and camper cards. I realized one of our campers was a returner, and was really excited about that.

After camper cards, we normally go to IP for worship and a speaker, but due to the rain we were in the dining hall. I was the speaker for the evening, and I was excited. After that, we went back to our cabins for family time.

Family time was full of laughter, and was very short. I loved that because I know how sleep is limited after that first night, and I rested well that night.

On Sundays, we had training and then campers came at 4. It was raining, and it was the first Term I have attended with Camper Arrival in the rain. That being said, the teens did a great job of welcoming the campers even though it was pouring down rain. It made for a great memory. *grin*

My cabin was amazing from the beginning. One camper I had had before, and all of the others were new. I find it amazing how people all go out to camp to serve for different reasons. I truly believe God let me have CP to be able to connect with people who have challenges. Over and over again, I connect with campers. They are my main reason to go out and serve there. *grin*

Each camper has a story, and I love to be around that story for a week. Each of our girls had their own story and personality to go along with it. Those young ladies will never know how much each of them touched my heart. Truly.

Staff did an activity board this year, and I really liked that the campers had a voice in what activities they could participate in. They still have some kinks to work out on it, but, it was neat to try something new. I also love how staff is always trying new things to improve camp.

My favorite change out at camp is that they added crosses with lights on them on the main paths. I've been going there for eleven summers, and it was pitch black on the path to get back to my room. I always had a flashlight, obviously, but I felt so much better walking with light on the path. Staff will never know what that means to me. Truly. *grin*

Our cabin did various activities, and I was blown away by how much the campers loved each other in our cabin. Sometimes they have a love/hate relationship because they've all been to camp together for a long time. However, the girls truly liked each other and cared for one another. That's the Barnabas Way! *grin*

I wish I could explain to people what Barnabas is like. It's not like anything else I've been involved in, and unless you're there it's hard to explain. People love on a level you don't see outside the Barn-A-Bubble. Truly.

Since I spoke to the volunteers the night before campers arrived, I had more conversations with people than ever before at camp. God used me in several lives to encourage the young people who are in college and wanting to go into Special Education. God also used them to encourage me in some unique ways. It is indescribable what EACH interaction did to my heart. None of the people out at camp will ever know how my heart was touched. *grin* And that's okay, God knows and He continually blessed me throughout the week. *grin*

I was stretched this week as I served time each day in the kitchen. *giggle* Okay, now stop, it's not THAT FUNNY! *giggle* One of the words I heard in the beginning of the week from the teens that came to serve was that they felt "inadequate". I often felt that emotion in the kitchen as I am NOT a cook. You would think that since I served two weeks in the kitchen last Summer, I would be a pro, but with new staff I felt even more out of sync. However, the world of Barnabas is incredibly supportive and understanding. *grin* I love that, as I got to know people I wouldn't have otherwise, and we had a lot of good laughs along the way. *giggle* My favorite moment was this morning when we all chimed in and sang, "Living on a prayer". *giggle* I know, you had to be there, but it was FUN.

It was the first term I didn't sit in the Wellhouse at all with a camper. We did go in during sick call hours for campers, but we didn't stay for a length of time. That was a first. I loved that! *grin*

I did have a first in my eleven years out there...I had a tic on me! Ahhhhhh! I found it while using the restroom, and it was located on my lower back. Once I found it, I did what they told us in training and had a nurse remove it. We waited to see if it was alive and moving, and it was alive. Yeah! I received a tutorial from the nurse about tics, and learned that it was excellent that the tic was moving. The nurse told me that if the tic is moving, it's good because that means the head is out. I felt a little weird after having a bug in my skin, but, was thankful I found it right away. *grin*

One of my ongoing prayers the past few months is that I would be a "legit" (my word these days) follower of God in all I say and do. I cannot tell you how many people stated that they love my online posts. They also mentioned briefly in training about our online footprint that we leave when we show Barnabas things online too. I have pondered that a lot, and will continue to do so because people watch us all the time.

It goes back to one of the core values of my church, "Be living proof of a loving God to a watching world." The Barn-A-Bubble has that down to an art. Yeah, we have bumps here and there, but gosh, if the world could see that bubble what a wonderful world this would be. Truly. *grin*

I'm different tonight than I was one week ago. It was an experience that left me aching to go back in July. Yes, I'm returning for Term 7. *grin* At the same time, I see sleep and rest in my future.

By the way, Jay stayed with a friend and her family while I was gone, and I'm so glad we're back together. The family sent me a video of Jay eating ice cream, which was precious. *grin* He was spoiled there too. Life is so good!

In between now and Term 7, I have Karen coming for Bethel, a concert with Scienceguy, the Kellogg's coming, and about 20 books on my Kindle to read. I love Summer Break!

Thank You, God, for Camp Barnabas. It was amazing.

Awesome...I LOVE MY LIFE!

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