Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Legends Week, Term 1, Camp Barnabas 2021

CAMP BARNABAS thoughts and feelings....

Last year was hard for me because they had to cancel Camp Barnabas for the whole summer due to the pandemic. It was the right decision. Camp is full of hugs, physical contact (appropriate, of course), and sharing living quarters. As we all know by now, it would have been a super spreader event of the CaronaVirus last year. While I was bummed last year, I knew it was the right thing to do. TOTALLY.  

At the same time, the Pandemic changed our world for the better out at camp.  *grin*  Let me explain.

While our Barnabas family was at home and safe last Summer, some amazing things were able to be built out at camp that would have been a challenge if we had had camp. 

For the first time in two years, I went out to Camp last week for Legends Week, Term 1.  It was the first full term since the pandemic. There is SO MUCH I want to share about it.  *grin*

First of all, THEY PUT IN A LAKE! Yes, a lake. *grin*  While it was too cold for me to swim, and a lot of my cabin felt the same way, some of my cabin swam and did the canoes. You might not understand the significance of the lake unless you've been there. To go canoeing and fishing prior to this, was a SUPER LONG walk to the creek with LOTS of steps. It also lacked a bathroom. *ugh* I dreaded canoeing and fishing out there due to the walk and lack of facilities out there.  So for me, THE LAKE IS SUPER COOL last week. They added several areas of outdoor furniture and the canoe/fishing area was super cool too. *grin* My cabin went twice, Missionary Arrival Day, and one day for Open Activity Time Slot (OATS). While it was a little chilly, it was a nice time and it's located conveniently in relation to the cabins. As we spent time at the lake, I thanked God for Barnabas being closed last Summer so that they could make additions like this one. Of course, I'm not glad we had a pandemic, but to see a little GOOD come out of it made me smile. *grin*

They also added picnic tables throughout camp, and other outdoor furniture as well. It made me smile. I know it was so that we could have spaced out cabin events, but, I liked it just because it gave some of us somewhere to sit without needing help getting up. *giggle*

They also added a GAME ROOM where the shed was located. I never did get in the game room, but I'm returning to camp in July so I will see it then. *grin*  They also have rocking chairs on the porch of the Game Room building. Again, it looks great and we needed some new things out at camp. *grin*

You know what else they added? SEVERAL Golf Carts. Now, if you haven't been out to camp, you don't know the lay of the land. There are A LOT of hills and a lot of steps in a day. We've had golf carts out there before, but, not for campers or volunteers, just for staff. This year?  We had SEVERAL golf cart rides last week. It was a gift. My new summer dream job is to be a golf cart driver at camp.  *giggle* Seriously, think of how much fun that would be!  *giggle*  Yes, even the golf carts were a gift this year. I mean, people with mobility challenges given rides instead of walking everywhere is a gift. *giggle*

Another welcome change was how they cleared out the woods behind cabins G1, G2, and G3. Yes, I know, it's a camp, you're supposed to have woods out in the wilderness. However, I had to walk back to my room late at night and I would pray that nothing like a snake or bear would pop out at me.  Truthfully, I only saw Armadillos, but still I was nervous. Now that we don't have that, I feel safer. They also added more light on the walking path. It still has a camp feel with the lights, but I'm not walking in pitch dark.  *giggle* It was nice. 

So, it was a blessing to go to camp and see good that came out of the pandemic. Oh, you're wondering how my week was?  It was FANTABULOUS!  It was a family reunion for sure!  From the moment I arrived there were hugs upon hugs upon hugs.  (Yes, we were all COVID screened, so we were in a Barnabubble) I didn't wear a mask once. We were not all together indoors ever. Yes, we were safe, but the closest life to normal I've had since March 2020. *grin*

My cabin was tons of fun. I am always in awe of how God takes a cabin full of gals on a Saturday night, and they become family (truly) by the time camp closes on Friday. I'll never lose the awe of that. *grin*

My staffers were top-notch, missionaries were exceptional, and other cabin Moms were a gift too. 

Perhaps my biggest surprise was my roommate. Through a series of circumstances, I only had one roommate. That gal touched my heart more than she'll know, and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. What she doesn't know is that I've prayed for her a few times since I got back. The beauty of camp friends is that it's not limited to camp. I foresee future deep conversations with her in my future. Time with her was time well spent out at camp. I love how God does that.  *grin*

Our campers were A LOT of fun. I keep going to camp for the campers. Truly. Several of them I have connected with but cannot tell you how or why they happened other than God set it all up.  

We had ASHLEY again. *grin* Ashley and her missionary Elise made me laugh A LOT. In fact, I had a couple moments of laughing to the point of tears. Ashley is non-verbal, but gosh she can communicate. In fact, the last couple nights during wrap up, she wouldn't let me focus on God. She would take my hand and make me look at her. I laughed. Elise was the missionary that I spent the most time with and I loved her. God made her for Ashley. There were some easy moments, hard moments, and everything in-between. But we never wavered in caring for Ashley and showing Christ to her. I am incredibly thankful for that. *grin*

Anna was another camper, but she could honestly be a missionary. She didn't even have a missionary, she helped us a lot. She still did camper things, but there were times she helped the volunteers which she seemed to enjoy. *grin*  Anna is someone I've had in my cabin before and I was SO GLAD to get to spend time with her again. She's a gem. 

Tatia and Rebecca were also in our cabin and they provided several laughs too. My only regret was that I didn't bring out my Uno cards. *grin*  I'll remember that next year. 

Laken made me smile big time. Her missionary was incredibly homesick but she pushed through and I was very proud of her for that. Laken is sweet, and I was blessed immensely by her. *grin*

Patti and Lauren were the two campers that I spent the least amount of time with, but when I was with them they made me smile a lot. I have had them before, and I was glad they were in my cabin again. I've been attending Term 1 for so long I know A LOT of the ladies. I loved how I got tons of hugs just in walking to and from activities with other cabins. Again, it felt like a family reunion on SO MANY levels. *grin*

Finally, I sit here and smile at this picture, as it pretty much sums up my week. Ashley is in her tie-dye, Elise is laughing, and Ashley is about to tap my nose. (This pic was taken by a camp staffer.)  I miss these ladies more than you know, but I also know that's part of the camp experience. *grin* 

I came home tired, but my heart was more full than it has been since the pandemic began. 

I love Camp, the people, and the experiences there.
More than that, I'm excited to see our world returning to normal.

At the same time, I'm excited to return to camp for Term 6. I'm praying I get in for Term 5, but, I'm on a wait list for that. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to Term 6. *grin*

Life is good.
Summer Break is here.

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