This week, I’m blogging about LYFE Camp, the week-long United Methodist Church youth camp where I’m in my fourth year as Dean. While my blog is usually about creativity and writing, I hope regular readers and campers’ parents alike will find inspiration in reading stories about camp. Thanks for reading, and your comments are always appreciated (I’ll pass them along, too, as I’m able).
Our first full day at camp was an excellent one to kick off the week. SCs have told me our small groups are already sharing and that new campers are fully participating, drama is at a minimum, and there’s a genuine attitude of cheer and optimism throughout the camp. Morning large group presentation introduced the day’s theme of “Rest Area” and people are talking about the stresses they’re taking a break from and returning campers are helping new campers understand how they can use LYFE Camp as a true rest area in their lives. Our group of CITs are really doing great work, too, spreading out and trying to include as many campers as possible. Basically, I have little reason to stress out and for that I’m glad.
Small groups met in the morning for discussion and after lunch we had one of the most-beloved hours of the day: “Horizontal Time,” a time set aside to be in our bunks, horizontal, to be at rest and reflect (and sleep!). We took the swim test today, though it was cloudy and a little chilly. On the beachfront, many volleyball games were played and question books were tossed around to generate discussion in groups of people who wouldn’t otherwise socialize in the “real world” (a fact that is one of my favorite parts of camp). The week is still young and people are still feeling each other out. In the evening, small groups introduced themselves to the large group through a series of comedy sketches that definitely invoked quite a few laughs. While there are plenty of great group names this year like They Who Shall Not Be Named, Uninthenthionable (Unintentional), and OMG, I think Barb Churchill’s Face takes the cake. Two of Barb’s sons are at camp and in one of the small groups, her youngest, Zach, explained how she’s a realtor and his CIT, Pete S., remarked how he runs by her face every day during track practice. Pete meant Barb’s bus stop bench advertisement in Minnetonka and it wasn’t long before the small group had a new name and a comedy sketch to match. Be proud, Barb – you’ve been immortalized as yet another insane LYFE Camp tradition.
A few highlights from Monday off the top of my head include our first Word of the Day (Call: “Oh, my God!” Response: “Isn’t He great?!”), dipping apple slices in pickles, pouring wax and molding candles in crafts, people playing a pick-up volleyball game while doing the Cha-Cha Slide, visits from George the Great Blue Heron, some SWOISAGE in our breakfast burritos, making friendship bracelets, guitars guitars everywhere guitars, blasting 80s pop across the beachfront (“Africa” by Toto, anyone?), and new campers Victoria S. and Maggie A. jumping in and singing songs at our first mail call (people must sing to receive their mail if they get a package or three or more letters in one day). A nice private moment for me was being the last one on Meditation Hill with camper Amanda G. when we saw a deer off to the edge of the hill – something I’ve never seen up there before.
More tomorrow. Please keep your comments coming!