Camp Barnabas: Day 4
Happy Taco Tuesday/Mad Scientist day from Camp Barnabas!
While collectively we have sweat the weight of a tow truck, our group is continuing to have an awesome time getting to know and loving on our campers!
Last night we had a Neverland themed pool party, and everyone dressed up as Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell, pirates, and Lost Boys! There was an obstacle course for the campers that ended with them tackling “Captain Hook” (a huge, plastic-covered foam block), and the party ended with two of the staff members dressed as Peter Pan and Captain Hook sword fighting on the high dive, and Captain Hook and all the pirates being pushed into the pool! It was absolutely priceless watching the looks on campers’ faces as they took in all of the excitement.
We were all super pumped for Betsy, Riley, and Micah at Wrap-Up last night. Their cabins won the highly prestigious and coveted JEFF Award that’s given out to one guy cabin and one girl cabin each night! JEFF stands for Joy/Enthusiasm/Fun/Fellowship, and each day (Monday through Thursday) has one of these as a theme; yesterday’s theme was Joy! Camp staff observes each cabin throughout the day and chooses the cabin who represents that day’s theme the most to receive the JEFF Award at Wrap-Up. They get a huge JEFF banner to carry around all the next day and major bragging rights, so Betsy, Riley, and Micah have been enjoying that today!
A highlight of today so far was witnessing several campers conquer fears that they’ve had since they got here. With a ton of encouragement and cheers from missionaries, one went off the high dive, one went down the enormous water slide, and one went on the Superman Swing (more about that from Jonathan below!), all three having been terrified to do these things the last two days. I teared up watching one missionary meet his camper under the high dive after he jumped – he was screaming and cheering and swallowed him in a huge, wet hug! It’s memories like these that we’re bringing home with us that will last a lifetime.
Here is what Audrey Brooks had to share today:
At Camp Barnabas, I am a floater and don’t have my own camper, but I get to help and love each one of the campers in my cabin. I get to see different things that make each one of them happy, and I’m so glad I get to share those moments with them. I’m having such an amazing time learning how great this place is for all the campers! I can’t wait to see what else God is going to show me this week!
Ragan Huffman also wanted to share how her week has been going:
It’s our second full day with campers at Camp Barnabas and I have enjoyed every minute of my experience here so far. My camper that I spend all day with is very adventurous and has definitely pushed me to do things I would never do on my own, and I am so grateful to see the way that she brings out the best in me. I feel so blessed to be a part of something as amazing as this camp, and seeing the joy on campers’ faces while we’re singing or doing activities is inspiring and entirely overwhelming at times. I can’t wait for the days to come and I look forward to seeing God’s work in the hearts of campers as well as my own.
Jonathan Pendergrast had a really special moment with his camper today:
My camper’s name is Bobby and he is super cool. Bobby loves to talk and play Pokemon and his knowledge of the subject surpasses mine. His best friend Nick is here in our cabin too. It’s really cool to see them hang out and have fun together. Today we did the Superman Swing (a giant swing where they tie a rope to the back of your harness and you jump off of a super high platform with your camper and fly around like you are Superman) and Bobby was really nervous. We got up to the top and he was freaking out. He is terrified of heights. The coolest part was when I finally convinced him to jump with me and he overcame his fear and really enjoyed the swing. I’m so glad I got paired with Bobby this week.
I can’t overstate how proud I am of our students this week, and how tirelessly they are working to show the love of Jesus to these campers. I wish I could teleport our whole church here to experience Camp Barnabas with us! But in the meantime, continue sending prayers our way.