High School is starting for me. A new and somewhat long part of my youth. As a teen, there can be many obstacles that will trouble me through the years. Here at the camp, we discussed the various things that we, as Christians, believe will help each other and ourselves to stay strong through this times.
The beginning of the camp was very fun. Most of us have come to camp in the previous years, but some are newcomers. A lot of us, as soon as we got there, were looking for our friends. Others were looking for new friends. Going on in the evening, we started to play some games, like infection tag on a playground, which seemed childish, but it was fun. I eventually found myself making quite a few new friends in the process. We continued on that first night with dinner and worship. Worship is always fun at camp, you would find yourself praising God with your friends. Sometimes you would unexpectedly get chosen to do some games in front of the crowd, like having a team member throw eggs that you must catch into a plastic basket on your head. Overall, the first night was fun. The guys definitely didn’t stop there, after all the commotion of great and disgusting mini-games, we continued to play some sports in the dark. One example of the things that we did almost at midnight were some basketball. Some got injured, but they took it well and kept on playing. Sometimes the bad things can help us bond closer to each other. Once we had to go back into our ‘cabins’, we had a great time talking to each other, making jokes and whatnot. There was a very unexpected twist to the night though, right as we fell asleep at 2:30AM or so, our leaders woke us up very suddenly to go play games on a wet field. 2:30 in the morning is just great for sock wrestling in the wet and cold night. It was tough but i managed to play a few rounds against some older highschoolers. We then made some s’mores, very early in the morning.
After the fun stuff, we did some discussions about who we were spiritually. First day, we discussed about how we could be more aware of what we do and who we are. Some of the leaders spoke about their stories leading up to who they were before and who they are now. The next day was plentiful of games and fun events. The guys didn’t seem very tired on the outside, but they really were. One thing that stands out to me was how much nicer and outgoing the guys were when they were without their parents, other friends and society in general. Since phones weren’t allowed to be brought, most of us were talking a lot more to each other rather than texting or look through at their social status. Every morning and evening, we had group discussions about some bible verses that explain to us that we should be serving God and other, not ourselves as it says in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms“.
After lunch, we started to play some games that really helped us be stronger as a team, and some for fun. One event that we do yearly is something we like to call the “Dye-Wars”, where the entire camp is divided into two teams and we soak each other with colored water in a full on battle across a large field. We do that just for fun. The games ended and we were allowed some free time. That night, we were discussing about making a difference in the world and what our purpose could be. One of the leaders, came up and talked about his mission trips to places around America. He went on a mission trip to Haiti, living there for 6 months in a very small and cramped room with another friend. They were building houses and preaching to the people, changing some of their lives. One man was saved with the leader’s help and continued on throughout the rest of their trip to help and spread the Word of God. Because of that leader, and other people, I feel encouraged to do some mission trips to help the people who don’t have God in their lives.
Some night games ensued the discussions and the worship. Dodge ball and Mission-Impossible were the more popular games we played. Mission impossible is a game where we, as a team, must reach a goal without getting caught by ‘guards’ who were people with flashlights. We also must get to the goal as fast as possible, but if the ‘guards’ catch us moving, we had to start over from he beginning. That night was the most fun I’ve had with my friends. One of the leaders offered to go to a nearby “45 minutes away” grocery store, almost at midnight, to purchase some snacks for our all-nighter. We gave him some cash and it turned out great. Some of us made it through the night while the others fell asleep. Jokes and our stories, as well as root beer, chips and candy, got us going through the night. I felt like we’ve been there for a week during that night due to how close we got to each other.
The next day was the end of camp. Most of us started packing up our stuff after the morning worship session. We didn’t do much that morning but talk quite a bit to each other, getting other’s information so we can still talk. The third day’s discussion was about Doing Something, whether is to join Life Group at our church, or even do mission trips. A leader, Patrick, spoke of the definition of Baptism. It is not something that we should do because others want to do it, but because it is a public example of our beliefs. I got Baptized and it was a great opportunity to do so with my friends. After the Baptism, parents started arriving and picking up their children. It was a little sad, but we will be seeing each other again. I can’t wait until next year….