Failure…may result in elimination

A little something about the up front games.  They were based on a TV show apparently- Minute to Win it.  On one rainy morning the worship and teaching times were held inside and so we even got to see the blueprint for the game, chocolate unicorn:

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If I recall, my team actually won that one though nobody completed “the task”, even with the required number being reduced to six.  Another up front game involved bouncing quarters into a bin that my cabin had happily colored for Miss Lisa, another leader of our church’s kid’s ministry.  No pie-in-face surprises that I know of like last year happened.

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One of the biggest changes from last year was the elimination of the morning competition in favor of a longer instructional time.  In some cases this new, longer instructional was two normal related instructionals tied together in the longer time, such as archery/riflery and wacky water games (actually two competition games from last year that didn’t count for points this year).  There were some new instructionals too.  On Tuesday was one of them- outdoor survival.  This was actually a combo of an older instructional, fishing, with a survival extension to it.  The first thing that happened was Jim, a leader in my cabin from last year, caught a bass which the first group cooked up while my group fished.  He later caught a trout for our group just before we switched.  For outdoor survival the instructor demonstrated cutting the fish, hopefully dead of lack of air by that time, and then taught how to start a fire with a magnesium block (with a flint strip on one side), a little paper and more natural fuel like leaves and twigs, and a pocket knife.  It looks like I failed this course as I was unable to help one of my 5th graders start and maintain a fire.

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A night event turned instructional was a hay ride.  Well, there was hay in a stack elsewhere in camp but not on the trailers.  One trailer was pulled by a 40s-era tractor, and ours (the “boys” trailer) was pulled by something a bit more recent- a little bulldozer like one of those Bobcats, but somewhat larger.  This was in one of the longer morning timeslots so this was a lazy time with a couple of stops, one at a big sand pit.

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We later returned to sand pit in the afternoon bike/hike instructional, though the kids didn’t get play time there this time around, being a shorter instructional.  We had the first day so the assigned instructors were still working out a few bugs such as taking the smaller group biking first, which would have been fine except we were to meet the hiking group along the way instead of back at the tent so there were not enough bikes for the second group- some of us had to run back to the tent and retrieve extra bikes.  I hope my advice of taking the larger group first was followed the rest of the week.  For the hike we walked through the woods for a time, off the literal beaten path.  And mostly downhill.  Did I mention the bike/hike met at the top of a very steep hill?  Well, at least we ended up back near the boys cabin area, so we were able to easily get ready on time for the flag-lowering.  Well, as much as my cabin was able to be on time anyway.  I learned quickly that I needed to organize their bathroom and changing time better.  Not that I did said organization in a timely fashion mind you, just that I learned it needed to be done. 😉

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In any event, this post is getting kind of long, so… more to come.

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PS- A couple sand fort pics! Note: Click on any of the pics for larger versions.

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Camp- the final chapter

It has been a while since the last camp post, so why don’t I just wrap it up in one post?  Since we’re talking two days, I have a lot of photos this time.   The highlights of course were the games and instructionals.  But before we get to those, the themes for the last two days were the tongue and the hands/feet.  The tongue refers to what we say and the hands and feet refer to our actions.  If you’re keeping up with the key verses, here they are (can you match up the theme with the verse?):

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

The one heart lesson on Thursday night was the good news- the faithful heart.  After three nights of learning about the bad hearts it was refreshing to finally get to the one that hears the Word and takes action, letting it take root strongly in one’s heart.

The first game was Man Overboard against the Blue Shields.  Man Overboard is a running game where the kids have to follow the directions of where to go and what to do.  There are four sides to a ship, but for this large of a group we only used two- bow and stern.  Besides the two places to go, the one in charge can call things like octopus!, shark!, hit the deck!, and of course the title, man overboard!  There are more too.  When the kids hear this they have to do an action associated with the command.  See the photo section for two such actions.  Since this is a relatively short game for the allotted time, they played a couple of games and followed with a couple rounds of Simon Says.  The boys actually played this the night before before going on a hay ride at the end of the day, but not for a good reason- it was because several boys didn’t listen to directions.  It was a fun sort of reminder for them I think.  Our team rocked on these games.  The next morning the game was Bedlam against the Red Cross.  This was a more subjective game where the teams were given an action to do, like act like a particular animal or object (i.e., ice-cream truck), and whichever team did it best overall according to the leaders judging would win the points.  I have no idea who actually won this one.

Hey, did I skip a game?  Well, that’s because I saved the best for last.  Last time I mentioned Counselor Hunt was switched to Thursday.  This is quite a different game from the rest.  This annual game is where the counselors all hide somewhere in the camp and the kids, working in groups, have to find them.  Over the last four years, I have tamed a bit on this one.  The first couple times I played it I hid so well that almost no one found me.  Last year (or was it the year before?) I switched tactics to make it easier for the kids- I placed myself so that I was hidden from most directions, but visible if they looked from a certain angle.  Several found me of course, but that was the idea.  Another strategy some take with this game is to hide in plain sight.  That is, they will place themselves in a spot they can’t be missed like the middle of the road or reading a newspaper in front of a cabin.  They are so obvious that they must not be playing, or so most of the kids think.  This year I didn’t hide at all.  I was one of the runners, called viruses in this medical theme.  You can tell by the name that this is bad news for the kids.  Instead of hiding, I was one of about four who would chase the kids.  If caught, they would be marked and would have to have the virus “cured” before they could continue the game.  This was a very tiring job- no wonder the high school kids were usually the ones to do it!  I think I marked about five or six kids throughout the game, regrettably one of my own (hey, we had to play fair!).  I ran up to three from my cabin, and instead of running away like they all should have, one of them ran toward me, an excited look on his face that he “found” me. Doh! (visualize hand slapping face here).

There were of course four instructionals throughout the two days.  I won’t talk too much about most of them though for brevity sake.  On Thursday we had fishing and archery.  Yes, there were actual fish in the lake but they didn’t get to cook up what they caught- just catch and release.  I’m sure the kids weren’t too disappointed they didn’t get to clean, gut, and cook the fish…  Not much to say on archery- most kids were, let’s just say not quite Robin Hoods, so I will move on to riflery on Friday.   The kids from Iowa put us to shame here.  They were so practiced at shooting that when they ran out of targets to hit they shot ours!  These were actually pellet guns powered by air- no real bullets for this camp.  This was a new event this year and I was looking forward to it as I remembered my times at Boy Scout camp, though there we had to pay for each round we shot.  You can see what the rifles looked like below.  Rock climbing was the final event of the week for us.  All but one of the boys in my cabin gave it a try.  Again, a couple of pictures below.

The only things left to write about (I’ll probably come up with more once I post this!) are the campfire and going home.  Wednesday night the girls had a campfire while the boys went on a hayride, which, by the way, had no hay- just the cart.  Thursday reversed these roles.  The campfire was to serve a couple of purposes.  The obvious one was marshmallows for s’mores.  The other was to burn a list of fears we wrote up the night before as part of the lesson, signifying that we release these fears to God’s control.  Since we had to wait a day on this for our turn at the campfire, you can guess what happened.  Myself included.  I’ll just say that I found my list once I got home and unpacked.  Speaking of going home, that’s what we did Friday night.  Cleaned up the cabins, packed, and headed to the bus bus.  Once again I was grateful for the buses coming down Dorothy’s Hill so we didn’t have to climb it with our luggage.  All but one of my boys boarded the bus- we left one behind.  On purpose.  Are you curious?  Okay, he was staying for family camp.  His parents wouldn’t arrive until the next day, but he stayed with another dad who stayed behind with his own son.

In the end, our team was not victorious.  We came in a close second, still far ahead of third place.  There’s always next year. 🙂

Oh, one more thing- winning the cleanest boys’ cabin twice really messed me up for one of the things I wanted to do one of the days.  Lots of balloons was the key here, but I guess I will be saving them for next year now.  On Thursday we decided that since we would probably not be allowed to win two days in a row, we saved them for Friday.  On Friday, we were busy cleaning and packing.  Oh, well.  Enjoy the pics, and be sure to click on whatever catches your eye for larger versions.

Oh, no contact lenses were really lost as far as I know.  What?  You don’t read the pop-up tooltips when you hover over the pictures?  For shame! 😛