There were many crazy and fun adventures during Jr. A Camp. Who could forget the time a pet chicken tried to join the kids in the lodge for chapel or when The Thing slept through his alarm during F.O.B. (flat on bunk) and his campers were forced to jump on top of him wildly shouting “Hop on Pop!” at the top of their lungs in order to wake him?
There were adventures on the low ropes course.
Adventures on the paintball field.
Grab a mask! It’s time to hit the camp’s woods ball course and test your mettle against the tricky terrain and the skill of your fellow campers.
I watched from behind the lens of my camera as a small, pink-clad Jr. camper led a team full of boys to victory during paintball.
She was fearless and the whole group celebrated the victory because she dared to step out from behind the cover of the trees and charge the opposition.
Who could forget the breakfast hike?
Where the entire camp packed up their breakfast in a brown bag, handed the lot to their counselor, and then hiked out across the meadow, through the forest, and to The Stone Face.
Then, as the counselors handed out breakfast bags, their campers gathered around for the morning devotion right in the midst of God’s amazing creation.
Food always tastes better after a hike.
And the wonder and power of God always appears more clear in the wide expanse of the forest with the chirring of cicadas in our ears and the spicy fragrance of pine and fir in our nostrils.
A breakfast burrito doesn’t hurt the experience either!
Then came the adventure of Lake Day!
The sunshine and water were amazing, just don’t forget that sunscreen!
These boys are clearly ready to tackle the day, giant towel in hand!
Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the United States and the 26th deepest in the world. It is considered one of the cleanest, clearest Lakes in the nation.
Every week we bus campers in to enjoy these refreshing waters. We couldn’t ask for a better place for a dip.
Of course, Chelan is also known for blue skies and sunshine. So if you grow weary of the wild splashing and rowdy fun in the water, it is also a lovely spot to sunbathe.
Some campers enjoy the chance to pause and take in the beauty for a moment before jumping right back into the action.
Does this picture illustrate why The Thing got a haircut recently? Perhaps most of it had already been pulled out.
Thursday brought the adventure of horse day. Every 45 minutes, counselors led campers in groups of seven down to the meadow for a much-anticipated trail ride.
The wranglers helped each camper find a horse and soon it was time to mount up.
Although, some horses were quite distracted by the fresh grass, with a quick kick and a pull on the rains, they were soon on their way.
Priscilla the mule looks ready to go.
Thursday’s schedule contained a few unexpected adventures as well.
What appears to have been a summer logging accident, produced much more excitement than anyone expected or wanted in the form of a nearby wildfire.
Although, watching the helicopters dip water from the frog pond to fight the flames was fun. We would take a lazy summer day over this kind of adventure every time!
The campers got a chance to practice their emergency packing skills. Note: let’s slow down and try it again. Throwing random shoes and blankets in the back of the camp truck is not packing! But the firefighters were wonderful and took great care of us and look, ‘Merica is still able to smile, even after such a crazy day.
Add attacking Babylonians … or were they Persians?
A hungry whale
And a strange victory dance and the day was complete!
We wrapped up the week with a sandcastle building contest and an epic water fight.
No one was plagued by a dry patch upon their person!
Though the adventures were numerous and varied, the moments of quiet and opportunities to reflect upon our Lord and Savior stood out this week as well. One of our girl counselors told about the struggle to get her girls to open up in cabin time. Then later in the week, they had this amazing cabin discussion that lasted the entirety of the allotted time. They took a break for campfire, but when they got back, she had a camper ask, “Can we talk about God more?” They had so many questions, she had to write them down to save for later. Her girls fell asleep that night in the middle of an extended discussion. The next morning, bright and early, they wanted to start the day with even more cabin time! God definitely answered her prayers that these girls would want to learn more about Him.
Standing silently at the back of the lodge and listening to a room full of children worship at the top of their lungs is one of the greatest delights of the camp life. When the band struck up “I’ll Fly Away” the chairs emptied as campers thundered about the room, flapping their arms, laughing, and leaping in all their rowdy innocence.
But as the tempo slowed and the children closed their eyes and lifted their hands in praise, I cannot help but think that I have tasted a piece of Heaven. Your children escaped to the forest this week. They set aside the distractions of traffic and TV and busy lives. They got the chance to shout at the top of their lungs and be silent beneath the quiet majesty of a star-spangled sky. They played and they prayed, they learned about God, and they were given the choice to put their trust in Him. Both on carefree, sunny days when the breeze is warm and not a cloud taints the skies, as well as in heavier moments when fires rage and the future is uncertain. May the Lord grant you both adventure and the chance to pause in the quiet and reflect of His love. This week, the staff and campers were blessed with plenty of both!