Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Camp Follow up- Parents please read-

After a great week of camp I have a couple of announcements to pass along.

1- A Junior High Boy did find out that he had lice after coming home from camp. Please check your sons and daughters for lice. If you have questions let me know at steve@osuchurch.org, or let our nurse know jessica.lynch2009@hotmail.com. The parents of the camper believe that this was well contained but we want to be certain that you are aware,

2- There are a few pieces of camp gear left over, one sleeping bag and one luggage bin, they are in my office at the church so please let me know if they may be yours.

3- I incorrectly identified one of our consecration speakers, Dave Ruska performed during consecration but he did not speak. Sarah Toye was our 6th speaker! She did an amazing job!!!!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Quick Final Post

What a wonderful day. Again, the weather pulled through, sunny all day and a clear night as we head off to vespers.

Our last morning groups went amazing, I would encourage you to ask your teens about verbal strength bombardments. We had all the campers in each morning group speak out loud the strengths of the others in the group. Giving and accepting praise one to one is an awesome experience.

The hug line and graduation went very well and now we are off to our consecration service. We have 6 senior speakers who I know will do an amazing job, Paige Matthewson, Isabella Perfetuo, Derek Sprague, Kelsey Gessner, David Ruuska, and Jared Berman will send their messages out to our entire Senior High Camp.

We leave tomorrow around 10:30 AM, and should be in Braintree between 2:30 and 3.


Our last full day at camp

The week of camp starts slowly, Saturday we are getting acquainted with our surroundings and feeling things out, Sunday we start to get in the groove and explore the camp, then things hit warp speed and it's impossible to slow them down. I am reminded of the conversation my wife Jes and I had after our wedding, we were so in awe by how quickly everything happened and felt that we hadn't even begun to say hello to people and live that day. Camp is a lot like that, surrounded by people we love, always having conversations that matter, and of course filled with song, dance, and food!

Last night we had an amazing dance, outside on the tennis courts for the first time. It went perfectly, and the forecasted rain held off completely so we were able to put together a great camp fire and follow that up with a post-dance first, pizza for the whole senior high in the dining hall. They had the chance to talk and eat, share their dance experience and move to their own schedule for a change. We of course like to try new things each year and see how they work out, we'll check on the feedback we have from campers. (and don't fear- the Junior High had the extra pizzas delivered to their cabins so they got to enjoy as well!)

We have a busy busy day today, Morning Group is full of strength bombardment and that leads right into a picnic style lunch then the hug line, graduation, dinner, and our closing consecration service. We have 6 wonderful senior speakers who will be talking tonight, they are charged with delivering a message to the other campers, one of their own choosing, but a message that will resonate and guide our younger campers.

I hope to blog again later tonight, for those of you planning a pick up tomorrow at Braintree High School we are still on target for 2PM.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cabin Wars success!!!!

Today has been an amazing day. By this time in the week we are fully into the meat of the Morning Group program and the Morning Watch, the campers are truly beginning to feel that camp spirit and to show it. I LOVE camp, especially when we have amazing teens like this!!!!!

After a great afternoon in the sun we were able to crown a new cabin war winner... Cabin 12 Junior High Girls were able to pull out the last minute win against the Senior High boys. We had great participation, costumes, and games. We also had no injuries to write home about which is always a bonus. Many thanks to the campers for all the energy and effort that they put into the day, as with all of camp, they make the program a success!

We have a formal dance this evening and then a surprise for our Senior High Campers (pizza!). The rain held off long enough and the day has been gorgeous, so for the first time ever we are going to have the dance outside. Let's hope the rain stays away and that the cool night air is more accommodating for our teens who LOVE to dance.

We will be heading home Saturday and should be at the Braintree High School parking lot by 2PM that afternoon. I'm sure that word will spread as we get closer to town.

The home stretch...

We are in the home stretch and although I have never questioned what that aphorism means in my mind it defines the time right before the end, when you have the biggest reward and are most engaged. So, in my mind, we are really on the home stretch! From the Variety show last night through the end of camp is normally a blur of wonderful experiences.

The variety show last night was great, with amazing performances and skits we had close to a 3 hour show last night. Our first year staff did a terrific job of hosting the show, introducing acts, and in a good spirited way.... making sure that the older staff got heckled! We had great performances from so many campers, Ian Goodine, Trevor Norve, Ashley Field, Manny Camargo, Isabella Perfetuo, and many more took the stage to share their gifts with the rest of camp. Many standing ovations were handed out and everyone headed back to their cabins after vespers with a song in their heads.

Today we really start to get into the best morning group conversations, then we head to Cabin Wars (which has taken on a life of it's own over the past 10 years, the costumes, theme music, and level of intense competition is outstanding), and to end the day we have our formal dance. I'll check in during the dance to say hello, have a wonderful day and THANK YOU for sharing your teens with all of us for the week. The staff at camp gets just as much out of the campers as we hope that the campers get from us!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And up next... the variety show!

What an AWESOME afternoon game in the field. We had dragons and Lords, battles and treaties. In the end the whole camp got together and enjoyed the fun that was the afternoon program.
Bob Caldeira led a wonderful chapel after that program and the whole camp joined in song and dance as they enjoyed a chapel about using and recognizing your gifts.

After a quick dinner we are off to the variety show, hosted by our first year staff the show this year has 20+ acts and will start promptly at 7:30. So I am signing off for the night!

p.s. Thanks to the parents who sent me packages! What a wonderful camp family, I thank you for the Twizzlers, the cookies, and the cards, they have shared with all the campers I can find.

A camp lunch first

For the first time in my 23 years at camp we had steak and cheese subs for lunch today. Great food at camp, and for those campers who don't like things such as subs we have a salad bar that is fully stocked with fresh veggies and toppings each day during lunch and dinner.

The weather, (I feel like a broken record here...) is amazing once again. If you check the weather frequently then look up Freedom New Hampshire and you'll get an idea of how nice this week has been. Now imagine spending 75% of your day outside, and then you can imagine why I talk about the weather so much! It is a huge part of our day, and as we get into our afternoon program and free time, I'm sure we'll have plenty of games and sports happening in the fields.

Our campers are great, we had a number of campers who were homesick early in the week who have stuck with camp and are enjoying themselves now! I always tell campers that being homesick isn't a bad thing, it just means you care for your family, so that is a credit to those who are still at home. On the other side of my advice, stick with camp if you can, you'll be sure to fit in and feel supported!