Second Day of Camp!
Funny how a good night sleep puts you back in working order. Today we began the day with the high rope challenges. The rope challenges are always one of my favorite parts of camp. It is guaranteed that at some point in the 4-hour exercise you will see tears or a person hugging a telephone pole threatening never to come back to the earth’s surface. It is also the closest I will ever get to what sounds like hostage negotiations. I am fascinated by the conversations that the staff people working the harnessed ropes have with the person 30 feet in the air. Always calm, always encouraging, always “we got to get you back”. In addition to these conversations, the 4 hours are filled with kids overcoming fears, accomplishment beyond their wildest dreams, and confidence being formed through their bravery. There are not many times in our life where we get that childlike “I just have to jump off the diving board feeling”. This morning was full of those times. The kids did great.
During the afternoon we (the admin staff) loaded up six vans and headed into town to get an ice cream cone while the house parents stayed back on a quiet campus to get some much needed alone time. I was lucky enough to get to drive the before said “adventurous road” in a 15 passenger van with ten girls all singing to the soundtrack from the movie Pitch Perfect 1 AND 2. I must say I had a wow factor about me during the drive because they had no idea that the music on the soundtrack was from the 80’s. They thought it was new, but it was actually in my wheelhouse. Dipped cones from DQ for everyone followed by a rain filled afternoon of paintballing, fishing, hiking, and napping. It was a great afternoon.
The evening included a talent show full of singing, dancing, and laughing. We learned that our past doesn’t define us and that it wouldn’t be right for a Butterfly to act like a caterpillar. Our time together ended in a great time of prayer with adults and kids. Our evening ended with a dance party full of great music, glow sticks, and dancing with the staff of El Porvenir. It is fun to watch our kids express joy so easily.
My favorite part of the day started as a joke. During our Gilligan hike, it became morning as the time past midnight: we were able to sing Happy Birthday to a girl at 12:01 am. This gave us the idea that every time we came together today, we would sing to her and wish her a happy 15th birthday. This went on all day culminating in a cake we got in town that was her favorite color and had her name on it. By the end of the day when we gave her the cake, she began to cry and said she was so happy and thankful for “her family.” For imaginable reasons, this was potentially her best birthday ever. She reminded me that we cannot celebrate kids too much; we can’t tell them they are valuable too many times, and they grow up. She is 15 today but will be 35 before long. She will be a different woman because of her “Children’s Home Family”.