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June 27, 2008

Searching for God knows what

The dean of my camp this week has given me until dinner off. Two things...first is that this is very nice, second is that I miss my campers. This week I am working with Elem. Sports Camp. I have to admit that at the beginning of the week I didn't feel like helping with this camp. Sports camps at Jumonville are typically run by the same people every year and the campers usually come back to the same camp each year until they become too old and advance to the higher age level of sports camps. (Last week I had Sr. High Sports and it was hard to cope with because the campers were almost my age and I was the only one from Jumonville's summer staff helping with it.)

I have to admit that because of that week, I thought that this week would be the same. Though my campers last week and I really started clicking together by Wednesday and we made some good connections, it was a late start and got me thinking about how well I will be at this position through out the rest of the summer. However, all of that's changed. By the end of last week my campers and I had made great relationships (we're even Facebook friends.) But this week, I'm back to the age group that I love most. Upper elementary. Good times.

I like this age group because these kids are still cute, they don't talk back, and they are just figuring out what sarcasm is and they try to use it as much as possible. I love my campers this week. I only have five girls total and seventeen boys. But at this age, the girls come for the sports not the boys, so it's an even mix. They are all so different in their own little ways, but I love them. They all are trying hard to do well in each sport and they come up with AMAZING ideas during Bible studies, it's very inspiring to see a child's faith and be able to witness to them and watch them grow throughout the week. I'm so blessed to have this "job." Even though at times I feel like we don't get paid enough, or we aren't getting enough sleep, or enough time off; each time I see a smile on a campers face because they accomplished something during the week, I forget all of that. All the struggles that the staff goes through and all the heartache that we put up with, and all the little things that pile up on us all week long are all worth it when it comes the a camper smiling or hugging you, or even that annoying tugging on to your arm, pulling you down slightly and not letting go thing, makes all that other stuff totally worth it.

It will be hard to let go of these ones tomorrow morning. It always is a bittersweet moment to have the campers leave. But today when I was walking towards the office, to start my "off time" that the dean gave me, four of my campers started to follow me. I turned around to see they were about five or so steps behind and saw Kayla, Jacob, Natalie and Jay, some of my favorites from this week. I told them that they had to stay with the rest of the group and I would be back soon, and I kept on walking. But I could hear them not paying attention to a thing I said and kept following and carrying on with conversation behind me, so I turned around again and told them that I was leaving for awhile but would be back later. (At this moment I felt like that part of the movie when the main character leaves their puppy in the woods and starts to walk away.) They all just looked at me like they were lost and didn't know what to do, but I turned back around and kept heading to the office. Then Kayla; probably the cutest one we have this week, the one that is going into fifth grade but is about the size of a second grader, the smallest but the only one that made it to the top of the pool climbing wall, cried out, don't you love us anymore? My heart melted.


Good for you -- not only for developing such a strong relationship to your campers, but also setting reasonable boundaries. They probably have no idea of the pressure you're under when you're on duty for such long stretches.

"Don't you love us anymore?"

That would make my heart melt too! Awwww!

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