The sun arose this morning to the typical morning wake up call, and all the tired campers slowly rose out of bed. Their eyes, heavy from the previous days, blinked once, twice, three times and through a small slit between their top and bottom eye lids, they looked around the room to another bright, and really hot day. Some (SunnySider’s especially) made excuses as to why they could not get up that morning, as they do every morning, others groaned as they made their way to the bathroom dragging their feet across the floors to wake themselves up, and start their morning chores. On senior hill we can always hear the chorus of girls waking up, and swinging in their Eno’s as soon as they are ready for breakfast. Cloud Nine woke up to another encouraging playlist of Diamonds by Hawk Nelson, and some nice relaxing worship music.
After being over a week into camp, the pressure to start getting tens on cabin checks was on. Some cabins have been successful so far, but others still hope for the best, and come back to a nice little minus point one or point two for small things that counselors overlooked on the rush out the door. The counselors who were unsuccessful, sigh, converse a little, and decide that the next morning will be the morning that they get a 10!
The campers were greeted this morning to breakfast with the always lovely circle eggs, that most of the SunnySide girls did not ask for on their plates as their counselors passed around plates with the requested food. The hash-browns however, was one of the favorites of the camp, as many of the girls asked to grab the plates and get more from the kitchen. Once breakfast was done, the SunnySide girls, lead the breakfast songs with the old school, “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and a couple more fun songs from the days when they were the little campers. After the “Announcements” song was finished, and everyone announced all that they needed to, the girls rushed up to chapel. Some of the songs were old favorites from days in kids church, and a couple songs that were rhythmically and harmoniously sung in rounds, which if you closed your eyes for that moment was rejuvenating, as you listen to the rounds of campers singing to the Lord. After a couple of worship songs, Adam Boyd took the stage and started with a story of an old friend who was once in a war. As the friend was shooting at his enemy for about an hour, each trying to kill the other, he saw a white flag wave in the distance, and the person who was once shooting at him, slowly walked up to him, with no weapons and a white flag hanging in the air. After talking to the prisoner, Adam’s friend learned that the man who surrendered did so with the thought that if he surrendered, he would surly die.
“I wouldn’t kill you,” Adam’s friend said, “I’m a Christian.” The prisoner looked at him and said, “I am too,” pulling a necklace out of his shirt and revealing a cross. Adam related this to our relationships with God, and yesterday’s chapel.
He also read out of the bible about the story of Jacob, and how he wrestled with God. Combining these two stories, Adam revealed to the campers that in the bible, while Jacob was wrestling with God, God spoke and said, “it’s nearly morning, if you see my face you will die!” But Jacob responded saying that he wasn’t going to let go of God, until God gave him a blessing. Adam spoke about how many times we would just let go of God, as if he isn’t the essential ingredient in our lives, and he is just the icing on the cake. But we need to be like the man who surrendered, who realized that he had nothing left, and surrendered even though he was sure he would die. He also showed us that we also needed to be like Jacob, who clung to God, no matter what the price. God is the eggs in the brownies that we make, and there is no substitute.
Once chapel was over, the campers went to their cabins and prepared for their first class of the day. I, walked into my cabin to find my SunnySider’s napping for the half hour that was between chapel and the first activity of the day. Once the activities started, the girls in chorus sang, the puppies were walked and were pooped out shortly after, gymnastics worked on their bars throughout the day, and so did swimming and kayaking. Today was the last day for bars to be turned in, so many of the activities were testing for bars.
The staff had a bible study during rest hour about being built to be a part of community. Through this we all got closer, and learned things about ourselves as counselors, and related how we were created to the job we have of being camp counselors. We were made to truly be together, and be with these girls over these weeks, and that is the best part about the job!
Girls ran to get their trapo during this time, a couple cabins opened up a spa, and other girls slept through rest hour, and free time. Volleyball was always practicing, and there was some bad news in pottery that something had gone wrong, and some of the work was lost. However, don’t fear! There were still some items that needed to be finished, so the girls who would only be there for two weeks would be able to take some things home. The girls who were learning guitar walked around camp and serenaded most of the camp. They serenaded the gymnastics area, and a couple of the other activities that were currently active.
In the meantime, counselors on the back porch planned surprises for the SunnySide girls, archery took a few shots, and trie adjusting how far they pulled back on their bow, and those who were riding horses got to ride them around camp a couple of times, and during lunch the evening activity would be announced. It is hobby night! Many of the girls started deciding what they were going to go do for the night. Laser tag, frog hunting, water polo, soccer, painting nails, ect.
By the time dinner came around, the girls had already changed at least once, and refilled their water bottles many times. The day was hot, the fans were going, and no matter how many times you jumped into the lake, the showers you took, or how long you got to sneak a time for air conditioning in, once you stepped back outside, you were sweating. There were a couple of times where the North Carolina weather threatened to thunderstorm, but it only came to a nice relaxing rain for about fifteen minutes to cool off the camp long enough to hike back up the mountain before sweating again.
Once dinner came, rice and sweet and sour chicken was served with banana pudding as dessert. The SunnySider’s stood up, and yelled something loud in announcing the songs for the night. Sadie R. came to the microphone and announced that all those who were once in those cabins would sing the song. So if many years ago a counselor was a Tweedle, she would stand up and sing those cabin songs. It would go on for quite a while, but I believe most of the girls would agree that it was quite entertaining.
As hobby night continues, the campers are getting more and more tired. The sun will go down soon enough, and the campers will crawl into bed for TAPS. In some cabins, the counselors will read them Psalms until they fall asleep, in others, the girls will sit around a camp fire as they do their nightly devotion and get to know each other better. Girls will journal on their own, read, write letters, and listen to soft music as they settle down for the night. Counselors for two week campers will start to prepare to say their goodbyes to campers that we have all grown to love, and counselors with four week campers will shut off the lights, and as they look around for the last time at night. As they look at their room full of girls, they will say a quick thank you to God for being so blessed to have these girls in their lives, and getting to spend this time with them. I know I have done that once or twice already with the girls that I have.
So now, onto the next day! Full of new adventures, and lessons and examples of God’s everlasting love, endless joy, and perfect peace! Be blessed Merri-Mac!
(Known to the SunnySide girls as Blonde Becca)
Proud SunnySide/Cloud Nine Counselor
Eastern Michigan Student.