Negatives and Positives

As I left my home for a week of church camp, my friend and I stopped at Walmart to pick a few things up. My friend had to get snacks, and I was constantly telling her to hurry up because I was so excited for camp. I could not wait to get there! I was beyond ready for the wonderful week that we call “Spencer Furby Week.”

As we arrived at camp, you could see my face glowing. It was the place that I loved to be at. It was God’s wonderful creation, and I was there with people that I loved. It is, by far, my favorite week of the summer. You have to be crazy to not love church camp! Let me explain to you why…

Every single morning before breakfast, the camp director, Spencer, makes the kids line up in their four teams that were assigned to them. Their job for the morning is to say a memory verse together, say a prayer, sing “This Is The Day,” form some crazy letter/shape/object, and do exercises (which, yours truly is in charge of 🙂).

On Wednesday morning, I was put in charge of driving the Swagger Wagon to and from the fishing pond with a team. I was one of the counselors that was to stay with the kids at the pond and watch them fish. We did not do fishing last year, but Spencer decided to bring it back; I think it was a good decision, even though only one fish was caught.

I stayed at the pond for maybe about 2.5 hours, if that. It was not sunny, but it was hot! I have never been much of a fishing person, and it was just a little boring standing out there watching absolutely nothing happen, but I did love it.

On the way back to the church camp from the pond, I was the first Swagger Wagon to leave, so I was in charge of opening the Olive Farm gate, which just so happened to be made of barbed-wire. I sent the same friend from Walmart out to open the gate, and knowing her, I could have bet money that the gate was not going to get open anytime soon. She looked back at me and gave me “the look,” and I knew exactly what she was thinking. I stepped out of my Swagger Wagon driver seat, walked to her, gave her “the look” right back, and I started messing with the gate. I couldn’t get it open either, but knowing myself, I knew I was not going to give up until I did it!

I tried to tug at the big block of wood that was jammed into the barbed-wire – nope. Couldn’t get it. I then tugged at the barbed-wire that was surrounding the big block of wood, and BAM. The next thing I know, my sunglasses were slung to the side of my face, and I hear my friend chuckling in the background asking, “Did it hit you?!” I said, “Oops,” and started laughing with her. She grabbed me and told me I was bleeding, but I just kept going. Nothing was bringing me down – it was just a little scratch.

I jumped back into the Swagger Wagon, and I hear one of the adult counselors acting just like my mom – “Are you okay?!” “Amy, you are bleeding!” “Amy, you need to stop!” ….. Yes, mom, I am fine. I continued to drive the bus and jammed out to one of the best songs: American Woman.

My Swagger Wagon arrived back at camp, and all the kids shuffled out of it for lunch. I went inside and showed my mom my accident, and what do ya know? Freak machine!!!! Ahhh, yes, mom. Before I knew it, I was driving my car to NEA Urgent Care. Yay me, I thought. Way to go, Amy.

As soon as I left the church camp, my thoughts, feelings, happiness – it all left. I am pretty sure my mom could tell, too.  I will admit that the accident did not hurt me physically, but it hurt me emotionally, and I think that’s worse. We drove into the NEA parking lot, and we were told that the doctors were at lunch. I turned to my mom and said, “Can we go back to camp?” Of course you can all guess what her answer was. camp2

About 2 hours later, I was back at church camp. I ran down into the girls cabin and yelled, “I’m back!!!!” All the girls surrounded me, gave me hugs, asked what happened – basically, the girls did anything and everything to make sure that I knew that I was missed.

In my eyes (or almost one in this case), I think my accident was a way of God telling me that I needed to be more joyful of the day and that I needed to show the campers how negatives, or boo-boo’s, can be turned into positives.11536030_10207359124362935_7293193283839748980_n

A lot of the times, something bad happens to us, and out first thought is to let it ruin our day, or someone else’s day. My main goal of this barbed-wire fence accident was to show the campers that when something gets you down, you stand right back up. As Christians, we face this a lot. We will constantly have someone telling us we can’t do this, we are wrong, we are too young, we are not good enough – just anything to bring us down. But our job as Christians is to stand up, be the Light, and carry on – even bigger than before. You show those “haters” that you are capable of doing anything that you set your heart and mind to.

My negative was turned into a positive by never letting the campers see a frown on my face. After I got my bandages and everything, I was smiling, and boy was it a real smile, too. 😀

 camp  

A bad thing is never a bad thing when you have God. 

camp3

Battling together as one 

I am currently at a college campus for this thing that my youth group has done for the past 8 years or so. It’s called Battle of the Youth Groups. You do exactly what it is called. About 9 different churches from around here, and some a little further off, come for three days to spend time together killing each other in different games and sports. You battle other youth groups. 

I am a chaperone for my youth group. No, I cannot participate, but I do wish I could. I loved Battle when I was in high school, but for different reasons than I do now. 

In high school, my youth group had a lot of people around my age, almost all guys though, but it was still awesome. We were pretty good at these games and sports, but I think we looked at this youth event different. In high school, I thought of this event as a place to have fun and just win. But now that I am not participating, and I am a chaperone, I see things differently. 

As a chaperone, I see this youth event as working together with your youth group. This youth event should be about encouraging each other, lifting others up when they are down, cheering each other on, helping others when they fail and when they make a mistake, having fun with each other, and most importantly, giving God the glory. 

Obviously, when you go to any kind of battle, you work together. You have to work together in order to survive. That seems like common sense to me. At this youth event we have minute to win it games, rope swing, trolley races, dodgeball, bible quiz, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and human foosball. You have to work together in each of these in order to “survive.” 

While I watch other youth groups battle at each of these games and sports, I notice something different about each of them. Each group has their own way of working together.   

Battle of the Youth Groups is here for a reason. It’s here to show you that your youth group, and all the other youth groups, as well as the other chaperones and adults, are always going to be there for you, just like God. While we battle this life of Christianity, we are going to have ups and downs. We are all in a spiritual battle – a cosmic conflict with eternal implications. We are all going to fail. It’s life, and it’s perfectly okay to fail. We need to remember that we have people everywhere that are looking out for us. We have people everywhere encouraging us, and we need to do the same for them. God will always be there for us. Let us not forget that. 

  

   
 

Day camp

This past week I was able to be a day camp counselor. I have only been to day camp once, which was two years ago, but I loved it because I fell in love with a little girl from the Children’s Home.

If you know me, you know that I am afraid of babies, and that I always say that I don’t like kids. Well, I think I am changing. That is very weird to say, but I know it is most definitely true. I am still afraid of babies – I hate when babies cry, and I definitely will NOT hold them.

Two years ago, my mom and I were co-directors for the day camp at Crowley’s Ridge Youth Camp, which was when there were two sessions of day camp. We had a ton of help, and it was a blast.

When I was co-director, I met this little girl from the Children’s Home. She was the funniest, goofiest, and lovable little child I had ever met. She was attached to me every single day of camp, and I loved it. I loved her smile; I loved her, which was weird to say, especially coming from me. But it was the truth – I loved her. A little kid had finally made me smile and laugh, and I loved it.

For this session of day camp, there were 21 boys and 6 girls. Whoa, right? That’s a ton of boys. Some would say that 6 girls isn’t that much, but I really liked having only 6 girls. Haha, please let me explain what I mean by that: When you have only a few girls to watch over, you get to know every single one of them very well. That’s the beauty of it.

Every step that I took, I had a little girl, and a few boys, running up to me constantly wanting to do something, either it be just hugging, talking, playing basketball, taking pictures, or just staring at each other, or having a burping contest (when you’re supposed to be napping).

I have always been a huge fan of outdoors and nature so I thought day camp would be great. But that is not the reason why I did day camp. I did day camp because I want…
1) the campers to know how much God loves them
2) the campers to know how much I love them
3) the campers to have a fantastic camp experience
4) to show the love of God to others
5) to make people smile and laugh

Camp has definitely always been my favorite part of the summer, and I would not miss it for anything.
11428569_10153285860496900_1359919951986210637_n