Favorite Things from Last Week (June 18)

As with the first week,I love how the relationships with the kids are continuing at camp. The leaders and other volunteers are showing love to the children, by giving them attenti0n, instruction, and even correction.

Last week’s theme for Elevate Summer Camp was Olympics. This theme was one of our favorites last year, as we reinforced the ideas of teamwork and sportsmanship. You can see pictures from the week on the Elevate Facebook page.

Now, we are half-way done with camp (although we still have most of the summer left). That’s why I’ve been particularly excited in how the college interns have found more ways to connect with the Allendale community.

Highlights from the Week

Besides sports, we continue to emphasize educational enrichment at our camp. And each day includes 30 minutes of reading time, which we call “Book Club” (clubs are so much more fun to belong to than “sustained silent reading”). Additionally, we took all our morning campers to the new Allendale library; for most of them, it was their first time there.

When we have done reading time with kids in the past, we leaders would often use that time to get stuff ready for our next activity. However, we are now using that time to read ourselves, so as to provide a model for children. (Younger children were read with and to, since we believe in the importance of reading.) They need to see us love reading. Another great benefit is that I’ve already completed two books this month!

At the end of the day, we always have a journal time for our campers. Not only is this a useful skill for their education, but it also gives them a chance to reflect on their day and express their thoughts. Later, I’ll share some of their writings.

Relationships continue to form and strengthen. A family from our homeschool co-op joined us one day; their 3 kids joined in on the fun, while Mom and Dad (a PE teacher) helped lead activities. And one of the families (from Greenville) who served last week met us on our Friday field trip in Columbia. Speaking of the field trip . . . .

Trip to the Zoo

We had another great field trip to Riverbanks Zoo on Friday. 67 children and 15 adults (leaders and parents) from Allendale. The trip was sponsored by Radius Church, who also sponsored a Zoo Trip last fall and who came down for MLK Weekend this week. I’m excited for this church’s continued service to Allendale County.

We already knew that children need experiences like they get on field trips, but we’re learning that parents need those experiences, too. How can parents talk to their kids about dreaming big, if the parent has not seen these things herself? And they also need to have fun, too! For example, Radius provided box lunches from Chick-fil-A at the zoo. One parent told me how delicious the sandwich was; she had never eaten from CFA before that day.

The College Interns

Anna has been working diligently to set up programs and special events for our camp. She’s met and communicated with people from the Department of Natural Resources, the Town of Allendale, and more. And this does not include the programming that she develops and leads 8 hours a day, 4 days per week.

Since he will be playing basketball at Anderson University next year, Greg has started working out with the school’s basketball team at the high school. These daily practices will be a better workout than him shooting baskets by himself, and gives him a chance to connect with some coaches and players.

Fairfax Baptist completed their week of Vacation Bible School (VBS) on Thursday, and Joseph taught the youth all week. I sat in with them most of the week. He did a good job leading the students, and by the end of the week it was evident that he felt more connected with them. His next big event will be a week-long mission trip in July, though he will be helping to coordinate some events for the rest of this month.

Joseph also had a chance to engage the culture as he got a haircut from Nubian Image (in Fairfax) on Thursday. I recommended this place to him, since I have been there before.

I had my first football scrimmage Thursday evening. My family, Greg, and Anna came out. They made and brought a few posters — two to support one of the guys who has been serving in our camp every day, and one to encourage me as a Coach.

Getting ready to start our 3rd week (Hollywood Week!), and looking forward to 80 students and leaders from Grace Church arriving on Tuesday!

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