Favorite Things from Last Week (June 25)
It’s hard to believe that this is our last week of Elevate Summer Camp. The month has flown by, though of course it was tiring each week. But as we look back, it was well worth the efforts, and we are thankful for everyone who has contributed to making this camp happen for children in Allendale County.
As we get rolling with week 4, let’s take time to reflect on the joys and successes of last week.
Week 3: Hollywood Week
As with week 2 (Olympics Week), almost every day had a team-oriented challenge. On one day we did a “superhero” event, where the campers had to go from room to room collecting “superpowers” that would unlock the next room.
We had a 2-day Amazing Race where the students had to work together solving detours, roadblocks, and other challenges. You can see them in the picture above working their way across the gym (on paper plate stepping stones). As you see in the video below (if you are seeing getting this post in your email, you may have to click through to the post), they had to come up with a 10-step tribal dance, and performing it three times.
Students and Leaders from Grace Church
Tuesday evening, 75 high school students, college interns, and adult leaders from Grace Church arrived in Allendale County. They served in camps and did community service all over the place. During their first worship session, I sat in the back of the room, smiling and encouraged that so many people chose to come here for the week — to serve and love people, and to worship Jesus.
The teams that served at camp brought a lot of energy fun, as they took part in games, sports, and educational activities. I loved seeing the relationships develop and grow, especially for those students who have been to Allendale multiple times in the past few years, including our Soccer Camp. These Allendale children remember every person who comes back to be with them.
Knowing that we would have more volunteers, we invited some more campers who had been on our waiting list. For a place where I continually hear, “There is nothing for kids to do,” it was a pleasure to have more children participate. They were excited to be there, and we were excited to have them.
Sadly, we had to dismiss one child early in the week. He pulled a fire alarm, and then repeatedly lied about it. Having a trustworthy eyewitness, we told him he and his mom that he could not return. He denied it until the end.
Until . . .
The next day he came up to me (I see him every morning, as he still takes part in summer school). He said, “Mr. Joey, I’m sorry for pulling that fire alarm, and then lying about it.” We had a great discussion. I know that he pulled it without thinking; he is a very impulsive child. He explained, “It said, Push and Pull, and that’s what I did.” Then, he just panicked when he realized what he did.We had a great discussion, about being honest, even when you did wrong and are scared.
We’re thinking about letting him back in for the final week . . .
Field Trip: Charleston
Grace Church sponsored a big field trip on Friday, to Charleston. Gone for 12 hours (would have been 13, but one of the buses was an hour late), the day included a college tour (older kids), fun park (younger kids), boat tour around the harbor (all kids), and aquarium visit (all). Include a picnic lunch and Chick-fil-A for dinner at the Battery, and it was a special treat for kids, teens, and some parents who joined us.
For some children, it was their first time ever on a boat, and for some it was their first time driving a go-cart. And for many (including myself), it was a first visit to the Charleston Aquarium.
A with our camp, the best part was the relationships that were strengthened. The group consisted of about 40 students and leader from Grace Church, and about 50 from Allendale. Being together for half of a day gives you a lot of time to connect. We are thankful for Grace Church treating so many children from Allendale to a fun outing, and for including us as well.
Be sure to check out photos from the field trip, and from the rest of the week, on the Elevate – Allendale Facebook page.
The Last Week!
As we head into our final week, please pray for us. Not only do we want the programming to stay strong until the end, but we also think it will be an emotional week for us the leaders. When camp ends, we will probably not see most of the kids again for the rest of the summer, and the college interns may not ever see some of these kids at all, or at least for a long time.
Looking forward to partnering with high school students, college students, and adult leaders from Community Bible Church – Savannah, who arrived in Allendale last night. They’ll be here for a week, and will have a couple of teams serving in our camp (and others volunteering at a science camp, and others painting murals).