Sunday, July 27, 2008

Midnight Sun Bible Camp

Well, another busy summer has sped by with very little comment from us. Sorry about that.


The first full week of July, James and I taught at Bible camp again. This year the theme was “I want to know Christ” from Philippians 3:10, and we covered the life of Christ from his birth to his resurrection. In preparation, James and I listened to the four gospels dramatized on CD and watched the Matthew movie. We felt completely saturated with the life and teachings of Jesus, but we barely had time to squeeze out some of the richness of what we had learned in getting ready for camp.


James made a good friend in Kody Knight on the way out to camp. Kody stayed James' "Third Arm" for the remainder of the week. Kody was a "camp brat" rooming with his mother (on staff) because he was younger than the regular campers, so he and James could play while the other kids were in cabin time or otherwise occupied.


It was harder to find activities for the kids to do while learning about Jesus (they were 4th-6th graders) than it was last year with light. We didn’t want to cheapen Jesus’ power and character by playing childish games or turning water into grape Kool-Aid, etc. We finally settled on breaking up our two hours of teaching time with them by showing them short clips from the Matthew movie. Sometimes, we gave the kids specific things to look for (just so that they paid attention) like counting how many times in Matthew 1 prophecies were quoted or people we spoken to in dreams. It seemed to work well.

James and one of the kids from the village that came out to camp this year. It was a good experience for all. They learned more about the Bible, and we learned about interacting with another culture.

We also gave the campers challenging memory verses. Anyone who quoted a verse for us got a piece of candy, but those who learned the verse on each day and told us all four verses on the last day received a special prize from us that was awarded to them in front of the entire camp. Last year this worked fairly well with a decent portion of kids rising to the challenge. This year, however, the head staff got on board with this challenge and made memorizing verses mandatory for swimming in the lake or doing other fun activities back at the cabins. James and I felt bad for these kids stuttering through Philippians 3:8, Matthew 14:13-14, John 13:1, and Hebrews but were utterly amazed when by Wednesday 85% of the campers had met the challenge! Unfortunately, not quite that many completed the four day challenge, but we were proud of those that did reach the goal and won the binoculars that we had for them.

One of our evening devotionals by the lake.

Our other big event this year was our regular “visitor” to our remote camp. A female black bear had been raiding the camp garbage (locked in a trailer) and had been spotted out at camp the week before us but had not been “caught” so campers and staff had to be wary of walking on the trails. Campers could not go on them alone and counselors carried whistles only to be used in an emergency bear sighting. As Bible teachers, we were not issued whistles for our many treks to the cabins to hear memory verses, so I sang loud, enthusiastic Bible and camp songs on my lonely hikes to the girls' cabins.

On Thursday night, just minutes before we handed out memory verse prizes, girls’ cabin 2 was doing a skit about the week at camp and being chased by a bear (really Bill Williams in costume). Three shots rang out over the camp while at the same time a growly Bill chased the screaming whistle-blowing girls. It was chaotic. The people watching the skit thought that maybe the shots were some really good sound effects; the cook staff that had just dispatched our garbage stealing bear thought the girls were screaming because of the shots. Thankfully no one was hurt, except the poor bear.

It turns out, the previously wounded bear had made its den on the upper boys’ trail and had been prowling around only about ten yards from James’ and my cabin trying to get into the garbage trailer. We saw the generously sized footprints on the black trailer door. I am so thankful that on one of my late night runs to the “dome” (bathrooms) I did not run into this angry mama. God protected us all. I wish the bear had stuck to a fish and berry diet and left lasagna alone (this is what they found in the bear’s stomach). Still with all of the bear maulings in the news recently, I’m glad no one at camp became another statistic.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, sounds like an exciting week. Mikaela LOVES the Matthew video. She will sit and watch the whole thing in one sitting, and it has brought up some very interesting questions and discussions. I'm glad you had such a great time.

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  2. Hey, welcome back...even though it has taken me a bit to read this! It sounds like you had fun at camp. It scares me a bit hearing how close you were to a roaming and cranky bear, but I am thankful God protected everyone! Hope you continue to have a great summer!
    ~Lucy

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  3. Hi beautiful one ~ thanks so much for stopping by the Lylah blog and saying hello - all the way from Alaska - my new favorite state!

    i loved reading your heart about your home and the shift you've had and i'm more than delighted that i could be a part of what God's doing for you - blessings on you day...lylah

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  4. okay andrea, i'd almost given up on you midsummer and then we got this little tidbit to keep us all going, now it's been a while again, but i just saw a note on kara olson's facebook and you said you hoped to post big news soon. . hopefully you'll post it here too and now i'm anxious to hear what it is, so i'll be checking back first thing tomorrow!!!. . . . timbra

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