So if you just logged onto my blog and you scroll down and see me talking about Butler Springs all the time and wonder when I’m ever going to get off this phase of constant blogging about one topic, camp, and just go back to blogging about my day again, I’m sorry. Just give me one last post to say all the rest of what I so desperately want to say about this past week at Butler.
Sunday afternoon brought the campers. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I was completely stressed about the group of girls I would be shepherding all week. I wanted my ten girls from last year, but the leader I was paired with had six girls of her own she needed to be with. There was no possibility for a group of 16, so I pleaded to Andrew for a solution and he saw fit to pair me instead with Haley Woliver, by total chance (or maybe not?) the daughter of Jeni, my co-leader from last year. Haley had 3 girls she wanted with her – her sister Camryn and her two friends – but I figured three girls as compared to six was way easier to compromise with. I still felt torn because I had to disclude some of my girls from the original list for the sake of only having 10 girls max per group. Well, the way God worked things out for the week in his divine manner, all my girls from last year ended up in Haley and I’s group – the largest group for our week – 15 girls total, split between two adjoining cabins. I was surprisingly more excited than overwhelmed by the news that we would be in charge of so many girls. These were my girls. I knew them. I trusted them. I couldn’t wait to hang out with them again.
Suddenly, as the girls moved into our room (the first door on the right of dorm 4, Hannah), I felt like no time had passed since last summer. I felt as though the space in between the times we’d last seen each other was sucked, like a vacuum, out of the air between us and we were back in the same place again together as though no time had passed. Anna started cracking hilarious jokes and being friendly to everyone on campus, Sam said something that made me happy (because she’s so darn down-to-Earth), Lexie commenced telling a story, and Micah started to fill me in on the past year.
Sunday (our unofficial first day) gave way to Monday (our official first day) and Monday brought the regularity of camp scheduling. Every day at camp our schedule looked like this:
7:45am – Wake Up
8:30am – Breakfast (Haley and I had our Leader’s Meetings)
9:30am – Morning Worship
11:00am – 5 S’s lesson (If you’re wondering what the heck this is, it’s a message revolving around one of Southbrook Christian Church’s 5 tenants of a healthy Christian life: Scripture, Solitude, Service, Significant Events, and Support. In these lessons we practiced these tenants and were equipped to do them ourselves.
12:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm – 5:00pm – Blocks of activities
5:30pm – Missions presentation
6:00pm – Dinner
7:00pm – Camp Games
9:30pm – Main Session
12:00am – Lights out in the cabins
So that was our every day at camp. Long, hot, and completely worthwhile. The girls spent their free time playing Ga-ga ball, 9 Square (modified, vollyball version of 4 sqaure), and napping. Our dinners brought different theme nights – Monday was Olympics, Tuesday Hunger Games, Wednesday Avengers, and Thursday Formal Night.
Our daily blocks of activites were also really fun – Butler has an awesome High Ropes course – seeing my girls in teams of two, working together to dominate something as completely terrorizing as the ropes course made my heart happy. At one point, my girl Lexie attempted one of the scariest portions of the course – a solitary rope hanging in the middle between two platforms one had to jump to grab and swing over to the other side – and ended up dangling for a long while, trying to get up on the platform but finding herself unable. Lexie began to cry out of fear and uneasiness. Alyssa – her partner, not one of my girls, but an incredible woman of God nonetheless – was so encouraging to her and helped her up to the platform, only to cheer her all the way back to the central platform to continue the course. All of the fun (and pretty extreme) experiences at Butler are designed to bring the groups together as a whole. At the giant swing, massive amounts of people are required to pull a rope down a steep hill to hoist the lucky participant into the sky to be slung at like 5omph through the air seconds later.
Every night brought time at the campfire, which we all gathered around and poured out our hearts after we heard the messages every night and were cut to the heart by them. The campfires were where our joy and passion came out to play. At one point during the week, upon arriving from the main session that night, we were all really joy-filled. Spirit-filled, you could say. We started dancing around the fire, a few of us at first, then all of us. Someone mentioned the part of “The Proposal” where Sandra Bullock dances around the fire and Betty White comes in and encourages her, and we decided to attempt that scene, but in worship to the Living God. So we grabbed hands and danced around the circle, bursting into fits of laughter the whole time.
I also got a chance to rap at camp, which was incredible – I missed a couple hours with my girls on Monday and Friday as I rehersed with the awesome worship band we had there for the week (I mentioned/bragged on them already). They were all high-schoolers of ridiculous talent, plus Josh Moser, our worship leader. Some of the songs we sang this week include Jon Foreman’s “White as Snow”, Hillsong United’s “Take Heart”, Matt Redman’s “We are the Free”, Chris Tomlin’s “Our God” and “I Will Follow”, and Gungor’s “Beautiful Things”. Oh yeah. And we sang my favorite song, “Give Me Faith”.
This year was all about the life of Peter – the most passionate disciple, easily, but also one of the most flawed. We are, in an essence, Peter. Like one of my raps mentioned, “It’s like I’m Peter, though I’m fallin’ you’re still callin’ me to feed them”. We are #Called, we have to have #Faith, we #Fail, and we have been #Equipped.
A verse that really stood out to me this week was one from John 6. Jesus is asking the disciples who others say he is. It seems like the general public really isn’t sure about Jesus. Then Jesus asks them who THEY say he is. Peter, our boy, steps up and says Jesus is the Messiah. When some disciples stop following Jesus, Jesus asks if the other disciples want to leave too.
What Peter says in response is pretty epic.
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. (John 6:68)
Peter has it so right. There’s nowhere to go but to Jesus.