So since July starts tomorrow, I should probably give you guys an update, eh? Good plan.
First some facts. I have been at camp for five weeks today. We have had two weeks of training (workshop) and three weeks of campers. There have been about 178 junior high campers so far this summer (always low numbers the first couple weeks due to school schedules). I have kept and edited about 840 pictures and put together ten videos of varying length and purpose. I have worked just under 20 hours at the zipline. I've done meal announcements 12 times. I have spent countless hours behind four different cameras.
It's been a fun and very eventful five weeks in all the best ways. Our program team is coming together well, and we're revving up our planning for high school week (fourteen and a half days!!). Some people have asked me if I miss counseling campers. The truth is sometimes I do. I miss getting to know the girls on a level a programer just can't. I miss laughing til I cry with my girls for no other reason than that we're all tired and slap-happy. BUT. I love what I'm doing SO MUCH that those moments where I miss counseling really are few and far between. I enjoy setting my creative side loose constantly, whether it be in pictures or creative video questions or designing the High School Week Cadillac or fleshing out ambushes or painting things like a Barakel's Got Talent sign. That's what I missed while I was counseling last year - not being able to do fun and creative things like that because I was so into my campers all the time.
I want to tell you some fun stories of things that have happened so far, but the summer is already blending together so much that it's hard to pick individual stories out! Maybe I'll think of some later and add them... We did get to go on a canoe trip week one of campers down the Ausable River. It was BEAUTIFUL. I felt like I was a member of the fellowship of the ring going down the Anduin. My canoe buddy said she felt like Pocahontas. Then we started singing Colors of the Wind. Fun times.
So in summary, all is going well. I'm enjoying myself thoroughly and looking forward to what July has to offer. God is challenging me throughout, but it's been in different and more subtle ways than as a counselor. It feels like the refining is in little chips, knocking off sharp edges and points rather than chopping off whole chunks. I'm especially learning to watch my words (which is hard for me) and be intentional with every word I get with every person. Sarcasm is my first tongue, but it's not always the right one for the situation.
I want to thank you all so much for your prayers and thoughts. I appreciate and need them all the time. I still need a significant amount of money donated to cover the rest of the cost of school this coming year, but I am trusting that God will provide, maybe through you! If you're interested in supporting me, put my name in the memo line and mail checks to:
PO Box 159
If you want to keep up with me, there are a couple ways you can do that. First, follow this blog! This is where I will put updates on life and camp and stuff. Second, go like the facebook page called Camp Barakel Picture of the Day. I am managing that page, and most of the pictures on in are taken by me these days. Third, watch the weekly videos for East Side that I make! You can find these on Camp Barakel's regular facebook page, their vimeo page, or their website. They're kinda cool, but I make them, so I might be bias.
See y'all in July!