2017 Camp CUMCITO – Wk 3 Pre-Teen 2 & Tot Lot 3

Snapshots of PreTeen2 Camp:

A camper gets off the bus on Monday. It’s her first time at Camp CUMCITO, so she’s a little unsure of what to expect. She made a friend on the bus and hopes they’ll be in a cabin together. At lunch she meets a few more people and hears about the fun things they’ll do during the week.

The boy cabins get the first turn at the pool. It’s so hot, and the water feels great. After passing the deep end test, one boy gets in line for the diving board. He learned how to dive last year at camp during swimming lessons, and he’s excited to dive again.

The kitchen staff wakes up early every morning to have breakfast on the table for the whole camp. Walking across camp from their sleeping quarters to the dining hall in the Ridge, one person pauses to listen to the birds singing in the trees. The campground is so quiet until the campers emerge from their cabins after the “Rise & Shine” bell rings.

Campers choose electives to do in the morning sessions, getting to pick from swimming lessons, kickball, archery, or disc golf. One camper playing disc golf threw her disc on a rock, then suddenly called out, “That rock is moving!,” followed by, “ No wait, that rock is a turtle!” and “Can we keep it?”

In Morningstar Cabin, a counselor who used to be a camper has now been coming back to serve on staff for five years. Remembering what it was like as a camper has given her a special compassion for the campers. She still has those moments when it seems like the campers are not listening, and feels as if she’s wasting her breath trying to share the gospel during devotions. A camper suddenly surprises her by repeating back to her exactly what she thought they weren’t paying attention to: “Jesus came down to earth from heaven, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again on the third day…”

On the other side of camp is a counselor who came to camp pretty empty from his own struggles. He confessed his weakness and weariness to other staff during the week, asked for prayer from others, and continued to push through leaning solely on God’s strength. What a reward when he later saw God work in big ways with his campers on the last night of camp!

In crafts there’s a first-time staff person, who came after her husband shared his challenging, but exciting experience last year. She enjoyed working on craft staff, helping the boys put together their pinewood derby cars. She “adopted” a girl cabin and went to their devotions, but was afraid she wasn’t getting to know them or impacting them. But on the last day of camp, they came up to hug her goodbye, asking to stay in touch.

When asked what she would say to someone considering working at camp, she said, “First pray about it, because you need Christ’s guidance. It’s an awesome experience and I would recommend it to anybody, because you learn so much from everyone here and the campers that come to camp. You learn about different lifestyles and techniques for dealing with children.” Summing up her camp experience after the campers boarded the buses to head back home, she said, “I am physically exhausted; my body hurts, but my heart is happy.”