TOT LOT - On Monday the campers arrived and piled off the bus, they were here to begin their “Quest,” which was the theme for the week. We all piled into the cabins common area where every camper was assigned their “Big” (the counselor that will be with them all week long).
Once everyone had their group assignments, they headed out for the important stuff – lunch! The Bigs serve their “kids” family style and start bonding with each child. All of the children were super excited and the camp food is very tasty!
There are many activities that the kids get to participate in and this starts on Monday after lunch with free play on the playground, then a tea party and a trip to the pool. The children get to enjoy these activities every day and they never seem to tire of them. They also get to enjoy horseback riding, baby goats, water balloon games and many other memorable activities.
While we are all about having fun at camp, the main thing that we focus on is the love that Jesus Christ offers them and how we love these children because of the love that He has given us. We try to teach the children about boundaries, how to interact and play with their friends and that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives. This training is accomplished with daily Bible teaching, drama, Bible stories and hands on counseling. This week was particularly tough and we had a lot of campers who struggled with following the rules. Never the less, we saw many children who realized a deeper understanding of who God is and His love for them.
On Thursday we had a carnival for the kids. This included a bounce house, fishing for prizes, merry-go-round, bean bag toss, etc. All of the kids had a blast and walked away with a bag full of loot to take home. Friday brought us a special awards banquet. At this banquet every child received an award that exemplified what their special character trait was this week -- We had Bible Man, Loving, Caring, Friendly and, my favorite, Determined, to name just a few of the positive traits that were recognized.
When the campers load back on the bus and head home, we will miss each of them and their precious smiles. We are praying that they will have made many memories that will last a lifetime, but most of all we pray that they will always remember the love of God and allow Him to guide their steps.
JUNIOR 1 - At Junior 1 camp this year, we also focused on the campers’ “Quest,” as the theme through studying the life of Moses. During the week, the chapel staff helped campers understand about God’s Plan, God’s Purpose, God’s Promises and God’s Presence through drama, puppet plays, Bible teaching and memory verses. The concepts were reinforced by their counselors in nightly devotions and prayer, through related crafts at craft time and through conversations sprinkled throughout the campers’ day. Whether playing on the lake trampoline, fishing, hiking, canoeing, swimming, or just resting in the cabin, the counselors and staff attempted to use every opportunity to share God’s love with the kids and help them understand more about him.
One day a counselor observed one of her campers going off by herself and was worried she was feeling left out. When the counselor approached to ask if she was doing OK, the camper answered that she just wanted some time to pray. Another camper asked in devotion time how he was supposed to hear God’s voice. When the devotion leader explained that we hear God’s voice through our hearts, he answered, “I haven’t gotten very good at hearing through my heart, yet.” Some of the campers made decisions for Christ during the week, and many others asked questions and made comments that showed they were growing in their understanding of God, which is what Camp CUMCITO is all about--no matter where we are in our Quest for God.