A few weeks ago, boys and girls (9-16 years old) from our Vanderberg Youth Center (VYC) arrived at Camp CUMCITO in Warsaw, taking 2 days there before heading on south to Branson.
Upon arrival, it was time for some swimming! Each child was fitted for life jackets before we drove over to Long Shoal swimming area where there were lots of chicken fights and old fashion dunkings. Our time at the lake was cut short by a large black cloud that rolled in full of rain. We headed back to camp to change for dinner and afterwards finished our first day making Smores over a campfire.
After a hot breakfast prepared by camp staff and our interns, we headed out early for a tour at College of the Ozarks. They were awesome hosts and tour guides. We started at the military memorial where the service and sacrifice of men, women, dogs and families are recognized. Next, we visited the basket weaving shop, old grist mill, and a stained-glass shop where our campers learned how college students earn wages towards paying for their own education. Next, we were off to Look-Out Point and the cow barn where students enjoyed petting the baby cows and kittens.
Our next stop was the Creation Museum for a personal guided tour that went along with our focus for the week on creation, where students got to pet giant hissing cockroaches!
Dinner was at Olive Garden and was a first for all of our students. They loved it all, especially the hot bread sticks!
We arrived to the Sight and Sound Theater to experience the live on-stage production of ‘Jesus’, which was amazing! The theater was gracious to donate the tickets so our students, staff and interns could attend this moving presentation. The children’s emotion ranged from lots of laughs to few tears as their attention was glued to the live action the whole time. They really truly enjoyed it. One student's take away was the realization of how Jesus agonized over His mission in the garden the night before His crucifixion. Afterwards we drove back to Warsaw for a late bedtime.
Our VYC students slept in till 10am the next morning, all worn out from our busy and active schedule. We ate breakfast, packed and loaded the bus, cleaned up and headed out. We visited the Harry S. Truman visitor center before leaving town.
This was a great fun-filled, memory-making trip for these kids— exhausting but so worth it! We are so grateful for the donated tickets and are looking forward to repeating this trip with a new group next year.