Hey all! This week seemed to flow by since the last time that I was able to update. Again, I'm sorry that it was so short! But the power cord is now found for my computer, but now I can't connect to the internet where I am! So I'm on someone else's computer, again. But, hopefully, this time, I'll be able to get out all my thoughts.
Wow, this past term has been incredible! I can't remember if I mentioned this in my last post or not, but I'm a counselor again! It's been tough and tiring at times, but so great! I'm a counselor for the oldest cabin---UNREAL DEAL! These girls are absolutely incredible! Being the oldest cabin, I have the two princesses in my cabin (one for the Kiowa tribe and one for the Kickapoo). These girls are elected by their tribe the year before to lead for the following summer. It has been so fun to watch them work together and lead. They are both so outgoing and fun and have definitely led with excellence. All of the girls are great. It's cool because they know that they are in the oldest cabin for a reason, and most of them take that responsibility and leadership and run with it. They bonded really well as a cabin early on, and we have been able to have some incredible conversations with them! I really wanted to challenge them this term, and I knew that they had the potential for it. Devotionals at night, where we get to sit down with them and learn more about God and life, have been so cool! For three nights, we just had a question and answer time where the girls could bring up anything that was on their heart and we, as counselors and the cook and kitchie that adopted my cabin, would do our best to answer their questions and go to the Word about it. It was so cool to wrestle through stuff with them! Sometimes I feel like I learn more myself or stuff starts to make more sense as I talk about it and try to teach it to them, which is pretty cool.
A few nights ago we had Cross Talk. This is always one of my favorite nights because it's a time that we all get to be reminded of the Gospel and the story of the cross. It's so cool to be able to pray for the girls and just sit in God's presence and grace. I was able to have such a cool conversation with one of my girls afterwards! We usually do "porch time" after Cross Talk instead of devos, and just give the girls a chance to come out and talk on the porch if they want. Usually, if they do want to talk, the girls come out with something specific on their heart. But, this time, I was so surprised! A sweet girl named Ashlyn, who just has such a genuine servant's heart, came out and sat down with me. When I asked her what was up, all she said was that she just wanted to learn more about God. I had never been presented with that before! I didn't know where to begin, but she was so great and so willing to just sit there and listen. Honestly, that conversation was all God. It was such a rush to be able to just tell her what I had been learning this past year and this summer, especially through my discipleship with Erin. It was so cool to be abel to watch the Holy Spirit at work. Our conversation was all over the place, but again, it was totally the Lord. I know that He is working in her heart and I can't wait to watch that throughout this year!
Unreal Deal definitely has it's perks! Two days ago, we got to go on trip with our brother cabin. This is just for the oldest cabins at each kamp and the kids absolutely LOVE IT! For trip this year, got to take a whole afternoon and go into Branson. Since the kids don't get candy or Cokes at kamp, except on special occasions, they LOAD them up with it while they're on trip. So, on the way into Branson, they each got a candy bar to start off the trip. First, we went roller skating and then we went to the party barn at K-1, where we had pizza and Cokes for dinner. The party barn is one of my favorite memories as a kamper. It has two huge barn swings over ball pits. It's so awesome! You just swing around and try to make it back up on the ledge before you fall into the balls. The girls had a great time and they got more candy on their way back.
Coming back to counselor was a little weird at first, especially since I didn't think that I was going to be coming back that early. It was tough at first being with a lot of new staff on the girls' side, but, as I've gotten to know them better, it's gotten better. Second session staff is just way different than the first. For some reason, they're just not as close as first half was. They are still all incredible people and counselors though and I've been encouraged by so many of them. The counselors in cabin 11 are absolutely hilarious and we've worked with them several times to have joint worship nights with out girls and other things.
When I was asked to come back as a counselor, I felt very honored. It's not very often that this kind of thing happens, and leadership has been so encouraging and edifying to me through it! Even people on guys' leadership have specifically encouraged me. It's so cool. That has never happened before! So I guess it just reminds me that they are looking out for me and are appreciative that I was willing to come back. It's been such a blessing to have them behind me. In the beginning of 5th term, right after I made the switch, our programs girl, Jerri, left kamp for four days and had to delegate out all her jobs. She put my friend, Kara, and I in charge of Round Up, the meeting that the kids go to before 1st period. At first, I didn't know how we were going to entertain 150 middle school girls for 15 minutes, but it has been a blast! Kara is so much fun to work with and it's been so cool to know that leadership trusts us with this.
When Kara and I were kampers at K-West, we had a mascot for the girls--DINGO THE FLAMINGO! So, we decided to bring him back! Back in the day, the boys used to steal him and it would become a war back and forth. So, at the beginning of the term, we asked some of the boys to steal him. It was great! Then we got him back, but then they stole him again---TWICE. Now, it's war! I wish I had time to tell all the details right now, but, basically, we have to get Dingo back today before this group of kids leaves, but we have NO IDEA where he is. It's been so much fun to see how everyone has gotten so into this. Kara and I have had an absolute blast!
It's been great getting to teach classes again and just be out in kamp! I definitely miss being with the girls in the kitchen all the time, but, thankfully, they have been so wonderful and have been sure to love on me and talk when we can. I can't believe that this summer is only two weeks from being over. It's been absolutely incredible! I would really appreciate your prayer in the area of strength and energy for now. I'm getting to the point where it is really hard for me to get out of bed and get enough time in the Word, but I need that SO BAD. And I need to continue to rely on God for the strength and energy to be intentional and fun with every girl that I meet. Thank you for all your continued letters, sweet postcards (thanks to the Smarts and Charity!), and encouragement. Y'all are great. And I can't wait to see you soon. I was able to put some pictures up on facebook, so check em out if want!