Wednesday, August 31, 2016

  "Your camp family is with you always and whenever you let the camp spirit shine!  
When you 'do good', when you 'fill buckets', when you 'spread the light' – you are sharing the gifts of camp…"

As I sat down to write a wrap-up reflection here on the Camp Blog that perfectly described the camp experience of this past week, I could not help but hear Pastor Jennie Barrett Siegal's words in my head from this past Sunday at Old South Union Church as she described Camp as "magical". What makes Camp unique are the beautiful people who show up year, after year, after year, to dedicate a week of their summer to improving the lives of the youth of this community. I believe that their hearts are "magical"!  I have never been anywhere else where love abounds the way it does at Camp. I know God is at work in this place.... It is awesome.

Part of my role as camp chaplain is to organize our worship services. It is a joy to be able to work all year with the worship planning team to create just one small part of this awesome Camp Experience! Our staff is amazing! Again,  continue to be humbled by our Camp Staff and their complete dedication to this program. I continue to be in awe of the unconditional love that our staff has for the hundreds of youth that attend camp each year. 

Our staff wears many hats... One of them is helping write inspiring vespers messages to be shared around the closing circle camp fire (Vespers) each night.  We had a beautiful dedication to camp's ability to encourage all of us to be "bucket fillers" (ways to build one another up -- not tear one another down). This work creatively captured the memories of camp over the years. This was inspired by and shared at chapel by a long time staff members. The giving and sharing done by our staff is endless...

And as I drafted a post for this blog, I also received a notification on Facebook that one of our staff members had written a wonderful reflection on her blog about camp. I want to share that post here with you, as I feel her words are a beautiful insight into the magic of camp. 

What Camp Means To Me
~Kerri Keaney

"I’m not a writer but I love to write, I wanted to find away I could convey how much this place really means to me. I started going to camp in 2007 and I knew from the minute I got off that bus, as one of the few Braintree kids, this place was going to mean something to me.  Flash-forward to 2016, 9 years at camp later (shout out to my gap year) this place never ceases to amaze me. The amount of kids that keep coming back, the vesper messages, the love, and the light that shines through each camper is unbelievable.
          Camp to me is knowing that the minute you step off the bus that you will return to that bus a better person. Camp is waking up at the crack of dawn to Bob slamming a triangle or a cowbell and giving you a weather update and a random, useless fact, its rolling out of bed with a K-cup in hand because you can’t function till that caffeine hits your blood stream, camp is knowing who and when to share your blueberry K-cups.  Camp is sitting in a circle with twelve strangers every morning to leaving as twelve best friends.  Camp is filling buckets and letting your light shine, camp is love and laughter.  Camp is singing dumb songs at the top of your lungs in hope that you get to eat first; camp is playing noses and still helping the poor kid that loses bring all the plates up.  Camp is siesta-ing in the shade, diva nation station-ing, or attempting world cup for the first time. Camp is playing somewhat complicated afternoon games running around getting to know other campers whether they be in your cabin, your morning group or just a familiar face from around Youth Group.  Camp is sitting together under the sun singing camp songs that make your heart happy, camp is watching the Zopatti twins dance to their dad singing (nothing cooler than seeing them be parents) camp is watching the seniors hold hands and skip in a circle to one of the saddest camp songs (listen to the lyrics of May The Circle Be Unbroken and you’ll agree).  Camp is watching kids go out of their comfort zones while singing loudly and proudly in the talent show or when they dance like no one is watching at the dance.  Camp is when your cabin kids feel more like family faster than you could ever imagine.  Camp is when your cabin girls trust you with their deepest darkest secrets.  Camp is hugging 500 of the sweetest, kindest, sweatiest people you will ever meet in your life all within a couple of hours.  Camp is listening to people lift up the ones they love, the people lost, and the people struggling in consecration’s open prayer.  Camp is listening to inspirational stories from seniors while hot wax drips on your fingers.  Camp is realizing that people younger than you can be a role model, camp is sharing a vesper message with 500 people and feeling their love as you tell your story with a shaky voice, camp is looking up at the sky and seeing countless stars. Camp is ending your day holding hands with the people next to you and singing the lords prayer quite ominously around the campfire.  Camp is letting a little love into your heart; camp is being a Difference Maker.
Camp is a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  But camp to me is a safe haven, a second home, and my happy place. I wish I could convey better how this place has changed not only me but everyone else around me, but you just had to be there."

Blessings to our camp families in the year ahead.. Thank you for your continued support to this incredible program....

Until next year.....

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hey folks! The latest update is that the due to some traffic, the bus arrival has been pushed ahead a little. So our estimated ETA is now 2:30...  And just a reminder, that all families are invited to attend our annual CAMP Sunday worship service at Old South Union at 9:00 a.m! We hope you are able to join us as we celebrate, sing our praises  and listen to Rev Jennie as she recaptures our magical camp experience!
We are homeward bound! All have successfully boarded the buses!
Trucks are packed!! Bellies are being filled!! We will soon be gathering for our closing circle. Youth will be on the buses by 11:00. Our estimated time of arrival will be 2:00. We will keep you updated!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Awesomely busy day! All is well! Food, fun and laughter! I will follow up with a blog post of more in depth details regarding our Friday programming later this evening! We are preparing for consecration now, after a day of hug line love!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Good afternoon! How can can it be Thursday already?! We enjoyed a delicious meal of french toast sticks for breakfast and pizza gor lunch! Rumor has it that dinner will be an annual favorite of Mac and cheese and chicken fingers!! The camp is a buzz as it prepare for the yearly tradition of cabin wars!Team costumes, face painting, and team chants are alive and well as we prepare for this awesome program!! Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

We had some cooler weather, which has made sleeping delightful! Our campers have been thrilled with the packages and mail they have been receiving from home! Thank you! We cannot believe we are already at the half way point of the week! After Wednesday the days fly by.. How grateful we are to experience such a dynamic group of young people!!
Sorry for the delayed post! It has been a busy day, with campers leaving camp for sports team tryouts and our graduated seniors who have new college starts! Of course, the weather is wonderful! The food delicious! We enjoyed Belgium Waffles, fruit and bacon for breakfast. We had pastrami sandwiches and sweet potato fries for lunch!! The campers are currently  enjoying "Spree" time activities and will soon be participating in our afternoon program Mario Party! A day of fun awaits!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

We had tacos!! Taco Tuesday!!  Always a favorite camp meal! We are heading out now for our evening program -- Ossipee Game night!! An outdoor extravaganza of game show fun!!! More to come!!!
Breakfast this morning is a delightful eggs, sausage and bagel.... aA cool nights sleep followed our MorningGroup at night!

Monday, August 22, 2016

We spent our morning getting to know our community better, with a whole camp game of people Bingo!! Lunch was Italian Cold cuts on Panini bread with fruit and chips... The weather is perfect for our Water World afternoon program that is scheduled for this afternoon!
Beautiful morning....  we began the day with a breakfast of french toast and bacon!! We are nourished and ready for the day!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Afternoon program was a success! We enjoyed our time in Chapel together as we sang one of our Camp favorites, " This Love"... Dinner was chicken , rice, asparagus and dipping sauce delight! We will be dancing the night away shortly as we get ready for our first camp dance this week!!! More to come...
Awesome lunch!! A grilled cheese with a side of french fries and tomato soup hit the spot and filled us with the energy needed for the activities ahead! We are looking forward to our afternoon program titled, "Camp Paparazzi!"
Cool crisp morning air greeted us this morning as we work this morning! Breakfast was filled with pancakes, sausage, cinnamon rolls , bagels and fruit! We also enjoyed our first reflective Morning Watch together as a group... heading off to Morning groups shortly!
Yesterday was a successful first day at camp! All the campers have unpacked and settled nicely into their cabins. We enjoyed getting to meet our morning groups and began some thoughtful conversations around what we would all like to experience at camp this week. With a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and salad-- our bellies were filled ! The food at Camp Cody never disappoints! We ended our evening under the stars with a production of " Camp the Musical". The program gave our campers a chance to see their counselors use their gifts and talents in joyful and humor filled skits! Such fun.... We closed out the evening with Vespers and the singing of the Lord's prayer around the camp fire. The weather for the day ahead looks cool and comfortable.. We are all looking forward to what the day has in store! Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The weather is beautiful, the food delicious and filling! We are off to Chapel!!
We are here at Camp Cody ! Safe and sound and settling in! More to come!