Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Camp Hope, Day 3

Wednesday (May 27th) was the third day of camp.

After cabin clean-up each morning, all of the cabins were "inspected."  The girls with the cleanest cabin had the honor of hosting Mrs. Mop for 24 hours...and the boys, Mr. Broom!

During morning chapel on Wednesday, Mr. Nate introduced the children to another friend of his.

Earlier in the week, Mr. Nate had offered to let T interact personally with some of his puppets after one of the chapel sessions.  Wednesday was the day!  He showed several of them to T, made them "talk" to T, and allowed T to put his hand inside one of them!  It was all so special!!

A game called "Steal the Bacon" was played during the morning games time.  The campers divided up into their four teams.  Two teams played against each other, so there were two games going on simultaneously.  The campers lined up and numbered off.

When a number was called, those two campers had to run to the middle, grab the piece of bacon...from breakfast...something to do with a shortage of food during nuclear winter  
;-)  ...which was sitting on top of an orange cone...

and run back to their team without being tagged by the player on the opposing team.

Here is T, waiting for his number to be called.

The games director was so thoughtful and kind to think of a way to include T and make it fun for him.  He arranged for one of the counselors to have the same number as T...who then let T get the bacon and run back to his team without being tagged.

When I saw what was happening, it truly warmed my heart.  I felt ever so grateful to the games director.  Without the "arrangement," T would not have even made it to the orange cone before the other player was back to his team with the bacon (which, by the way, had to be replaced with a bean bag less than halfway through the game)!

We had some unexpected entertainment!  
;-)  The players were waiting patiently and expectantly for the next number to be called...when T spontaneously trotted toward the cone to retrieve the bean bag.  The team leader returned the bean bag to its place on top of the cone and helped T back into line.  Again, the players were waiting...and again, T trotted toward the bean bag!  It was so funny.  :D

After lunch, the nuclear winter themed skit continued.

Skills I on Wednesday was archery.  T enjoyed that!  However, he seemed just as happy to "throw" the arrows toward the target as to try and get the arrows to the target using the bow!

Skills II on Wednesday was time for the campers to practice memorizing their Bible verses.  T knew his, so he "recited" them to the nurse (who was in charge of listening and keeping the records).  We had worked on the verses for 2-3 weeks before T's week at camp.  I wanted T to learn the he would not let down his team.  (Do you remember that I mentioned the teams competed for points, which were given for Bible verses memorized...?)  Also (and more importantly), I wanted T to learn the verses so he would have God's Word in his heart.  :)  These were the verses he learned:

     "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
     "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

     Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"
     Jesus answered and said to him,
"Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
     "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
     "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
     "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
     "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
     "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
     "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
     "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
     "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

          John 3:7-18 (NKJV)

I wasn't able to take a photograph, because I was helping T.  I learned signs for many of the words.  (I'm not fluent in sign language, so I had to use a sign language dictionary to look up a lot of the signs.)  When we were learning the verses, I left out some of the key words as I said the verses...and T "filled in the blanks."  Also, I signed most of the key words...and T said the words for the signs (and sometimes signed the words, too).  Actually, he did memorize parts of the verses...from hearing them so many times...and said the words with me, instead of repeating the words after I said them.  T is not very verbal, so it was a huge accomplishment for him even to repeat the words!  There are a lot of words in those 12 verses!  

The afternoon game was a nuclear winter themed version of kick ball.  The playing field had some added obstacles!

Before the game began, someone was on the field, looking for campers who were not wearing their "radiation protection"!  (Some of the campers hid their name tags on purpose, hoping to be sprayed with water!)

Here is T in the outfield.

Eventually, it was T's turn to kick the ball.  Another camper, Anna Grace, helped him.  Here is T on home plate.

There were cones set up and lines drawn on the playing field between home plate and first base.  The players were supposed to run around the lines on their way to first base.  If they ran across the lines, they were out.  T "ran" across the lines.  I was standing on the sidelines, calling "T, you're out!"  The games director was standing on the sidelines, speaking through his megaphone, rallying the other children to encourage T by cheering him on...which they happily did!  It was very precious...and it so reached the depth of my heart that it made me cry.  What an amazing man that games director is!  What an amazing God we serve...who blessed me and T so abundantly through that director!!

Here is T on second base.

Here T is navigating an obstacle as he was heading to third base.

Anna Grace and a couple of the other girls decided to play a game of their own...
which brought the kickball game to a temporary halt.  Ooops!

These three girls took a special interest in T and gave him lots of attention throughout the week.

Mr. Nate gave an object lesson during evening chapel using a bag with many "secret" pockets.

                      ♪♫     Jesus loves the little children,

                                  All the children of the world.     ♫♪

T slept soundly....

Linked to:
   Mommy Moments
   Titus 2 Tuesday
   Wonderful Wednesday

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Camp Hope - Day 2

Tuesday (May 26th) began the second day of camp, which was the first full day of camp.

This was our daily schedule throughout the week:

       7:45 am   wake-up bell
       8:15 am   morning exercises
       8:30 am   breakfast
       9:00 am   cabin devotions
       9:15 am   cabin clean-up
       9:45 am   morning chapel
     10:45 am   games
     12:30 pm   lunch
       1:15 pm   cabin time
       1:45 pm   skills I
       2:20 pm   skills II
       2:50 pm   canteen
       3:15 pm   swim and free time
       6:00 pm   supper
       6:30 pm   games
       8:00 pm   evening chapel
       9:00 pm   get ready for bed
       9:45 pm   lights out

At 8:15 am every day, all of the campers met on the field by the flag pole for the raising of the flag, the pledge of allegiance, and morning exercises.  T was more of an observer than a participator of these activities.  :-/  However, if you look closely at the photograph below, you will notice that none of the counselors were exercising either!  ;-)

After breakfast each morning, T and I joined the teen boys in their cabin for devotions.  They kindly welcomed T and made him feel like a part of the group.  I wish I had taken a picture of them.  They were an amazing group of teens!

Here is Nate Thomas with another friend who joined him for morning chapel.  :)

T especially enjoyed the lunch menu for Tuesday:  hamburgers with all the trimmings, french fries, baked beans, and ice cream sandwiches!

After lunch, the campers watched another installment of the nuclear winter themed skit.

During the two skills times each day, the campers participated with their age group (in T's case, the older juniors) in various activities.  On Tuesday, T's group had arts and crafts for skills I.  The project was a tic-tac-toe game.

the teacher's example

The game board was a crosscut piece of a tree trunk which T painted blue (for water).

Then, he was given 10 small rocks to paint.  T painted half of them white and half of them green.

He didn't have time to add details to his rock animals...

or to paint lily pads on his "pond."

For skills II, T's group went for a hike...

around the lake...

and through the woods.

The other boys walked quite a bit faster than T; however, one of the counselors kept pace with us.

T spontaneously blew a kiss to me!  I guess he was happy.  :)

Mid-afternoon each day, the campers had the opportunity to purchase a snack at the canteen.  On most days, T drank a can of lemonade, and I drank a can of Coke.  Refreshing!

I can't remember what we did during swim and free time on Tuesday.  I know we definitely didn't go swimming!  The weather that day was cool and cloudy.

Actually, it rained after supper, so the games were played inside in the gym instead of outside on the field.  It was incredibly noisy in the gym.  My desire was for T to participate in as many things as possible throughout the week; however, I saw no benefit in having him sit and watch the games while he covered his ears the entire time because the noise was too much for him.  So, we left to find something else to do.  I noticed the camp director's wife in a nearby room with her two preschool-aged children.  They were playing with toys and reading books, so we joined them!  T had fun and was very good with the young children.  :)

During evening chapel, Mr. Nate's raccoon friend entertained the children...and read Scripture to them!

Once again, we slept so well!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Camp Hope, Day 1

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.    Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)
Camp Hope is located on over 100 acres in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia.  Camp Hope offers multiple weeks of camp in May, June, and July for homeschoolers, juniors, teens, and girls.

T was a camper for the first time Camp Hope's homeschool week in May! It was a week-long session for homeschoolers 7-19 years of age.

Camp started on Monday afternoon, May 25th (Memorial Day), and ended on Saturday morning, May 30th.

Registration and check-in was on Monday from 3:00-5:00 pm.  We arrived at 3:10 pm, and it seemed like most of the children were registered already and outside playing!  However, we had plenty of time to get checked in and settled before supper.

The girls stayed in several cabins, according to four age groups.  The boys stayed in three cabins, according to three age groups:  younger juniors, older juniors, and teens.  Although T didn't stay in a cabin with other boys, he was grouped with the older juniors for activities (called "skills") and meal time line-up.

I had made special arrangements to stay with T for the week in order to help him with his personal hygiene and other needs.  (He would not have been able to attend camp otherwise.)  Those in charge graciously offered us a hotel-type room...a number of which the camp has available as accommodations for the guest speakers, kitchen helpers, and some of the camp staff and volunteers.
What a blessing it was for T to be given the opportunity to attend camp!  :D

This was the serene view from the walkway outside our upstairs room.

The theme for the week was:

The homes and the places we love have been destroyed by a world-wide nuclear exchange.  Camp Hope is now the only place of refuge for the few existing survivors.  Join us for a week of Nuclear Winter themed games, meals, and messages.  Each day, we will grapple with the effect of invisible radiation and invisible sin.
After supper, the campers watched a skit...with a nuclear winter story-line which was on-going throughout the week.  Campers who forgot to wear their name tags...

were not safe from radiation and were subject to water-fire!

Next, it was time for games.  All of the junior campers were divided into four teams.  Throughout the week, the teams competed to see which could achieve the most points.  Points were given for games won, daily and weekly Bible verses memorized, a notebook kept during chapel, and so on.

T with his team

Each team had to come up with a team name, team chant, and team flag design.

team discussion time

Each team painted a team flag.

The team of which T was a part called themselves the Flaming Orange Marshmallows.

the orange team

Each team performed its chant and displayed its flag for the other teams...and the judges!

the pink team

the green team

the blue team

The orange team performed its chant:

       Marshmallow, marshmallow,
       Burn, burn, burn.    (spoken quietly)

       Marshmallow, marshmallow,
       Burn, burn, burn.    (spoken normally)

       Marshmallow, marshmallow,
       Burn, burn, burn!    (spoken loudly)

       Marshmallow, marshmallow,
       Burn, burn, burn!!    (spoken very loudly)

       Who are we??!
       The Flaming Orange Marshmallows!!!

T was prepared for the loudness! was loud!

Their team won the competition for the best flag and chant.  :)

happy campers  :)

There were two Bible study sessions each day:  morning chapel and evening chapel.  Nate Thomas was the chapel speaker for the junior campers.  Before the Bible study began, the children sang many songs.

Nate Thomas is a ventriloquist...and brought along many of his friends.  :)
Here he is with his orangutan.

After evening chapel, it was time for devotions and bed.  T and I had no trouble falling asleep!