Snow Camp Week #7 and I am Unit Leading Counselors for the last time, my favorite job to do. We finally got a lot of snow Wednesday, however other places got a lot of snow too, making the roads harder to travel on. Many churches canceled their snow camp trip. However we got some other churches that joined on last minute. I was to be a Unit Leader over 6 counselors 3 different churches, about 25ish campers. I had my counselors split into two groups of 3. But the one group lost a church, leaving them with one church of 3 campers coming, that is a 1-1 camper-counselor ratio. So we moved one of my counselors to another group to help them out. Now I am at 5 counselors and 13 campers. The one church of 3 isn't showing up until 9pm or so, after the salvation message was already over. Instead of 3 campers they came with 5, which is great. The campers however have had rough back grounds, growing up, and are still going through a ton of stuff, making them very difficult to work with. I had to go collect contraband, mainly getting cell phones, which was not very easy. These kids are seriously afraid of not having a cell phone in their hands. I got most of them, except for two guys. I am not very good at being stern, I wasn't raised in a home or around kids that needed disciple like these guys, so its hard for me to know how to handle the situation very effectively. I didn't want to have to call Adam Yoder (my Unit Leader "Leader") to help me, but I knew I needed him to help to get the job done better. He came in and a hard time with them. We eventually get one more cell phone with one more to go. This kids was really worried that if he didn't call his girlfriend she would break up with him (keep in mind he has only been going out with her for one or two days), and possible other emergency phone calls. Adam eventually got him to give it up to his counselor, and if anyone called to let him have the phone, for any type of emergency that it might be. While all this is going on, I got another group of 5 campers and 1 counselor moved into my group.
Saturday was going mostly good, not to many problems, except one of my counselors got sick from the good church kids group. They have a ratio of 2 counselors to 10 campers which isn't bad at all. Throughout the day we just have little problems with the same kid, and him throwing fits about different unnecessary things. I just hope that his weekend here will really help him see the world differently, and that we will be able to show him enough love to give him hope of a different life. I tried to encourage my counselors to not only remind them that they can make it through the weekend, it's not very long and their problems will be gone, but that God obviously wants to push them in the growth towards Him, or else their weekend would be much easier, but with the challenge God is pulling them closer to Him. I think my counselors have been doing a great job with the situation, and trying to have fun with him, instead of just always saying "no, you can't do this, don't do that" I am very thankful for the counselors I have this weekend they are all doing a great job. Through this God has also been stretching me and teaching me.
Later Justin (troubled camper), was upset about something, so Jay Sanders was trying to talk to him, but he wouldn't talk to Jay or have a normal conversation with anyone without swearing at people. Later after he calmed down, Sanders got opportunity to talk to him some more, and lead him to the Lord.
At the end of the day when they all had to leave, they came up to me where I was eating, and wanted to say good bye to me, and give me hugs, and punch me. It was encouraging that even though they didn't like me for having to get their cell phones, they wanted to say good bye. I got there email addresses to look them up on facebook, and to find out when they will come this summer to the island to greet them again. I love those kids, even with the slight problems, I hope to see them again.
(They where from Jersey, I don't know if lots of kids from Jersey are similar, but last year I had some campers that gave me troubles from Jersey, for all I know, God could be preparing me for when I move to Jersey next year for Skate Ministry)
This weekend we had 33 salvations from the friday night salvation message, one of my counselors led one of his kids to the Lord over dinner, with a total of 44 salvations by the end of the week.
During the morning meeting campers will sing with the collegians, after a prior-practice in the day before, I snuck up there and sang too...