Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow Camp Week #7

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...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Old Lady and Man with Pitch Fork

Does this Photo remind you of anything?
(Kylie and Owen working the Tube Hill for Snow Camp)

Snow Ball Fight!

The snow began to full, heavier and heavier, as we slept warm in our beds. At our arrival of morning our heads glanced out the windows to see what has laid upon our land. All the little boys and girls played outside in between every class, throwing and laughing, rolling in the snow. As they hours of the day past by, they began to want the snow for themselves. In a selfish fight, they started to push and shove, even bury faces of joy into frowns of snow. As all the boys and girls, numbering in the hundreds started to hate their friends that once made them laugh. As what was once fun turned into a bloody battle, a armageddon on the soccer field. After their nightly meeting everyone rushed out to get the snow that they claimed as their own. Some joining together to create stronger forces, The Crew one of the bigger known groups built towers of snow, defending their fort with their lives, while taking lives that intruded. As they field was stormed more forts were built in an effort to save themselves. Eventually The Crew's walls were penetrated, forcing them to move out and destroy what was left of the others. The white blood shed everywhere, heads frozen to the ground, boys and girls, no more loving each other but a hateful, brutal war was at hand. Eventually all the snow was gone, from the trampling of their feet, if only they played together, there would be no defeat.

I just felt like writing a little story, but let me tell you what really happened. It started snowing and we received a good amount of snow, so perfect for packing, making snowmen and snow balls, about 1 ft. So between every class period on our 10 min. breaks we had snowball fights. Then we got a game organized for after devos, for 9:30-10:30. We built a fort before dinner in preparation for the battle. Right after devos we charged out and claimed our territory. Those who invaded our tower got a brutal beating, and a lot of snow down their shirt and in their face. Some one took this balcony, look out thing over the soccer field, so we tried to breach it. I tried to climb up the side of it, and they threw me off a couple times, but the 3rd time I landed on a piece of wood, slowing me down the rest of the night. It still hurts a little to walk but I will be fine. Their was at least 100 students out there (guys and girls). It was a pretty epic night. Owen Walsh was wearing a t-shirt, I had a cardigan, while everyone else hid beneath their fluff of a coat. It was a great time, but I am super sick of snowballs now...

(I wish I had pictures but I figured I'd sacrifice the photos for the fun.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Her Beauty"

“Her Beauty”

If I was blind
Would she still be beautiful?
Or even more…

I’ve sown my eyes shut
To see if she posses beauty
Something more then ordinary

Without the sight of lust
In pure view
Is she beauty’s jealousy?

Plucked from my head
Can she stand without the eyes?
No more lies

Purified Beauty
A love’s true word
She reveals herself

Attractiveness not of body
A lust of heart
Her mind

Mission Impossible

After returning to my room from a fun time at Mark and Amy Wallenwine's, I entered my room to notice that someone has went through the possessions in my desk draw. I took a closer look to see if anything was acquired.
As I looked I noticed a little note that said "Fragile To: Owen + Dale 'Top Secret'" Then on the flap to open this message says, "read disc before playing." On the Disc it stated that we must not play the disc until we have a free afternoon. So we played in Sunday night at about midnight, without the free after noon. Watching it under the cover of my bed sheets (with Owen) to protect any "Top Secret" information from my roommates. The disc played scrolling words like on Star Wars, with someone reading the text to use, telling us we have been sent on a Top Secret Mission, we must find Adam Davenport and receive the clue from him. That is basically what it said, but I don't really remember because after it stated that, it said to destroy the disc in 10 seconds and started counting down. 10....9.....8....I quickly hit the eject button on my computer and started breaking the disc into pieces!
My roommates not understanding what is going on, or really ever understanding what I am doing looked at my confused as if I was crazy. Trying to remember what was important that the disc mentioned we headed off on our "Secret Mission" Monday morning.

Upon arrival of Adam Davenport to the dinning hall, we approached him with intent of getting our clue. He responding by making us do a task for him. I had to get into my possession by way of applying at the college fair, a Trinity College Medium t-shirt, Pen, and a food item from food table for the people representing colleges. As I approached my mission I arrived at the Trinity College table, they had no mediums left and only one Large left, all the rest were XL's. I began my race against the kid next to me to beat him in filling out the application to receive the last Large t-shirt. I swiftly defeated his slow penmanship skills with time to spare. I got the representative to retrieve my a banana for me, and took one of their pens.

With the prize in hand I delivered the "goods" to Mr. Davenport to receive the clue. He hands me a nice little folded piece of paper, I unwrap it, to see that there is a little comic strip drawn on the front with the clue on the back side.

...908...immediately I knew it had to be some ones mail box number. We rushed to the library to get a school directory to find out the owner of this number. After reviewing the box numbers we noticed that the message traces us back to Adam Davenport. This time we decided not to play in his little games. We threatened him to give us the next clue, or brutal beating would be upon him. He tried to talk us out of it, and eventually gave in to our appeal. He handed us an envelope much like the one the cd was in earlier. I pulled out the card with a little riddle inside.

We followed the riddle to what we believed it spoke of. Searching everywhere we could not find out item. So we took an hour break...

After our break we returned and found what we were looking for. The note stated "You not finished yet...come skate w/ me." We went back to my room to see if there was any clues on my skateboard, none...the only other thing it could be referring to is the skatepark.

We drove down to the skatepark to find a piece of paper in a ziplock bag.

The paper was a Treasure Map! drawn just like we taught Morgan and Naomi on our Valentines date, with the fake dirt to make it look authentic and the monster in the way of the path to the treasure.

Following the map we climbed up hungry hill to the place we had a fire on our date, searching the area's we walked we found a baggy with some candy, our bandana's we let them borrow, and a note.

The note basically thanked us for the good time they had with us on our little date and said that they hoped we had fun on the scavenger hunt.

Teaching Skateboarding in a War Zone

Below is an article I found off of a news website. (Cincinnati

When Robin Comisar returned Jan. 30 from Afghanistan he was, in a word, changed.
The 21-year-old Terrace Park man spent a month in Kabul, volunteering for a program that teaches English and skateboarding to the Afghan youth.
He woke up to the sound of rocket fire and saw an ambulance explode during one of the many attacks on the city. But he also made new friends - and said the experience was well worth it.
"It was the most meaningful thing I've done so far in terms of humanitarian work," said Comisar, a 2006 graduate of Mariemont High School who is currently a senior at Oberlin College. "It was intense. It was a lot of work. It wasn't necessarily safe a lot of the time."
Would he go back? Eventually, yes.
"I feel comfortable enough to go back," he said. "There's till a lot of work to be done."

Waking Up To Rockets

Comisar volunteered for Skateistan, the only skateboarding school in Afghanistan. The 3 year-old non-profit program uses skateboarding, which was just recently introduced in that country, as a tool to promote confidence, teambuilding and education for youth who otherwise might not get those lessons. It just opened the country's first indoor skate park/school in September.
Comisar, an avid skateboarder, had previously done work for the program's Web site and decided to volunteer as a teacher. He didn't know what to expect. The trip turned out to be everything good and bad that he had imagined humanitarian work in a war-torn country might be.
The project was amazing, he said. But the area wasn't safe. Bombings occurred about twice a week Kabul, Comisar said.
"It was pretty commonplace," he said. "The Taliban would shoot rockets from the hillside into town to various targets," he said. "So you'd wake up to the sound of rockets every so often."
One attack on Jan. 18, was particularly intense. Comisar went up to the roof of his building to look over the city, believing an earlier attack was over. Suddenly an ambulance exploded in a market about a half a kilometer away.
"Watching a massive attack on TV is different than seeing one in person," he wrote on his blog that day.
Comisar and his roommates holed up in the basement until the gunfire ceased. According to news reports, two civilians, three security personnel and seven attackers were killed and 71 people were wounded in the day-long attack.
Comisar eventually got used to the situation -at least as used to it as one can get.
"The first week or so you're terrified," he said. "I got used to it and you slip into survival mode. I just accepted what was going on as reality and acted accordingly until I went home."

A 'Rite Of Passage'

In between those types of nerve-fraying incidents, were plenty of good moments and big accomplishments that made the entire experience worthwhile.
Comisar wrote weeks-worth of curriculum for the budding Stateistan program that may guide future classes for years. He wrote policy documents on what to do when student miss school because they were arrested for begging or because of lockdowns in their neighborhood (both of those things happened). He also wrote safety policies.
"I worked pretty much around the clock," said Comisar. "My impact on the organization was significant and this was the first time the kids had been exposed to foreigners teaching so my bond was very strong."
Some curriculum involved social acceptance. The students segregated themselves by socioeconomic class. The rich kids wouldn't sit with the working kids. So Comisar led games that grouped poor and rich kids together to teach them that it was OK to interact with each other.
The students loved learning skateboard tricks from Comisar, who started skateboarding in the sixth grade. Many of the girls cried when they learned he was leaving.
Comisar was impressed by the students' tenacity and fearlessness on the course. He'd track some of the funnier stories on his blog. Like the time the class all hid their helmets to try to get out of wearing them or the girl who insisted on wearing huge strawberry-shaped barrettes in her hair underneath her helmet.
Comisar and his roommates also made some time for some sightseeing. They watched the sun set over the Afghan mountains, went on a tour another part of the city that had been hit hard by years of war and saw the bombed-out shell of the old presidential palace. He hiked a mountain and went for a jog in the Olympic stadium, which is next to the skate park.
He blogged about his experience, though admitted he watered down the parts about the attacks to avoid horrifying his parents. Comisar met with a mentor after he returned who remarked that Comisar looked different, like he "went through a rite of passage," Comisar said.
Comisar didn't disagree.
"It was intense," he said, "but worth it."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Snow Camp Week #6

It's already snow camp week #6, I was in the Kitchen this weekend. I don't know why, but I enjoyed it a lot this weekend. I met three different skaters this past weekend, didn't get to talk to them to long, or even into really good spiritual conversations. I thankfully had a nice long day on Saturday, only working breakfast in the morning, I got my laundry down, most of my book read/ other homework, and managed to find time to play a sick game of Rumble Ball with Kurtis and his campers on my team. A quote from someone I was playing against, "I underestimated you, I didn't expect that from someone wearing a little yellow sweater (cardigan)." It was a really fun, semi-rough game.

Over all the weekend went great, and we had 42 campers put their faith in Christ.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ollie North with Martin Fobes

Ollie North from Joel Lytle on Vimeo.

Summer Update

This summer I thought I was going to be working in the skatepark on the Ranch, but I have been offered a position as a Unit Leader, which would mean I would be overseeing about 8 wolbi student supervisors who are over about 2 summer student workers each. (about 24 People total). I would also have a couple opportunities to speak in front of the whole worker program (stc) for a Sunday Morning Sermon, along with helping coordinating weekly activities/other events among a few other things (like being a bandit for camper skits and skate demos for campers). Please be Praying for me in this, as it will be very challenging to me.
Also pray for me as I wonder about interning with SFNJ (skate ministry in jersey), which will also bring a ton of challenges and great opportunities for sharing the gospel, discipleship, and growth.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Frommers Photo Contest

My cousin has entered into a photo contest through If chosen his photo will be displayed on teh cover of a magazine or book or something, and he will win $5,000. Which he will probably put towards schooling, camera equipment, or a flight to Europe for a friends wedding. Please recommend the photo...

Click Here to Recommened Even Schnieder's Photo

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Date!!! (Adventure)

Naomi and Dale - Owen and Morgan

We started the date off with giving them a few gifts, as any normal guy should do for his date.

Every where we went we required them to be blind folded. We had to blind fold them for two reason, One: So they wouldn't know where we were going. Reason two: So they couldn't share our secret spots, and know how to get there.

We had a nice breakfast at the Adirondack General Store.
As you can see, in the right hand corner is a girl with a camera...and all of us are sitting at the table, so who could be taking this photo. Well I actually had two photographers follow us around taking pictures all day. I have almost 1,800 photos from the day.

The next and main event of the day, mugging friends and other pranks.

Naomi said in her application that "mugging friends" wasn't cool, so we decided to try to change her mind about that.

Sneaking around, looking for our target.

Tim M. happened to be the first lucky Mugged Friend demonstration for the day.

We did a lot of running around in the dinning hall, many faces turned wondering what in the world was going on. We didn't even really know. But we definitely had to use lots of diving and rolling techniques to avoid any threats from seeing us just in case...

We got attacked by a bunch of little kids that have gone to the Ranch Camp. They thought we were bandits. Owen got a beating.

(To get a really good look at what is going on in this photo, click on the image so that it will be enlarged.)
While Owen was getting beat up, I watch from a safe distance.

I love couples, they look so cute, especially when I am on a date, I begin to appreciate them even more....
So we decided to mug them...

Owen and I have been doing most of the mugging of our friends, so we put the girls to the test to see how much they have learned.

They didn't do so well...

Here is a little sequence...

I got a gatorade out of this...

Sequence #2: Storming the Lounge

All this for a drink of water...

...and some free brownies

Riding the Elevator, most people sadly miss the wonderful little tool, and walk up the stairs in the library instead of getting on a free ride to the top.

Raiding the Library. Camouflages garbage can is always a good disguise.

My photographers are so cute together.
Carol and Andrew Nippert

Having a nice fire on the top of a mountain.

After the fire we drew some treasure maps to prepare for our adventure after dinner, and to buy some time, for the special meal...

Dinner date in the meeting room, we had ramen noodles and ate with chop sticks.

Our dinner was accompanied by a beautiful song, played by a violin.

For the end of the night we went on a little secret adventure...yes I said secret so I will not be revealing any details. Sorry.

We had a great time, and they claimed they did too. They were really good sports and got into every thing we did.