Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Day to Remember!

Hello there! Breakfast was a great start to today, we had french toast! Yummy! We walked up to our cabins after breakfast for our final cabin clean up for Grimer. My cabin was running late so we didn't have enough time to do a theme, but some of the other cabins did really cool themes like a flashlight theme.

Today's team challenge is one that your camper will never was the Yuck Bag. The object of this game is to eat all of the items in your bag and everyone on your team has to take at least one bite. To make this game more interesting there is some good food and there is some nasty food. There was a chocolate bar, marshmallows, caramel (the good food) then there were sardines, anchovies, and relish (the bad food). There was a lot more food but I won't mention them.

Jim Albright talked about his life today during missions moment. He talked about how he came back to Christ when he was a teenager. He told us stories about his first wife for example how they did missions work in Africa. His first wife was diagnosed with an illness and they wanted to continue missionary work so they moved to Paris, France. While in Paris they became involved with the Billy Graham crusade. They did a lot of campaigning. Jim's wife died right before the big event for Billy Graham. Jim later met his wife, Beth. Jim and Beth had been involved with missionaries up until about 3 years ago when they retired. They mostly worked in Burkina Faso.

Today was the last day of skill builders. My geo caching group hiked up to the tee pees. Kelsey and I let them explore that area and climb a super cool curvy tree. We also taught them how to make taffy out of their marshmallows. They really enjoyed that. Then we just sat around the firepit and talked about the week. We had a really nice team during our last day together and I am sure all of the other skill builders had a good time too.

After a delicious lunch prepared by Hannah we all loaded up in 3 vans and a bus to go float the Jefferson river. We spent the whole afternoon on the river. It was really fun and very relaxing. :)

Once we got back from the river we were all super hungry. It was a good thing Hannah had pizza prepared! Now we are all full and chilling out before chapel. Tonight Landon will be talking to us about how we can continue our walk with Christ. I'm pumped to hear what all he has to say! After chapel we have a surprise for all of the campers. They will all be in their cabins and won't expect it so I'm preparing myself for all of my screaming campers. It will be a lot of fun. Have a great night and see you tomorrow.

Darcy Homan (CIT for That One Place)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eternal Investments

Today was a bittersweet day for many in leadership here at camp.

A week ago, Shirley Van Zee, the mother of two of the camp's most well-known counselors, Adam and Levi, was killed in a tragic accident involving a plane. A memorial service was held for her today in Townsend, Montana and I was able to attend with Jim and Andrea along with one other worker from here at camp. Our hearts were heavy as we felt the sting of death that still remains here on earth in being parted, though briefly, from those whom we love. We do not sorrow, however, as the world sorrows.

While we mourn Shirley's loss we also rejoice with her that she is in heaven before the throne of grace singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord!"

This week it has been my privilege to lead worship with your children. We have been having a blast. (When your kids come home, don't let them fool you: they know how to worship like crazy!) Tonight as I was coming back to the camp from the memorial service I was struck by the fact that Shirley was worshipping before the throne of God.

Before worship I asked our students if they had met anyone famous. Students raised their hands and when asked told of rock stars and athletes and so on. One student in particular said that his dad had met Ted Nugent.

Perfect--third-party knowing.

I told them all that it was neat that they had met these people but that I had a friend named Shirley who had just met Jesus face to face recently.

While Jesus came and walked among us, sometimes it's easy to forget that we have a friend in heaven who is always before the throne interceding for us. The testimony of Shirley's life and the knowledge that she was standing before the throne of God in worship brought our evening's worship into such stark perspective. We sang a song called "Beautiful," by Phil Wickham. Two of the verses were so powerful as we sang them:

"I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You're beautiful"

"When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful"

Tonight was our most powerful night of worship of the week as the worship of heaven was brought to earth in the very presence of God. It was one of the most intimate times of worship that I have been a part of in my entire life.

Later on in the evening Landon shared the gospel with all of our students and used the testimony of Shirley's life as an example. He also used the fact that we, her friends and also her family, knew great peace and joy even amidst sorrow because of her relationship with Jesus Christ. After sharing the gospel, many of the students came forward and gave their lives to Christ!

Camp is fun, yes, but there are also serious aspects, parts that sometimes are heavy and hard to bear up under. The greatest part of camp, the most important aspect, is that of investing in eternity and today God brought in a great dividend.

Today we were able by the power of God's Spirit to further populate the streets of heaven. There will be more souls to stand beside Shirley Van Zee and sing the praises of our God and King forever as a result of this evening's ministry!

Praise God!

The camp's motto is, "Directing people to Jesus Christ and developing them to reflect his character." Please pray for our staff and for the student counselors as we finish the week out by challenging our students to follow hard after God in their new commitments and to renew old commitments with a fiery passion. Shirley Van Zee lived a life that counted and is now leaving behind a legacy that continues to draw people to the Lord. Her life was not lost, nor was it spent, but was, rather, invested in God's kingdom and is bringing forth fruit even beyond the grave.

It is our desire to minister to your children so that at the end of their lives their testimony will be the same. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your children's journey towards the heart of God.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hey, this is kelsey (pictured on the left), a counselor for the Indiana Jonies! Today has been a great day! Everyone is having a blast up here, and I wish that it wasn't the last week of camp. It is awesome to see all of these campers grow friendships with each other so fast!

We started off the day with an awesome group game where we had to use a straw to put m&m's on another straw. It was hilarious to see the campers and staff excited about such a silly game. I bet our photographer got some funny pictures. Then we had a "Mission Moment" with Jim and Beth Albright, our missionary speakers this summer. They taught us some songs in French and in the tribal language of Burkina Faso! We learned some cool things about how God can use our weakness to show his strength.

Then we had our Skill Builder. I am one of the leaders of Geocaching along with Darcy, another counselor up here. Our group had some fun using GPS systems to find treasures in the woods. We had a blast when we got to our destination and found whistles. (I mean who doesn't like whistles?) Then we took some awesome jumping pictures and shaky face pictures! When we were about to leave the area one of the campers, Shawn, pulled out his GPS and it was covered in something. When I asked him about it he said,"Well I just had some butter in my pocket." It was hilarious and he had to go change because he whipped butter all over his shirt and shorts.

After having lunch and TIE Time we had our activity areas where the campers were at canoeing, field games and the water pit, or a beautiful hike to arch falls. During these activities some of the campers had the opportunity to go paintballing. Because it was the first day some were nervous and some were excited, but in the end when all of them left they all had fun stories to tell and were sad about it being over.

Soon after dinner all of the campers engaged in a game of capture the flag (or rubber chicken)and were eager to run around and be crazy. While they were playing games some of the teams went to the zipline. Although some campers didn't go the others seemed to really enjoy it.

Then we had chapel. During chapel we had a super awesome time singing songs and going crazy praising the Lord! Our speaker, Landon, shared his testimony and showed us the importance of giving God glory in everything that we do. It was a great lesson for the campers as well as the counselors.

Overall it was an awesome day just to see God working in the lives of everyone up here. It is just amazing how great He really is! Right now as I'm typing in the office I can here the thunder rolling through the canyon, and it is truly wonderful how evident God is making himself up here. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that we had today.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

6th-8th Grade Camp!!!

Hello all! Another great week of camp has begun at YAA!

It has been a great time this summer. Sadly, this is our last week of summer camp, but don't worry. We are going to finish with a bang. This is our largest overnight camp yet, and we intend to put every ounce of energy into it.

Things started off well with some icebreaker games and getting to know one another in our cabins. After dinner, we continued with games and split up into our 7 teams and came up with some great team names at cheers. We finished off the time with some medic dodgeball. Your campers sure to love dodgeball. I can't wait until we play killerball, the greatest form of dodgeball EVER!

We just got done with our Missions Moment with our Missionary in Residence, Jim Albright. Tonight, we spoke on the importance and power of praying in Jesus name. This week, Jim will share a lot of stories about his time as a missionary in Africa and France and discuss the importance of missions. I always like hearing his stories.

Well, I am keeping this post brief. It is freetime, and I want to hang out with the campers before its time for bed. My name is David Denny, and I am the Program Director at YAA. Thanks for entrusting the staff and I with your children for the week. Each night, I will have a different staff member type about the events of the day. Though the schedule is similar throughout the week, each staff has their own take on things. Hope you enjoy reading the blog. We sure enjoy living it out.

See ya Friday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hey Everybody! This is David Howard from team Crazy Ice Cream Trucks and I just want you to know that all of the campers had another fun filled exciting day of camp today. The funny thing is though to see the campers with their seemingly unending energy start to dwindle. We are all going full steam to make it to the end of the week with something around every corner. But don't take it the wrong way, campers are still having a blast. I'm really excited for some of the campers who were beginning to get home sick. They are going to make it! It's a big step for some to be away from home this long with out seeing mom or dad.

This morning we had a crazy game were the campers had to pour cups of water into other cups that were on the counselors head's. Lets just say that nobody was safe from getting wet ;). We moved on to another great message from our speaker Mike who is doing a amazing job by getting through to the campers! The best part about this age group is that they all seem to engage very well. I'm very happy that all the staff have the opportunity to speak into the camper's lives.

I also help run canoeing and let me tell you, it is a blast to see the campers jumping into Hyalite Reservoir and see the surprised expression's of their face's when they hit the cold water. You wouldn't believe how fast they got back out of the water. Every camper has a chance to go canoeing and I have yet to hear a complaint about how they did not enjoy their time.

Well there is so much more to talk about but we are going to surprise the campers with a night game tonight! Some senior campers have their suspicions that its coming but most of them don't even realize whats about it happen.

Its been a great week and I know the campers have had a blast. Thank you so much for allowing us to take care of your kids for a week and speak into their lives. See you all Friday

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hey to everyone out there! My name is Maley and today has been another great day at camp! This week I'm on team steak,an Arts and Crafts leader, and leading a girls cabin with Amy.

My campers have been having a great time this week! This morning half of my campers went on the ridge run. Then we had a wonderful breakfast with blueberry muffins. During cabin clean-up we did a theme of God's Little Princess and my campers made a castle out of their bags. After that we all went down to the Field for a crazy game with petroleum jelly and cotton balls. Then we had our first skill builder for the day. In arts and crafts we mad snakes and crocodiles out of beads, everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Following the skill builders we sang a crazy song of singing in the rain and had lunch. After that it was the wonderful T.I.E. time, we all rested and just took it easy. Then everyone got 45min of free time to do whatever they wanted. After that was the second skill builder of the day which was really fun. Then we had our activity areas, which went pretty good until we got a huge thunderstorm which we haven't gotten here in a while. Everyone got really wet, especially the ones who were on the hike.

We then had a delicious dinner of salad and chicken with all sorts of toppings. We then played trench dodge ball and enjoyed another free time. After that we had a really fun chapel and learned a lot of cool things about Africa.

Well, bye for now, hope to see you all on Friday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey everyone my name is Amanda and I'm on the air benders team! It was another great day at camp! We had so much fun, least I did. We started off the day with the ridge run hike. On the first day all my campers went on the hike and they all wanted up at six fifteen!Considering most campers don't like to get up that early (which I don't blame them) as the week progressed the numbers slowly started dropping.
For breakfast we had pancakes! They were amazing thanks to our wonderful cooks. After a delicious breakfast we had cabin clean up. Yesterday my cabin would have tied with Josh's cabin for the cleanest cabin but they had a theme the leaning Tower of Babylon. It was so disappointing to lose so we needed to come up with a theme for the next day. The night before our chapel speaker Michael Wedman was explaining to us the two different paths we could take the path of Righteousness of the path of Wickedness. So we came up with this great idea to make a path with sticks one lead to Righteousness and the other to Wickedness. Our cabin ended up winning Grimer (The bear is awarded to the cleanest cabin).
After cabin clean up we played a group game. It was like dodgeball but each team was split up into four sections that they had to stay in. It was by far one of the funnest games this week (Hayden Cade, one of my campers, agrees :)After the group game we headed up to chapel and Michael Wedman spoke about Jesus dieing on the cross for our sins.
Finally, it was time for our skill builder #1. I'm helping with riflry this week. We have about 6-7 campers. Today was especially fun because the campers actually got to shoot the guns. The first day was all rules and learning how the gun works, which we all know how much campers love just sitting there listening to you talk, when they signed up to shoot the gun. Yesterday was probably the hardest because we were trying to explain the rules and the parts of the gun when one camper spotted a deer hiding out in the woods. Then everyone had to stop to look at it and of course they all wanted to shoot it. After we all got a good look at the deer and explained we were not going to shoot it, the campers asked about every minute can we chase the deer? How about now? But regardless we all had fun at riflry that day.

For lunch we had tomato soup. After lunch we had TIE time and who wants to sleep when you can pass notes the whole time. So I didn't get much sleep and neither did my campers but we seemed to make it through the day alright. Next we had free time and then skill builder #2. Activity area was after that and each team is assigned to different thing like zip line, field games, and hiking.
After a long day of fun we ate pizza for dinner then headed down for a fun game of capture the flag, but it was a chicken, not a flag.
Finally we had chapel and our speaker was Jim Albright's wife and she spoke about what it was like to be a missionary in West Africa. She showed us how the girls wore shirts and how they carried their siblings on their backs. She also showed us some of the dolls she make to help the women support their children and send them to school.

Time for bed. See you all on Friday.