June 24, 2012

Camp: Week 1

Caeli and I were placed at Ranch Camp where we had the exciting opportunity to co-counsel for the week! Our campers arrived on Sunday June 17th. We went to church in the morning on Sunday, moved our stuff down from the cabin in Timberline to Buckskin at Ranch Camp, and then prepared for our campers!
 Ranch Camp was a blast! We got to spend a lot of time with horses, our campers, in the pond, laughing, singing songs, doing skits, and learning more about Jesus.
A typical day at Ranch Camp starts at 6:15 when our staff meeting begins. We have our staff meeting, pray, talk about the schudele for the day, and then put on crazy wacky costumes to wake up campers.
We saddle up our horses, brush them, and clean their hooves.
Me brushing a horse with one of my campers, Arabelle
At 8:30 we have a yummy breakfast. This often consists of someone being forced to SING A SONG. The song goes..."Sing a song, Sarah, sing a song. We wont stop singing til you stand up, sing a song, Sarah, sing a song" Each time, it gets louder and more and more people sing along until the person's whose name is in it stands up and you guessed it, SINGS A SONG. The staff put a limit of 2 sings a song per meal, otherwise it is very obnoxious! After breakfast, the campers have classes. They are: Trail Riding, Arena, Vaulting, and Horse Science. They girls are separated into groups and they rotate with their group through these classes all week. This week, I had the bandanas.
The Bandana's with Christine (a Wrangler) 

After classes, we have KBAR. Also known as Kick Back and Relax. EVERY COUNSELORS FAVORITE TIME. No, but seriously. It is. At the beginning of the week, Caeli and I used this time to talk to our girls, or just play some chill games, but as the week went on, we got more tired and so did our girls. By Thursday, this became NAP time. Gotta love it. Then we had lunch time, which consisted of more sing a song songs. FUNNNNNN. When my girls tricked me into singing a song, I sang the Beaver Song. I still honor OSU even way down here in California. My girls sang along. I was so proud.
After lunch, we had some solo time and then Cabin Devos. This time was really aggravating this week. It was hard for the girls to focus, and many of them grew up in Christian homes, so they already know Jesus. It was hard for Caeli and I (who were not Christians until a later age) to understand how best to lead them. A big answer to prayer happened on Thursday: we had a great discussion about how to listen to God and hear his voice. I was really impressed with a few of the girls eagerness to follow God daily.
After Cabin Devos, it was pond time. I really loved this time, because we just got to hang out and have fun with our campers. There is no rush for time, and we got to play silly games, talk more about life and God, and just enjoy have fun together.
Caeli and I at the pond with some of our girls
After pond time, we have some sort of activity before dinner. Activities like: games on the soccer field, Shoot for Gold on horseback in the pasture, or a night ride. After dinner, we have a cabin activity. On Monday night, we made our cabin flag. We lived in Buckskin, and our cabin name was the Chick-A-Dees.
 After that, was the BEST time of the day. Campfire. I have a GINORMOUS collection of pictures from campfire. Please enjoy. :) This was a time of silly songs, skits, yelling very loud, competitions, learning about God, testimonies, and worship.

On Tuesday night, Ranch Camp camped out under the stars. I had so much fun that night. We ate hot dog dinner cooked over the fire, and then made our own dough boys. That night, the stars were amazingly beautiful. Caeli and I stayed up talking. We prayed and the wind hissed through the trees. It was a lovely way to fall asleep all laying on a tarp close to each other for body warmth.
I have an embarrassing story to share with you all: I was sleeping very very soundly and very warmly. So much that I didn't wake up when I had to go to the bathroom. So I started to pee my pants and I woke up as soon as I realized what was going on. Luckily, I only peed through my first layer and it didn't soak through much at all. But I was so embarrassed and it was quite a night. I also peed in the woods for the very first time! Caeli was very proud of me! :)
The hoedown was one of my favorite nights of the whole week. Here is the hoedown in pictures:
Haley, myself, Jenn, and Caeli
Our crazy Chick-A-Dees
All of Ranch Camp at the Hoedown

On Friday, it rained unexpectedly, so we had to improvise our plans for the day. I got to teach cotton-eyed-Joe and the Hoedown Throwdown for 2 and a half hours. All those nights of country dancing are really helping at Ranch camp!

Here are some miscellaneous  pictures from the week:
Caeli and I dressed like twins one day on accident
Here's the cabin mid week
Our Cabin :)
Halliday and Katie with their horse Peppy
Our Cabin: Me, Rawnie, Arabelle, Kendra, Caeli, Katie, Zoozer, and Halliday
So BLESSED to have this girl at camp!
Ranch Camp Staff Week 1
This is our natural state. Be jealous.
 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful" Hebrews 10:23

Prayer Requests for the next week: 
I've never worked with junior high/high school campers before-wisdom and direction
For our staff to continue to bond with unity
For those traveling to the River, for safety
For campers to come to a deeper understanding a saving faith in Jesus Christ
For rest and good sleep for staff
For spiritual growth and trust in the Lord for what He is doing

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