Finding the next Mario! (June 25-30)

Welcome to high school week #1! The campers arrived on Sunday afternoon ready for the adventures the rest of the week was about to bring. The campers started with switches between a camp tour led by fun squad and the swim test led by life squad.

Once they finished their switches everyone went back to their cabins to get ready for cabin unity dinner. Which was followed by campfire. At campfire we heard our director, Sarah, talk about our theme for the summer “In the Light” (1 John 1:7-8). The campers and counselors were inspired to embrace this week as one where they could be their real selves, following Jesus’ example of going the extra mile for one another with encouraging words and caring conversations all week long.

Right as campfire ended some Mario kart characters emerged from the boathouse to announce the Olympic competition of the week. Each person would be competing on an Olympic team named after a Mario Kart character to see who would be the next Mario. The campers were divided into their teams, which were King Boo, Yoshi, Wario and Toad. The teams went to respective places on camp property to make a team flag and a team cheer. After this everyone had canteen, then we headed to the lower lodge so the teams could present their flags and cheer. This part of the night is also when the character show takes place. The character show is an event each night where the staff members create a character to compete as throughout the week. After the night’s activities concluded the campers headed back to their cabins for devotions then bedtime. 

Monday morning the campers woke up, had morning worship, breakfast, chill time and then bible study where they also signed up for the 11 o’clock activity they’d like to participate in. After bible study and 11 o’clock activities we had sports lunch, which was followed by afternoon switches which consisted of swim time where the kids got to use the raft and lilypad, canteen and a game in the field of life. The evening consisted of space cowboy dinner and a treasure hunt where each team got hints and had to find a certain number of numbered golden rocks in order to win. Campfire, canteen and then the character show and a few rounds of minute to win it that the teams participated in rounded out the evening. To end the night we had devos then lights out. Monday’s campfire by Patrick, a first year life squad staff member, helped us all remember that we are 100% perfect exactly as we are.

Tuesday went very similar to Monday except after lunch instead of switches everyone played a big game of crazy soccer, had canteen and then balloon launch where each team had a certain number of water balloons they attempted to hit staff members with. The rest of the day went similarly to Monday, just with different games and activities at night. Tuesday’s campfire talk came from Sydnee, a second year fun squad staff member. Sydnee talked about how remembering to stay the present has helped her through difficult times, and that “Everything you love is (always) right here.”

Wednesday was a different day. The morning went similar to the other two days but after lunch the campers got ready for land olympics. The teams participated in tug-of-rope then broke off into duos or trios to participate in separate activities, such as tire toss, lighting, spelling bee, ect. Once land olympics concluded the campers had canteen time and then it was time for water olympics. Where the teams as a whole participated in crisco watermelon pass then canoe sink. Then similarly to land olympics each team split their members up to different activities, such as canoe race, big richard, synchro, etc. Once these were all finished the campers got ready for disco dinner. Dinner was followed by the camper favorite game, bonkers. After bonkers the evening went the same as the nights before with, campfire, canteen then the character show. Our campfire talk on Wednesday was given by Carmen, a second year life squad staff member. Carmen gave a spirited talk about trusting in God, even when the future seems uncertain. After campfire and the daily character show, the campers had coffee house where they got to perform if they chose to. 

Thursday morning went the same as the other mornings. After ‘dress like a staff’ lunch the campers lined up on the upper deck for balloon drop, which went similarly to the balloon launch but instead they threw the balloons off the upper deck towards the staff members down below. Next the campers had switches similar to Monday, where they got swim time, canteen and a game. Then was ‘dress your best’ dinner. After dinner was steeplechase! Steeplechase works as a relay race where there are 18 different activities that the teams sign their campers and counselors up for. After an intense steeple chase the campers headed to campfire, canteen then the character show as usual. Our final campfire talk was given by Andrew, a second year God squad staff member. Andrew talked about grief, and how whether a loss is expected or unexpected, grief is a personal journey that looks different for everyone. Andrew concluded his story about losing his uncle with an invitation to everyone to not forget their power to be a force of love in the world, no matter what else life brings. After, they had an all camp devo in the chapel while the counselors got free time.

In the morning, the campers had morning worship, then breakfast, then watched the camp video in the chapel. After, they headed back to their cabins to pack up and clean. Then they had their outside lunch before boarding the buses to head back to Eden Prairie. Everyone felt like one big family by the end of the week, and it was sad to leave!

Thanks for reading and I hope your kids had a fantastic week! See them next year!

Sierra Luna (Second Year, Life Squad)