Monday, August 13, 2007

The Adventures of Camp Caswell

(Here is our youth group banner that we hung outside the cottage. It has all the youth's names along with the chaperones names and the theme for the summer.)
Here is the lighthouse on Oak Island from our porch

Wow! What a week!!! I have never experienced anything like it....literally!! We had 38 kids and 5 chaperones (three men and two women). I ended up having the young girls group which was fine. There were five in my room plus me and we had some pretty long nights! Here is our daily schedule for the week and what we experienced.

Breakfast was served at 7:30 a.m. That meant that I had to get up at 6:30.....let's just say by the last day it was more like 7:15!!! LOL At that point no one cared what you looked like!! After breakfast, we had a group devotional with 5 or 6 kids and then we broke off into our quiet time. It was so beautiful to be sitting there facing the beach and watching the birds fly above and thinking about all the wonderful things God has created and done for us.

After we finished our quiet time, we all had to be at the hatch for Wake up! Celebration. This consisted of a few praise songs and then we divided into larger small groups by high school or middle school. Danny and I were actually small group leaders for a high school class together and they were an excellent group of kids. We had 23 students. Now keep in mind there are over 973 kids at Caswell during this one week. Once we finished up our small group sessions, we returned to hatch for our Morning Worship session. This was so much fun! They had the drama team doing skits and the praise & worship band was amazing. Our speaker for the week was Allen Jackson (no, not the country music singer!). He is from New Orleans. He was a terrific speaker.

Our theme for the week Personal Evangelism and how we should learn to mirror Christ based on the verse 1 Peter 3:15. I have to say that I saw MANY, MANY of our own youth make some major breakthroughs and changes so that can be that mirror and help reflect Christ in their daily lives.

At noon we had lunch and then for the rest of the day they offered trak times for the kids. They could participate in basketball games, kayaking, crafts, etc. Dinner was served at 5:30 and then we returned to hatch at 7 pm for our Evening Worship. This is when it all came out. The praise & worship was so intense and God really spoke to some of our young people. One young man who is new to Pittsboro and our youth group accepted Christ on Thursday night. It was wonderful. After hatch, we had free time but had our own youth group devotional time at 10 pm. This was just a moment when Jon shared a lesson based on what we learned that day in our small groups and worship services and made them more personal for us to reflect on. Of course, lites out was suppose to be by you think that happened????

On Friday night, we had a special candle light devotional. Everyone sat around a circle with a candle lite and said a prayer for the youth group, themselves and the person on their right. They also shared anything on their heart that they may have felt they needed to express to make things right with someone or heal broken hearts. This took us over 2 hours! I have never seen teenage boys break down and cry like I did during this devotion. It was touching and moving. These kids had all of us adults in tears and taught us many life-changing lessons this week as well.

Along with all the great bible studies that we experienced, we also had three shaved heads, one extreme pillow fight in which one of our boys suffered a mild concussion, two girls got stung by jelly fish, one boy caught a shark (hehe), one cat fight, hundred of paper cups sitting around with everyone's name on it, tons of great food, death by chocolate milkshakes and smoothies every night, five stink bombs let off (that's not counting the REAL ones), all of the toilets overflowed except for one, and all the chaperones basically did one thing for the majority of their day.......looked for Luke!!!

It was a phenomenal experience and one that I hope to be a part of again in the upcoming years. Maybe even next year. It's all worth the craziness of putting up with those many teenagers!

No comments: