I just returned home from a wonderful week at Kids Camp. (OK, I got home Thursday afternoon, but I am just now caught up on my sleep.) (I obviously took a break from writing this. I started a LONG time ago.) It was so wonderful, I don't even know where to begin. This camp in an annual event that our church puts on. It is designed for 9-13 year olds and we had about 35 kids there this year.
First, the greatest blessing to me was the 6 young girls that the Lord entrusted to my care. I had met each of them before this week, but I really got to know them at camp. The girls I had were all between 11 and 13, so there wasn't a huge age difference, but personality wise, that's a different story. I had two quiet girls, Emily and Jessica. Both a lot like myself at that age; more into books then giggles and gossip. It took some prodding, but I got them both to open up and chat a little bit with me. Arielle, Karina and Jaimey seemed to get along really well. Pretty social and outgoing, but not ready to act "all grown up" like some of the other girls at camp. I also had Briana in my care. She wants to be on her own, trying to act mature, but when she wasn't paying attention, I would catch a little vulnerability in her that she tries so hard to hide. The girls were supposed to be using the buddy system and most of the week they paired up: Arielle and Jaimey, Emily and Karina, Briana went off with the girls from the other cabin (they were all 13 like her and interested in giggling at boys) and Jessica hung out with the adults. She blended so well with us that it was hard to remember at times that she is only 13. I also spent time getting to know the girls in the other cabin: Mandy, Tera, Alex, Brooklyn, Kami, and Mattie. I had the opportunity to help mend a riff between two of those girls who have a rocky friendship. I think at age 12 most, of our friendships are rocky. But they remembered they love each other and why and were able to spend the rest of the week together. Sunday when we arrived at camp I went to all the girls and let them know I had just about anything they may need: sunscreen, bug spray, band-aids, and of course pads and tampons if they should unexpectedly start. Of course if one does, we all do, so the latter came in handy for just about all the girls at camp. One girl actually started for the FIRST time, and that of course meant a call home to mom. I thought anyone would have to be crazy to volunteer to spend that much time with that many pre-adolescent girls. Turns out, I was right. And I can't wait to go again next year.
I took Korey with me to camp, and I had weeks of stressing about it. Korey doesn't do overnights at friends houses. He likes to be tucked in. We pray together at night. All of this camp stuff was overwhelming and scary to us both. My next blessing came in the form of two teenage boys, Christian and Todd. As soon as they found out Korey is only 7, not 10 as they were thinking, they became extra sensitive to his needs and helped make sure he was included. Todd and Christian were great with all the boys, but they have a place in my heart for helping with Korey so much.
I was very blessed to spend the week at Kids Camp. Thank you for trusting your children to me. I can't wait to do everything again next year, yes, even the rope swing!