Kahquah’s Got Talent — Fam Camp 1 Edition

I hope, wherever you were tonight (or last night, for some of you reading), that your skies were as clear as they were here at Camp.  It was welcomed after steady rain the night before.  But tonight, if you look up at the sky here at Camp, I recommend you not stare too hard, because there are so many layers upon layers of stars that you risk a dizzy spell and falling over.  It’s breathtaking.  Does it make anyone else feel really small?  It sure does it to me.

Our Algonquin Adventure 2 kids arrived back today, and the first thing they had to do was set all their tents back out and hang all their gear out to dry.  Wednesday night was a soaker.  Graeme told me the story of them getting to their campsite spot on Wednesday night, and how they paddled right into a mass of clouds that they could just tell were going to open up.  They pulled their canoes up on shore, set up camp, and no sooner than they had everything up did it start to pour.  They were protected from having to paddle in the rain though, except for a bit this morning, so we are thankful for that.

Following Melissa’s talk in Chapel this morning (side note:  I hear her husband, Adam, is quite the guitar player and worship leader!  Thanks for jumping in, Adam!), we had a baptism at the lake.  I always love watching people be baptized in the lake, because the choice to be baptized at Camp always seems to hold such personal significance.  There’s a reason that over the 5 years I’ve been staff here, I’ve probably watched a dozen baptisms.  People feel at home here, and we love it.  Congratulations, Adam, and thanks Bill for helping this happen here for him, like he wanted.

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At Dinner tonight, we celebrated Chris and Sherri’s son Isaac’s 2nd birthday.  He’ll be 2 on Monday, but they’ve gone home for a week so we wanted to make sure we showed him our love!  If you want to see some great pictures of the look on a 2 year old’s face as sparklers are set on the table sticking out of a cupcake right in front of him, check them out.  Sadly, we didn’t capture the moment where he almost shoved the cupcakes away because he was quite apprehensive of the sparklers, but as you can see, he cheered up quite quickly.
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This evening, we had a talent show in the Chapel.  I saw all kinds of talent!  I think my favourite act though was the “throwing pebbles in the water” skit.  This brought back all kinds of memories for me, because when I was a kids’ camper, my cabin did this all three years.  My first year as a Camper, I’m pretty sure I was “Pebbles,” so you can imagine how entertaining it was for me to see a whole new generation of kids doing this skit.  There were other awesome things as well, like Ashley singing the song she wrote about running and singing, which were two things she was told she’d never be able to do again after her car accident a year ago, and yet here she is, and she’s done them both every day.  What an amazing testament to God’s power.

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Following the Talent Show, there were sundaes and floats in the dining hall.  I was introduced to (and refused to try) sundaes with Nerds on them.  I suppose I probably shouldn’t mention it in here, because we’re almost out of Nerds in the tuck shop and now people will want to do it next week, but oh well!  You’ll have to buy surprise bags and put gummy candy on your sundaes instead.  Or Smarties.  I suppose a tangy Sundae isn’t the worst thing….. right?

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The Quietest Lunch EVER…. well, almost…

Today’s lunch theme was silent movies, as today’s theme overall was the 1920s, in keeping with the time traveling.  When the lunch theme is silent lunch, one becomes keenly aware how loud our support staff is.  The kids came in silently, dressed all in black and white.  They sat down quietly.  They ate quietly.  Not until dessert did they start with the singing and talking.

Here are some pictures of them coming into the lodge in their black and white.

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This was a very quiet lunch prayer…

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Some more costumes…

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Today was Emily’s birthday!  A cake was left for her when she was dropped off (and it was delicious!!), and look at how happy she looks with her balloons!  We sang to her, for sure!  In good Kahquah fashion.

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At archery this afternoon, my best opportunities at pictures were in front of the kids, which meant that the kids couldn’t have arrows in their bows…. can you imagine explaining THAT to the nurse!?  I did get some action shots standing safely behind the line of kids with their bows though.

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At low ropes, this activity was called “The Walk of Life.”  When they got to the end, it was like being at the end of life, and they weren’t allowed to speak anymore.  They could still help their friends out, but they had to do it without speaking.  The teamwork was quite something to watch.

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At wall climbing, I watched two girls climbing the wall.  Amber got almost to the top and exclaimed that she couldn’t do it.  Everyone at the bottom exclaimed “yes you can!  You can do it!  You’re almost there!”  The encouragement was lovely to watch.

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Here are our Junior Lifeguards and the team teaching them!

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It was another completely disgustingly scorching day today.  Once again, I won’t complain too much because I know that many of you experienced worse heat today than we did here.  However, we adapted well and made sure we stayed hydrated.

I found the secret to coolness while working in the tuck shop.  I stood in the doorway at the bottom of the stairs going down to underground, and with the door on the other side of underground open, there was this absolutely fantastic and glorious cross-breeze blowing through, so I stood there and basked for a moment…. until Pastor Jeff came and interrupted it :p

I mentioned that I was in the tuck shop today…. boy was I ever.  We ordered tank tops for the staff, and they couldn’t have come on a better day, with this being the hottest day so far.  I had to put my foot down and tell the staff to wait as they crowded the door, but they were VERY popular once I let them come down to buy them, and I suspect that tomorrow will be Tank Top Thursday.

Check out our directors for the week, Natalie and Jordanne, with Executive Director Uncle Frank, and Chris, who’s here for the summer with his wife Sherri and kids Madelyne and Isaac, learning the job and prepared to take over for Graeme and Liz at the beginning of August.  They’re rocking the tank tops!  Apparently the gun show is an appropriate pose when wearing Kahquah tanks.

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Oh, and a quick update!  Ahmic Adventure was taken some pizza by our very own Cait tonight!  I’m sure they appreciated it as they made camp tonight, because that must have been quite the day in this heat!

How He Loves Us

It was a scorcher out there today, folks.  I think this is the warmest it’s been yet.  I will not complain, because I know that the majority of you are in Southern Ontario and you must be just baking, but it is definitely warm.  I went in the lake this afternoon, and was disappointed to find that the refreshing water is about 5 feet under the surface.  My feet had a good refreshing swim.  I will say though, you know it’s warm when you’re not even just not disappointed when you run out of hot water in the shower… you’re actually OK with it.  That happened to me today.  Don’t worry though, we are keeping your kids well hydrated, and we’re aware that we may need to alter some activities if it gets too hot.

Moving on.

I want my focus, and the first thing I really talk about today, to be Underground.  I made it to both sessions today, and I have to say that the combination of Linda and Jeff teaching in mornings and evenings is always so stellar.  Your kids are getting some solid Biblical truths this week, folks.  Solid.

Linda started this morning talking about sacrifice and atonement.  Now I know, those are really big words for young kids, but she made it pretty easy to understand.  She talked a lot about blood.  She talked about what you do when you’ve done something wrong, and then, because this week we’re the Kahquah Time Travellers, she went through some history of sacrifice in the early early church.  Many of you will know this, but in the Old Testament, people had to sacrifice animals in very specific ways in order to take care of their sins and the wrong things they had done.

Linda is a very visual teacher.  She has lots of props and volunteers.  It’s great.  This first picture shows her volunteer priest sacrificing her volunteer lamb (I’m not sure who played the part of the lamb, but she’s quite the little actress).  Linda described how the Priest would have to gather up all of the blood because the blood is the life of the animal.

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Next, she explained (and showed a model that she built of it…) the Temple, its purpose, and how the Priest was the only one able to go in most parts.

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She got into talking about Passover, and how God told Moses that He was going to take the first-born son from every family.  Linda asked Uncle Matt, Aunt Erin, and a few camper volunteers to come up and be a family.  She asked Matt, “if this were your family, would you protect them?”  Of course Matt said yes.  Then she asked, “if I were to tell you that your first born son was going to die, what would you do?”  Matt said, I imagine knowing exactly where Linda was going “I would see if there was something I could do to take his place.”  Well, luckily for the Isrealites stuck in Egypt, God had provided a way, and so those families did what Moses told them.  They sacrificed a lamb like they were told, and wiped the blood on their doors so that their firstborn sons would live.

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Unfortunately, this is about the part where my batteries died…. but Linda proceeded with her history lesson right up to the lesson of Jesus Christ, who was the ultimate sacrifice for OUR sins, all throughout time, through His death on the cross.  He could only be that sacrifice by being perfect, and it’s because of that sacrifice that our sins are covered and forgiven when we believe in Him, and  we can now have a real relationship with Him.  She had kids write a sin or issue that they felt was separating them from God and lay it at the Cross set up in Underground.  They had plastic laid down all around it, and they covered the papers laid by the kids in red paint, symbolizing the blood of Jesus.

Pretty powerful stuff.

Tonight, Jeff talked about family, and having worth and value.  He has his two daughters at Camp with him, and he talked about how he’d want to protect, love, and value them.  He talked about how we each have worth and value that was enough to make Him willing to go to the Cross and endure a painful death for EACH one of us.  For each kid in that room.  So that we can be in relationship with Him.  If Jeff’s loves for his kids is that strong, he urged the kids to imagine what God’s love for them was like.  God would protect them, take care of them, and love them, make sure they had what they needed.

Jeff talked about how because God loves us so powerfully, and because if we believe in God and Jesus, we serve a King that loves us deeply and powerfully…. and this means that we are to love others because God loved us.  That means loving those who are hard to love and loving our enemies.  Jeff was also pretty clear that we can’t do this on our own strength, we need God’s strength to help us do this, and that a pretty big part of this is that when someone does something wrong, we need to forgive and reconcile with them in love.

We then had a communion service where kids were invited to come participate, while Liz and Sathiya played “How He Loves Us” in the background.

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This was a long explanation, but all of this is to say that the message of the love of Jesus Christ, and how deeply valued in His eyes each one of your kids is, was preached boldly and powerfully today.

Throughout the rest of the day, the Medieval Times theme prevailed.  I did make it to Campfire tonight, and the pictures are great… but I’ll save them for Thursday when I have nothing, because I have TONS tonight.

Here, we see Chris and his son Isaac as a knight and a beautiful princess… well, half of a princess’s face, anyway.  Isaac wasn’t too sure about the whole head in the cutout deal.

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There was some pontoon fishing…. (I was on the beach, so this is like 26x zoom… I have no idea who’s on the boat…)

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In the Canoe Major, canoers learned to tip their canoes safely, and what to do once they were tipped.

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The Paddle Boarders got out for a spin on the nice, calm, very warm lake.  I assure you that although the e-boat is not in these pictures, the kids were being closely watched and guarded by our waterfront staff.

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TK and Simon were focusing on still life and up close shots in the photography major.  Here, though, they’ve captured a rare blogger…..

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Crafts reminded me very much of when I used to do crafts as a camper.  Gimp bracelets and friendship bracelets made with embroidery floss tend to sort of cross generations.  It was fun to watch Aunt Shelley with these kids.

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Aunt Natalie dressed up in Medieval Princess costume (or 80s Bridesmaid costume, I’m not quite sure).

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Beechwood asked for a love song from one boys’ cabin, and before too long every single boys’ cabin got roped in through a series of “Help em out ___________, help em out!” songs.  It was pretty funny.

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Evidently I shouldn’t just leave my camera on the desk in the office while I’m in Tuck anymore…. Hi Aunt Liz!!

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At Water Sports, we saw some skiing and kneeboarding.

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The following shot was taken AFTER rescuing the sunglasses we found floating in the lake…

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At Junior Lifeguarding, Lifeguard Dave teaches some pretty important skills.

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Even from the ski boat, I could hear the kids yelling things like “I’m a lifeguard, I’m here to help you!” and “Can you move?  Can you talk to me?  Are you hurt?”  as they swam to rescue their “victims” while Dave watched closely from the dock

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Kayakers ventured out into the lake.

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At the beach, kids were making sand castles.

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It was at the beach where I learned the proper way to eat a grasshopper from Jacob.  Obviously, he’s been hanging out with Jared in Wilderness.

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I also learned that not just parents read this blog, kids do too!  The young lady in the pink on the left saw me come onto the beach with my camera and exclaimed “you write the blog!  Take my picture and put it in!!”

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And as one last update, if you have kids on the Ahmic Adventure trip, I heard from Cait that when she drove up the lake to deliver stuff to them, they were all safely arrived and were setting up camp at their first destination.  It was a hard paddle, but she said they did well.

Well, I think that’s all for tonight, folks!  It’s waaaay past curfew here at Kahquah, so I’ll need to hit publish and get some sleep!