I finally finished this update on our week of camp! It was an awesome week, and it is hard to condense it down and put it into words.
We went from having almost no volunteers for staff and wondering if there even would be camp to having 55 campers and 6 "leaders-in-training" from Red Lake and a lot of awesome staff from various organizations. The past 7 years we have used a location where we rent out the camp and provide all our own staff. That just was not coming together this year, so Corey threw out the idea that we use Camp Oak Hills. I said, "that's a nice idea, but camps don't just come with a staff." He suggested we ask their staff to just stay on another week. I agreed, but honestly didn't think it would fly. I was wrong. The Camp Oak Hills staff, who had already put in a whole summer, stayed and loved these kids and did a fabulous job. Then not too long before camp was scheduled to happen, a group from ND said they wanted to come and help. My first response was that we had enough help and there wouldn't be anything for them to do, and maybe they should look for another opportunity. I was wrong again. They served any way they could and spent time hanging out with and loving the kids every chance they got. It was so cool to see how God brought together volunteers from 5 different organizations to serve together and get excited about this ministry.
Noah did great and loved his very first week of camp! He got to be outside and in his stroller a lot, which is one of his very favorite things. He had a group of admirers around him at pretty much all times, which he also likes. :)
Corey took over a lot of leadership duties and did awesome! I am so blessed to be able to live life and serve God with this man!!
We got to do a little "devotional" each morning and one evening we told about Noah's birth. We wanted to share how choosing to follow Jesus does not mean that your life is perfect, but that it DOES make a difference when you go through hard things. It was kind of hard, but really good, and another step for me in the processing/healing through all of it. I managed to hold it together okay and only cried a few times. :) I shared about how I found that it was more powerful to be thankful and praise God than to be sad and mad and ask why. Then we gave the kids a chance to publicly share things they are thankful for, which was really powerful. It was amazing to see how many wanted to do this, what they came up with, and how respectful they were overall. One LIT that I am close to and has been in my cabin since she started coming to camp took a turn and said, "I am thankful that Ellie is still alive." Yup, let the crying start again.
We love camp and more than that love those kids. It is what brought me to this ministry and what we will always be passionate about. It was SO good to get back into it. Even though Noah is doing so well, I think part of me was still a little bit in crisis mode, and this week was a good push to keep moving forward. I am excited to see how God will use our family.