Married to the Empire

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Last week at youth camp

I didn't post at all last week because Ruf and I were at youth camp in Glorieta, NM with our church's youth group. Centrifuge is an amazing camp, and all the adults were really impressed with how the camp met our students' needs. (If you click on that link, the first picture you'll see at the top is of our kids at X-Fuge last year.) The accomodations were pretty nice for a camp. We had private rooms with two sets of bunk beds, a chest of drawers, and a sink. The rooms also locked, so we didn't have to worry about money or medicine left there during the day. The food was great, considering it was camp food. The kids were all very impressed.

What really impressed the adults, though, was the amount of individual attention the kids received from the staff. The camp director hung out with our church quite a bit, the girl assigned to our church group in the evenings said that we were the most welcoming church she'd met all summer, and the small groups the kids were put in were really personal. The kids made a lot of new friends, and the staff really interacted with them a lot.

This camp had an amazing variety of activities for the kids. They could sign up for things like volleyball, basketball, jewelry making, learn-to-play guitar, art, missions, world religions, etc. The list was LONG. Our kids who were on the missions track spent time at a local nursing home and also on the streets of Santa Fe evangelizing.

There was a huge emphasis on missions at this camp (we are evangelicals, after all!). This year it was concentrated on the Roma people, who are commonly known as Gypsies. Their small groups really focused on teaching the kids about the plight of the Roma people and how desperately they need Christ, in addition to their material needs. The kids at camp last week gave a whopping $4600+ during the missions offering. There was also an art auction where they sold the paintings that the kids made in art class. All proceeds of the auction went to the missions offering, too. One of our kids created the best painting there (and I'm not saying that just because she's our kid!), and it sold for a decent amount. (One of our sponsors bought it, and it's now hanging in our youth room. It's one of the first things you see when you walk in.)

We had one kid accept Christ last week at camp, and another acknowledged a call to missions. We're so proud of our kids!

Ruf and I had our 9th wedding anniversary at camp. That was a first for us. For the first time ever, we left camp for a few hours. The other sponsors were so great about telling us to go ahead and go out to dinner. We went to Santa Fe, wandered the city a bit, then ate at a wonderful restaurant called the Guadalupe Cafe. We came back to camp in time for church group time, where we were greeted by a huge shout of, "Happy Anniversary!" from our kids. They also presented us with a very sweet card that they had all signed. While I orginally thought that it sounded awful to spend our anniversary at camp, I think it wound up being our best ever!

There were only two bad things about camp: They didn't schedule in enough sleeping time at night, and the band was horrible. Well, instrumentally, the band was pretty good. Their drummer was amazing. But the lead singer left Ruf and me cringing every time he opened his mouth. Call me picky, but I actually expect a lead singer to be able to sing on key. The kids liked the band regardless of the singer's lack of ability, so I guess that's what matters.

We're already pre-registered for next year.

*I've posted no pictures because I haven't asked parents for permission to put their kids' photos on the internet. I don't feel right about just slapping other people's pictures up without permission.

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