By Shana Mickey, Associate Student Ministry Director

We have managed to make it through the halfway point! We had a busy Wednesday, but a good one as well. Our morning was a typical morning full of worship, lessons, forest walks and games. After lunch we did something a little different- we packed everyone into buses and headed to the beach!

Opportunity camp is only about 30 minutes from the coast. We went to the small town of seacliff, to the seacliff state beach. Even though with state beaches we have to pay to get in, opp camp prefers them because they are less crowded and we can hire life guards for our group. The funniest part was the crew that went a little early to cone off a section of the beach- they had to inform anyone nearby that about 150 kids were about to descend on the beach and go a little crazy! Most responses were, “wait, are you serious? I’m moving.” Before too long we had a clear stretch for our group.

Unfortunately the ranger nearby told us that sharks had been spotted in the water, and they discouraged us from going out too far because they couldn’t tell what kind of sharks they were. What can you do? It is where the sharks live, after all! We thought this might put a damper on our beach time, but we were wrong! Even only being able to go in as far as the water reached an adults waist the kids had a blast! Running from the waves and diving into them as they crashed to the shore, building things out of sand, digging holes, burying each other, playing football on the beach, laying in the sun….it was awesome. A few of our campers had never seen the ocean before. And our counselors got to relax a little as the beach kept their kids very happy and occupied.

A very tired crew made it back to the camp, and after some time to shower and decompress the rest of our evening progressed normally.

I (shana) can honestly say that our students are doing such a wonderful job this week! They are doing difficult work, with no complaining. Katie, Alycia, Rachel, and Dylan wash dirty dishes and help serve food at every meal, and still hang out with kids during their free time. Almost all of our counselors have appeared onstage this week with their cabins, being goofy, dancing and singing,  doing skits, encouraging their kids by example to participate. Conner helped his kids (and did his own) animal impressions onstage. Elyse can be seen sporting pink nails and pink bracelets from her girls, and has faithfully worn her least favorite color all week for them! These are just a few examples of the awesomeness of our students, doing a job that that is hard and thankless.

Be praying for our final two days- as the end of camp approaches we will start to see a lot of behavioral problems from even our sweetest kids as many of them dread going back to wherever home is right now and act out because of it. Pray that we remember this as our tempers are pushed and patience dried up!

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