By Shana Mickey, Associate Student Ministry Director

So today marked our first full day with our campers! It is typical to have a rough first day at camps like this. Kids are pushing buttons, trying to see what they can get away with, and its important to set clear boundaries.

Kids will also spend much of the first day or two testing us to see if we will be like many of the adults in their lives back home. Will we get angry and lash out at them? Will we decide they are too much to handle and send them away? Will we ignore them and make them someone else’s problem? The first few days are so important for establishing trust and boundaries, and showing love and caring to our campers. Even though we knew this going in, it doesn’t make the first day less tiring!

Our students are doing such a good job! Our youngest ones are on the dish crew, meaning they wash dishes and clean up after every meal. Katie, Alycia, Rachel and Dylan are doing a really good job at this, with very little complaining! In their off time they play with kids and join in on most of our big group activities.

Our other students are in charge of either a cabin or a tent group of boys or girls, and these kids are their only focus this week, every minute of the day. Every cabin/tent has a mix of of every kind of kid- aggressive, sweet, runners, active, tired, shy, eccentric, sassy, disrespectful…. We’ve got them all! Already our students are beginning to make special bonds and relationships with certain kids.

Pray for our kids to open up, and for our patience while dealing with trying situations. Pray too for more and better sleep!

P.S. We have learned that because most of our campers are wards of the state, its not safe to post pictures of them online until camp is over. So please be patient and expect lots of pics when the kids go home!

Shana Mickey