Sunday Funday

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Halfway through Main Camp already!

Yesterday was Sunday, a more relaxed day at camp where we have extra time to rest, clean, worship, and choose unique Special Signups. To start the day, we slept in an extra hour, and enjoyed Krispy Kreme doughnuts at breakfast. Boys make sure their cabins are tidy every day for cabin inspection, but Sunday cabin inspection is a bigger deal. They have more time to clean because directors are the ones checking the cabins, and they do an “open trunk” check to make sure they’re storing their clothes in a neat way. The other big reason for making sure your cabin is clean? The cleanest cabins get to go first in the ice cream sundae line!

On Sunday mornings, we gather for a church service where we sing, hear a message, and enjoy a skit. There were a campers helping lead the songs and play instruments today, sharing their voices and talents with everyone. Tom and Joe both shared verses, and Andy, Connor, Harrison, and Coley acted out a skit about giving your all. For our weekly message, Kyle reminded us about the theme of discipline and self control, which has shaped our Evening Embers discussions all week.

Kyle explained that discipline and self-control are not a one-time event or a box you check off. They are values that require consistent practice and exercise. He tied it to the Olympics which are coming up, and how all the athletes competing have had to show incredible discipline to gain mastery of their sports, by working at their sports day after day. He contrasted this with a story about Samson from the Bible. Kyle shared how Samson was an incredibly strong man, but had no self discipline, so his asset became a liability. At camp, we can show discipline by going back to the same activities time and again, even if we aren’t great at them the first time. He reminded us that learning skills takes time, and that self-control and discipline are like muscles - if we don’t use them we’ll lose them.

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This afternoon we had swim trials for the boys wanting to compete in the upcoming Ironman triathlon. Just like Kyle’s message, these boys had to show great discipline by choosing to swim two laps around the upper lake, and not giving up when they felt tired. There were 54 boys signed up for the swim trial. During his church message, Kyle told everyone that even if they didn’t make it to the Ironman this year, it was ok. “Discipline is about trying, and most importantly it’s about continuing to try,” he said.

Lunch was our traditional Sunday favorite: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, warm rolls, and green beans. After a hearty meal, we ended on a sweet note with Sunday Sundaes! Boys go through an ice cream buffet line, and those with the highest cabin inspection scores can go first. There are toppings like sprinkles, whipped cream, chocolate, caramel, and strawberries. It’s a great treat each week! With such a big lunch, an extended rest hour is welcome news for everyone.

In the afternoon on Sundays, counselors offer something different from the typical schedule, and boys can sign up to participate in these unique and fun activities. Some of these signups included playing “touch the fence” at the courts, hiking to “shangrila”, mountain bike progressions, shooting at riflery, playing chess, working out in the lodge, and a journalism signup.

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Tonight while the majority of camp enjoyed a delicious meal in the dining hall, we also hosted our “5-Year Dinner” in the dining tent. This is a special annual event to honor campers and counselors who have been at Falling Creek for 5 or more years. There was a slideshow playing and photos posted from years past, which everyone enjoyed looking at and reminiscing over. There were cheese and grapes available as boys mingled, and we were treated to a steak dinner, freshly cooked on the grill. It was fun to see how many years there were represented in the group - Dusty said that just at his table there were 100 years combined! We’re very honored to have campers and counselors return year after year, and feel fortunate to have such a great community at Falling Creek, made up of both first-year campers and camp veterans.

To finish the day, we gather as a community for Campfire. Everyone crosses Bain Bridge and becomes silent, thoughtfully entering the space that’s important to so many. We sit on the benches by cabin, and wait for Yates to light the fire with a single candle. Each campfire begins with someone reciting Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.” This campfire’s theme was optimism, which is also the theme for our final week. Our nightly Evening Embers questions will be shaped by the value of optimism as well.

It’s a great week theme for many reasons, but especially because we’re feeling very optimistic about our third week with our Main Campers! This week is often one of the most fun weeks during the session, because everyone has settled into the camp routine, progression work is in full swing, and some of our longest trips get to head out. We even have a 5-day trip going out tomorrow! The weeks are flying by, and we aren’t taking anything for granted.