Friday, August 9, 2013

CHAMP Camp 2013

Time flies when you're having fun, or just busy finding things to do. This summer has been a great one for weather, so I have been out as much as possible. One of those times was not long after my last post, at CHAMP Camp. This year could be summarized as the year of water.

This was camp's third year in Indiana, my second time. I arrived on Friday evening to find that the main water pipe had broken, under the main sidewalk into the grounds. This meant that to get to our area, we had to go through a building or take a rather circuitous route on another sidewalk. With the pipe trouble, we also could not drink the water from the faucets or use it for cleaning equipment.

Saturday was orientation day for the counselors. The day went well in learning about our campers and each other, but it was a long one, not ending until 11:00 that night. However, since my cabin, Elm, took care of orientation and decorating on Saturday, we had Sunday morning free. Dad and I went down to the lake for a couple hours to enjoy some quiet time and see if we could find any fish. All we came across was a baby skunk, but fortunately the little stinker didn't pay much attention to us. While we were away though, one of the counselors had a mild heart attack. I guess the best place to have such things is while surrounded by medical personal, but he ended up eventually having a triple bypass.

Sunday afternoon was camper arrival; starting immediately after lunch. The very first camper to arrive was one from Elm cabin, and the one dad and I were scheduled to greet. Thomas was familiar with the grounds due to other camps, but this was his first year at CHAMP Camp. After he and a few other campers arrived, the wind started picking up. A short while later, we found ourselves in a major downpour. Unloading medical equipment that kids depend on for breathing and can't get wet during major rain is a challenge. Fortunately, we didn't have trouble with that due to finding ponchos, but the
Elm cabin
storm blew down a tree that took out the electricity. Equipment was safe and dry inside, but we couldn't plug it in. Seven out the estimated nine generators necessary generators were found, but thankfully the power came back on before night came and they were needed.

The next few days went well with campers doing various activities at different locations. In previous years, campers and counselors from different cabins are put together into trail groups that go out to activities. This year, the cabin groups stayed together and went out to the various locations. I was wondering how this would work, but I liked it and was able to get to know the campers and counselors I was working with much better.

Wednesday was lake day, the day when everyone spent the entire day by the lake, including for lunch. The morning went well, being in charge of fishing again, we had several kids on and off the dock. However, as we were eating lunch, it started to rain.  Just about the time we should have headed back out to the water, we were all put in the bathrooms due to oncoming storms. Nothing major ever came, but we didn't get to go back out to activities and instead were bused back to the cabins.

Thursday was the final day, and we said a fond farewell to all the campers and counselors and packed the van to go. Unfortunately, the van had been in the wet weather all week and had a flooded engine that wouldn't start. After a couple hours of waiting, another counselor towed the van into the sun to further dry out. This trick worked and we were able to get on the road, just two hours after we had planned.

Despite the trouble we had, the week went very well. God's hand was evident in the medical emergency we had and in keeping the campers safe and healthy throughout the week. I'm not sure what 2014 will bring, but it might be another year to work with the kids.