Oh my word. Camp was AMAZING!
I went down a day early (Saturday) with Casey, Mandy, Kyle, Caleb, and Zach. That in itself was an adventure. Kyle wouldn't stop singing all these Taylor Swift songs that he had on his iPod. But eventually we arrived at Garden City Chapel, got settled in, and prepared for the best week ever.
I was introduced to the music director and his wife, Andrew and Anna Hopper (Andrew sang & played guitar; Anna sang). We practiced a few songs that were new to us at the time (ex: Marvelous Light, Glories of Calvary, etc...) and then Casey took us out to eat at some restaurant. The food wasn't that great and the service was terrible, but the night ended up being a fun one anyways. We got back to the house around 11-ish, sat around, and talked. I took a shower at about 1 o'clock in the morning (a new record!) and finally crawled into bed. Mandy and I had to sleep in the same bed the first night we were down there, and it was rock solid. Talk about back pain the next morning.
Sunday wasn't nearly as eventful as the day before. We basically hung out, practiced a few songs, went to eat at Zaxby's, made a few trips to Wal-Mart, and waited for the kids to get there. They finally arrived around 5-ish, so we all ate pizza, claimed a bunk bed, went to the first night session, and went to sleep around 1 AM.
Monday morning, I had to wake up bright & early around 6:45 because the band needed to practice again before the first morning session (I realized I woke up WAYYY too early; practice didn't start until 8:00). So we practiced, ate breakfast, went to the morning session, and then went out for our team competitions. Me, Sarah, and Janna were all on team B. For some reason, everyone on our team made an X with their arms. But it soon caught on, and the competition started heating up. The game was Dodgeball, and our team ended up losing because of cheating on the opposite side. But whatever. We ate lunch, and then we had free time. Amber, Sarah, Janna, Morgan, and I went downtown the first day during free time. Aaaaand it sucked. There were two beach stores and an ice cream shop. Woohoo. So we all ended up going swimming in the pool and having a grand ol' time. Anyways, the night session rolled around, and you could tell that the Devil was really trying to distract everyone; Casey wasn't focused and Tony was in the hospital because he got injured during the game. But of course, everyone knows that the Good Guy always wins. God grabbed my heart and spoke to me that night. I finally realized that He really is all I need! I don't need drugs, alcohol, clothes, friends, or anything; God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). We had church group time after the night session, but I couldn't stay for it. I was on the verge of bursting into tears. I ended up walking out of the chapel crying. Casey saw me and asked me what was wrong, and I told him what God had told me, and I think it gave him a little confidence booster too. I went down to my bunk and went to sleep soon after that.
Tuesday. Still had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get ready for practice. We ate breakfast, went to the morning session, then group competition. This time, we had to fill a bucket up with water from balloons that were chunked out to our team and caught with sheets. The winner of the game was the one who had the most water in their bucket once there weren't any water balloons left. Of course, I got smacked in the head with one, but it was fun. Once again, we didn't win the game because some genius on our team decided he would ring his sheet out into the bucket to fill it up more. But Casey saw him and disqualified our team. We would have won, too. During free time, there was a sandcastle contest. We got a group together from CHBC and spelled out Casey's name with things he liked: the C was an ice cream cone, the A was made from softball bats, the S was a Superman symbol, the E was made from Twinkies, and the Y was a North Greenville cheerleader. I do have to admit, it was the best one there. But since Casey couldn't be biased towards us because we knew him so well, he had to make different categories of judging the sandcastles. We won the "Most Personal" one. After the night session, we all went downtown again. I rode a mechanical bull and did some racecar thing, which was surprisingly fun. Then back to the dorms for midnight snack (cherry dump cake, oreo pudding, snowcones, brownies, yummmm...) and then to sleep.
Wednesday morning rolled around without enough sleep on my part. Same routine, waking up, practice, breakfast, morning session, then game time. It was a relay race that encompassed sand, water, sponges, buckets, and running, and ended with a slip & slide. It was finally my turn on the slip & slide. I ran as fast as I could, hit the ground hard, and stopped halfway. Oops. So I was crawling along, trying to get off the soapy & slippery tarp when this kid comes flying down the slip & slide and tumbles into my foot. He hit my pinkie toe hard. Ouch. I got up off the slide, limped back to the front of it, and readied myself to go at it again with Sarah. So we were running, getting reading to jump down, when all of a sudden I feel something snap in my toe. I screamed "Sarah I think I broke something!" and hit the slide. Long story short, my pinkie toe swelled up (along with the rest of my foot), and turned purple and blue. Yep, I broke it. Allen ended up getting his foot torn all to pieces from running on the concrete, so he had to walk around in crutches for the rest of the week. And I limped. Supper, Tuesday night session, then back to the beds. I had to switch bunks with Ashton (who had a bottom bunk) because I couldn't climb up to the top anymore with my broken toe. Oh fun.
Thursday I hobbled around and looked like an idiot all day. I was planning on being on a volleyball team for a tournament, but seeing as how I could hardly walk around, I opted out of the tournament and let Morgan take my place. I took pictures during the group games and sat around during free time. Not too eventful during the day. But the night session finally arrived. You could tell that God was going to do something amazing; all the youth were giddy and excited. Casey divided the students according to their groups and sent them out to give out blue light-up crosses to people in the community. I could sense God's presence everywhere that evening! The worship that night was real. With 120 students and adults truly worshiping their Savior, you know something big is going to happen. The theme of the whole week was Committed, and Casey's message was about staying truly committed followers of Jesus Christ when we get home. God took hold of everyone's heart that night, because after the session, we all ended up on the porches with our light-up crosses on singing praises to Him. Then we ran down the stairs into the big field where we had group competitions, held hands, jumped and danced around, and sang more songs and hymns. THEN we were told we had to go back to the dorms, so I got out my guitar and found the music I'd been using that week, and we sang even more in the kitchen.
I experienced a student-led revival at camp, and I know for a fact it's going to revolutionize our youth group. This isn't going to be another one of those camps that start in a "yay we're on fire for God now," but once we get home that fire soon loses its flame. Our worship in youth will never be the same now that we know what it's like to truly praise our Savior. The revival starts this Wednesday, and I can't wait. We're taking this to the next level. We're running the opposite way.