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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Natisk wrap up

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We just go back from Natisk on Sunday, and things still haven't slowed down. We left the camp ground a little after 10:30am, but we didn't walk in the door of the apartment until 9:30pm... Yesterday and today have consisted of laid back mornings, but have had lunch meetings, and today we have a team meeting, sort of a camp de-briefing. On the way home, I started to come down with a cold. Today it is in full swing. Sore chest, and hacking up the junk. I am drinking a lot of tea to try and keep my coughing and mucus to a minimum.

Enough about me... The camp was incredible! Some of you already know, but there were a lot of unknowns going into this camp. Up until they actually arrived, no one knew how many kids would actually be coming. We changed camp ground locations several times. Some of the couselors were in flux with work. Well... all of those things came to rest once we were actually at camp. There were 25 couselors, which we called producers (in keeping with our MTV programming) and 31 kids (VJs). We did the camp pretty far from Moscow, outside of the city of Tver. The campground was great, this place called Gloria, I think it was run by some charismatics, so we didn't bother them with our loud rap music. The food was actually pretty decent, for camp food, and the facilities were on par with most American camp facilities of simliar size.

The kids and the staff team really bought into the theme of the camp. As they arrived, the producers were doing an improptu dance for them as they exited the bus. That dance really set the tone for the camp, and for the most part it was high energy. We showed short clips during the morning discussion sessions, and DJ Elf (a producer/artist here in Moscow) did a song or two most mornings. There were smaller group discussions most mornings after the large group meetings, and at night our small groups got together to discuss more important life questions.

We did crazy games in the mid-morning before lunch, and there was always a presentation to prepare for before the night 'spectacle,' which usually was planned and arranged by each small group. The first night, the couselors put on a number of skits/songs... Brad and I did a SNL skit with Jim Carry and Will Farrell, the one where Will is in a hot tub, and Jim is a lifeguard who is a bit over-zealous. We did it in English with very minimal translation, and the kids still thought it was hilarious. And Brad... I saved your life man... Because, it wasn't your time yet!

Communication was less of a barrier at this camp then the other two we have done this summer. There were a lot more English speaking kids, as well as most of the leadership team.

One thing is certain. We did not plan on this camp being a Christian camp. In the past we have had to be very careful about our titles because we worked with the public school system to invite kids to our camp. This year, we took only kids who have been coming to our club meetings. There were a few others, some guys came from an orpahage outside Moscow (Man, could they dance and play football!). Our lessons and topics were geared to make kids think for themselves, and were not overtly Christian. But, God had his own plans in the midst of our planning. We had three kids make serious decisions to chage their lives and accept Jesus in their hearts and lives.

One girl explained to the leaders why she was making this decision, and explained that no one has ever explained Jesus to her before. No one has ever told her that God loves her. She said that she knew something was different about the leaders at the camp, and after one of the leaders took her aside and talked with her, she knew that it was it.

Overall, this was the best camp all summer. It was also the most emotionally draining camp we have done yet. I think it was truly God's timing to keep me from getting sick at camp, now I just need to get better before Greece next week!

Pictures uploaded soon. :)

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Anonymous Jenn said...

What's the deal with being sick!?

I've been fighting a bug for a week now--actually sent home from school yesterday!

Hope you feel better soon. Try to get some extra rest before your trip to Greece.

22/8/06 21:48


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