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Day 1


 

Junior High 2 Day 1-9It’s our third week of camp and our second week of Junior High. There were many familiar faces and hugs for staff and campers as registration began. After campers checked in, they gathered in their cabins to unpack, make their beds, and get to know their new home for the week. At our first camp meeting, chants were chanted and rules were read. Then, all the republics performed their chant in front of the rest of the camp. We had some very original names this week including Roman Vipers, Sisters In Excellence, and Transformer Resistors. We did the Wobble and Tunak Tunak Tan, then broke out into our specialties. Campers were able to preview their specialties before we held our swim test to ensure that campers will be safe in the rec lake. After a filling dinner of mac and cheese and grilled chicken, we gathered for our first evening worship of the week. Every night, duringJunior High 2 Day 1-178 evening program, a staff member will share their testimony. Rachael, our program director, began the night with a testimony that revealed shameful moments in her past. But she spoke of God’s redemption through her struggles. Pastor Tyran followed Rachel’s testimony with a powerful message of release. He encouraged the campers to let go of earthly things holding them back from the Kingdom of God. The students wrote on paper lanterns the things they wanted to give to God. Everyone stood in front of the U.N., lit the lanterns, and watched them drift into the night sky as a symbol of acquittal. We finished the night with the reason we go to camp: to get messy. Messy games is a series of relays full of flour, cheeto puffs, shaving cream, and bananas. Some were a little hesitant to pop a balloon full of cream corn with their head, but others gave their all to ensure victory for their republic. After a great first day of camp, we crawled in our bed dreaming of what the rest of the week would hold.

 

Until Tomorrow,

Mary Kate

 

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Day 2


Junior High 2 Day 2-19Our first full day of camp was full of sunshine and friendships. For family devotional this year, we are introducing a new technique called storying. It is an oral presentation of the Gospel that allows campers to feel as if they are apart of the story. The campers rebuild the story and make inferences from what they’ve heard. After family devotional, the campers broke out into their specialties for the week. Water sports tubed on the lake; horseback riding saddled our new horse Shadow; stomp made some new beats on barrels; and film production began storyboarding their short film. On Friday, family and friends will be able to see the hard work of our students at the youth production. After specialties, we gathered for team building. The girls bonded at low ropes while the guys participated in nature drop. In nature drop, republics are given three eggs with the task of building a protective shield with items only from nature. Then, everyone gathers to watch the republics drop the contraptions off of the blob tower. Some eggs survive, many don’t. Each eggs counts as 25 points towards Purple Cup. Purple Cup is a new addition to Barefoot this year. Instead of boys vs. boys and girls vs. girls, every republic is for themselves. At the end of the week, either a boy’s or a girl’s cabin will be crowned the winner. At the end of the summer, whichever gender wins the most weeks will Junior High 2 Day 2 Blog-4win Purple Cup for the summer. After a day packed full of activities, we gathered in the amphitheater to worship. Theo, our program director, shared his testimony. Through doubt and confusion, Theo has found God in the midst. Staff members sharing their testimonies is a powerful tool to point campers to Christ. Through these testimonies, we are able to admit our faults and show how God is our Redeemer. Pastor Tyran followed with a message about our relationship with God. He warned that we could use idols to cheat on God.  We wrapped up the night with our block party. We tried not to spill our snow cones as we jumped up and down and belted to Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. We ended the night knowing tomorrow is going to be even better.

 

In Christ,

Mary Kate

 

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Camper + Staff Interviews

Junior High 2 Day 2 Blog-1Jordan | Age 11 | Nashville, TN | 3rd year

What do you keep coming back to Barefoot?
“Barefoot is awesome. It is a great place to increase your relationship with God and make new friends.”

What are you most looking forward to?
“I am most looking forward to Braveheart. But I hear its not going to be with food anymore, it is going to be with paint. I think it will still be  a lot of fun. I am excited to see how it turns out.”

What is your favorite speciality?
“Horseback riding. It is fun! You get to learn about the horses, the food they eat, and the saddles. The horses may be big and scary, but they are really friendly and nice.”

What are you expecting to happen with your relationship with God?
“I am expecting it to grow. Not that it is not good now, because it is. It is just not as strong as it could be.”

How do you like your cabin?
“I love my cabin. I have made some new friends!”

Why is diversity important?
“Nobody wants to have a friend who is exactly the same as them. I want to learn new things and hear what my friends have to say; I don’t want to be the exact same as them. God created us to be different.”

Junior High 2 Day 2 Blog-3Isaac | Age 12 | Nashville, TN | 2nd year

Why did you come back to Barefoot this year?
“I wanted to see how much it has changed. I also wanted to see how my relationship with God can get better.”

What is your favorite thing to do at camp?
“Paintball.”

What are you most looking forward to?
“Iron Man.”

What are you expecting to happen with your relationship with God?

“I expect to feel the presence of God with me more. When I don’t feel him with me, I feel like I am a person I do not like.”

How is your cabin?
“The guys are pretty good! My counselors are a lot of fun.”

Why is diversity important?
“If it was just camp with one type of person, I think it would be bad because it is a Christian camp. The bible says, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ It doesn’t say, ‘Love your neighbor if he has the same ethnicity or gender as you.’”

 

Junior High 2 Day 2 Blog-2Vinny | Brentwood, TN | Support Staff 

Why do you keep coming back to Barefoot?
“I love it. I love God and the people here.”

What do you love about Barefoot?
“The relationships you have with the people and God are amazing. I love the experiences I have here. I also love the growth I see in myself when I am here.”

How is support staff?
“Support staff cleans everything. We wash the dishes. We prep for meals. We help Rhonda cook. We help set up for messy games. It is difficult but really rewarding. I see all the hard work we put it at meals; and then I see kids come in and have a great time. They have great conversations. They have great experiences. Kids wouldn’t have food if we didn’t do what we did. It is just a big circle. Like when we set up for messy games, it can be boring and arbitrary. But then, I am able to see the kids having fun and encouraging each other.”

What is your favorite thing to do at Barefoot?
“It is a tie between gaga ball and 9 square.”

 

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Day 3


Junior High 2 Day 3-5

Every camper at Barefoot spends 10 minutes of their morning in silence. They spread out across campus to spend uninterrupted time with God. We slow down the busy day to read our bibles, journal, and pray. Throughout the day, we had specialities, nature drop, and low ropes. As I captured pictures of all of the specialities, I was able to see some talented performers. I cannot wait for our end of the week youth production that will allow the talents of these campers to be showcased. The boys participated in low ropes. Some groups had to get through a “mine field” blindfolded with only their partner’s voice to guide them. Others had to swing across two platforms with a rope while their republic tried to catch them. The girls were able to protect (some) of their eggs in nature drop. After a free time full of archery, paintball, canoeing, fishing, and the blob, all of the republics went back to their cabins to prepare for the showcase tomorrow night. Every republic creates a skit that pertains to the camp’s theme and performs it tomorrow night. A first place skit is the most points a republic can get at one time for the purple cup competition. Later, the staff had something different prepared for worship tonight. Throughout the songs, they read scripture and encouraged campers to nail pieces of paper to two wooden Junior High 2 Day 3-52crosses. On the piece of paper, they wrote things that were holding them back from a deeper relationship with God. Pastor Tyran followed this powerful worship with a message about building our foundation on solid ground. He further explained our first bible story this week, the parable about the wise and foolish man. He urged campers to build upon solid rock so that when the rain and the wind come, their house would remain standing. Finally, we ended the night with Commando, a new game for Barefoot. Glow sticks were hidden all around campus. With a buddy, campers had to find a glow stick and bring it back to Rachael, our program director, for purple cup points. However, counselors were located all across campus with flashlights prepared to catch the campers. The catch? Counselors didn’t have to send them back to base. The campers could barter for their safety. Some sang “Party in the U.S.A.” at the top of their lungs; others had to tell the bible stories from the week. We ended the night with watermelon and glow sticks in hand, sad that the week is already half way over.

 

Best,

Mary Kate

 

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Camper + Staff Interviews

Junior High 2 Day 3 Blog-1Zayla | Age 12 | Atlanta, GA | 3rd year

What do you like about Barefoot?
“It’s a fun place where you can do things you don’t do at home. It is a diverse place where I get to learn about God.”

What are you most looking forward to?
“Braveheart.”

What is your favorite speciality?
“Drama. I like talking so it’s cool for me.”

How do you like your cabin?
“It’s nice and fun. Everybody cooperates with each other. We are working together as a team and having really good conversation.”

How are your counselors?
“They are fun! Mckenna is really fun, she dances a lot. Brandy is fun too. Sometimes she is strict but that is not a problem. Stephanie has the feel of a camper; she is great.”

What have you learned about God this week?
“From the stories, I have learned that God loves accepts you for who you are are on the inside. Jesus is the same way. People in the world will see you from the outside, but God sees you from the inside.”

 

Junior High 2 Day 3 Blog-3Jesse | Age 11 | Nashville, TN | 4th year

Why did you come back to Barefoot this year?
“Because it is awesome! There are a lot of fun activities here. My brother also goes and he made me want to come.”

What is your favorite thing about Barefoot?
“Braveheart and the purple cup. I really want to win the ice cream party. We could win because my cabin is in second place right now.”

What is your favorite speciality?
“Water sports and film are probably my favorite. I didn’t get to do film this year because it is the same time as my water sports.”

What have you learn about God this week?

“I learned about the man who built his house on the sand and the man who build his house on the rock.  It makes me think, ‘People! Wake up! Don’t be dumb!’ You have to build your house on the rock which is actually God. You have to have a relationship with him. You can’t build your house on the sand, especially if it is quick sand.”

How is your cabin?
“Not very clean! Our first cabin check we got a 55 out of 100. Today was better though, we got a 60. My counselors are a lot of fun.”

Why is diversity important?
“If diversity wasn’t there, then I wouldn’t have as many friends. One of my best friends at camp is a different color than me. My whole group of friends is actually different colors than me. My brother is adopted and he is also a different color than me. It teaches people what the real world is like and that the outside isn’t important.”


Junior High 2 Day 3 Blog-2Agnes | Bardstown, KY | Film Intern 

This is your first year at Barefoot. How has your experience been so far?
“It’s not what I expected at all. I thought I was just going to do a job and maybe spend more time with God. I didn’t expect to grow in my faith because I thought I was at my maximum. But now, I have grown so much since I have been here.”

How has it been being a film intern?
“It is so nice. Film is my passion. I am busy but I have learned a lot about time management. It also has just pushed me farther in so many aspects of my life.”

What has been your favorite thing you’ve done so far?
“One of our interns, Mary Kate, has a gopro. She let me borrow it for braveheart. I wore a headstrap and got to be in the middle of the action as paint was flying everywhere. It was so cool.”

In what experience at Barefoot have you been able to see God?
“I get to wake up every morning with God. I do my job all day; then, I get to worship with the kids at evening program. It is so overwhelming because my heart breaks for what breaks His. I see chains being undone. I see walls coming done. I see a way for these kids to come know Christ. It is probably the most beautiful thing that I will ever experience in my life. ”

 

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Day 4


 

Junior High 2 Day 4 Blog-1Today, we did something a little different. Between specialties, we took time to do an activity called Right Foot, Left Foot. Campers stood in a straight line across the football field. Candace asked a series of questions that directed campers to either step left or right if the question applied to them. The questions tackled topics such as race, gender, ethnicity, and background. Then, republics divided to discuss what this exercise brought to light. Many campers shared their stories and thoughts, allowing a stronger community to be formed within the republics. After a beautiful day of specialities and free time, we gathered for one of Barefoot’s most beloved events: Iron Man. Iron Man is a giant relay with multiple legs spread out all over campus. Campers must play basketball, swallow an unknown concoction, solve a brain puzzle, swim across the Junior High 2 Day 4 Blog-2rec lake, and shoot archery. Divine Nine, a guy’s cabin, came out on top to win Junior High 2 Iron Man 2016. At the end of an eventful day, we were able to gather for worship in the amphitheater. We worshipped the Lord and heard Stephanie, a C.I.T., tell her testimony. She shared about her anxiety and loneliness throughout her life; but she emphasized God’s love and holiness throughout it all. Pastor Tryan spoke about Rachel and Leah. He told the campers that God never forgets you even when things appear hopeless. We ended the night with our showcase performance. All of the republics performed their well planned and ingenious skits for the judges. In the end, Fireflys, a girl’s cabin, won with their take on the movie Inside Out (Christian edition, of course. We grabbed popcorn on the way back to our cabins as we laughed about our favorite skit.

 

Sincerely,

Mary Kate

 

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Camper + Staff Interviews

Junior High 2 Day 4 Blog-3Anna | Age 11 | Nashville, TN | 1st year (at overnight)

You were at day camp for 5 years. How are you liking your first Barefoot overnight camp?
“It’s a little more fun. You get a better feel for Barefoot here. I feel like I am more apart of the Barefoot family.”

What is your favorite thing to do?
“All the games and the specialities. Especially Stomp. I love making music out of anything.”

What is you’re favorite bible story this week?
“My favorite was the story about Jairus and his daughter. He asked Jesus to heal his daughter.”

What did you think about Right Foot, Left Foot?
“I learned more about the girls in my cabin and how diverse they are. It made me feel fortunate and more aware of people who are not as fortunate. I should stop asking for more and start giving more.”

What have you learned about God this week?
“He is always with us. He can change us and transform us from the inside out.”

 

Junior High 2 Day 4 Blog-4Bennett | Age 12 | Nashville, TN | 3rd year

Why did you keep coming back to Barefoot this year?
“It is really fun and it helps me learn about God.”

What is your favorite thing about Barefoot?
“Braveheart. But I also really like worship. It’s great to be with everybody praising God. Oh, gaga ball is fun too.”

What is your favorite speciality?
“Stomp. It is really cool because you get to make lots of beats on barrels.”

What have you learn about God this week?

“He can do anything. You just have to believe in Him.”

What did you think about Right Foot, Left Foot?

“It was amazing to see people come from all different places. It taught me that God doesn’t care about where you come from.”

How is your cabin?
“My cabin is really awesome, the Divine Nine. It is always fun. We are always really hype. In family devotional, our conversation is really good.”

 


MarJunior High 2 Day 4 Blog-5cus | Gallatin, TN | C.I.T 

Why did you come to Barefoot?
“I came here because I wanted to give back and serve. I have done some camps at my own church that allowed me to help other, but it also helped me too.”

How has God taught you since you have been here?
“He has taught me a lot of paitence and the importance of patience. He has taught me that love can change a person’s life. Also, the diversity of people coming together for one goal is powerful.”

What is your favorite thing about Barefoot?
“The worships have been really good. Just seeing the different kids grow every night, from the first night just sitting down to the second night standing up to the third night singing to the fourth night raising their hands. Seeing that transformation daily is very moving and powerful. ”

How is your cabin?
“They are boys and very energetic boys. That’s where the patience comes in. But they are really good kids and it is exciting to see God working in their life.”

Why do you think diversity is important?
“It is important so the kids can know that just because you look or act a certain way, it doesn’t mean you are totally different. In Christ we are all the same. We have the same God regardless of where we come from.”

 

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Day 5


Junior High 2 Day 5-156It’s our last full day of camp. It was full of good weather, paint, group photos, quesadillas, and ice cream (for the winner of purple cup, that is). After our last day of specialities and preparation for the youth production, we headed to our cabin to find our grosses clothes to prepare for Braveheart. This year, instead of food, we are using colored flour and paint. It is probably my favorite event because I get to capture cool pictures of colored power and energetic kids. Every republic recieves A bucket of colored flour, color bombs, and a bucket of paint water. The objective is to leave the battle with the cleanest pair of republic leaders and counselors. They begin the battle with 6 campers guarding the counselors until the last minute of the game when no one can guard them. In the end, Golden Hearts, a girl’s cabin took first place. However, Divine Nine won second, cementing their claim to purple cup. Divine Nine, a guy’s cabin, received an ice cream party with all the bells and whistles. We ended the night with our final worship. This night was incredibly powerful. After worshipping together, Pastor Tyran wrapped up the week discussing God’s Junior High 2 Day 5-189plan. He spoke about obedience to God; he said even delayed obedience is disobedience. It was a convicting message. The message ended with counselors washing the campers feet and speaking into the campers. Its moving to see counselors serving these students and filling them with love, God’s gifts to them, and what they have seen in them this week. The campers were then able to share their testimonies with one another. God’s hand is on these middle schoolers; He is working within them. We ended the night with a bonfire and smores. Friends huddled around the fire, enjoying their last night together. Please pray for these campers as they leave Barefoot tomorrow. Please pray that their walk with the Lord would be continued past our fences.

 

Until Tomorrow,

Mary Kate

 

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Friendship Interviews

Junior High 2 Day 5 Interview-1Katie | Age 13 | Nashville, TN | 5th year

Grace | Age 13 | Nashville, TN | 1st year

How did your friendship begin?
G: “Well I was walking in the cabin and people were like ‘Hi, are you Grace?’. I think you were the first person to talk to me.”

K: “Yeah, I saw a new person and I was like ‘Oh my goodness, new people! New people!’ Then I ran over and said ‘Hi, my name’s Katie! My name’s Katie!'”

G: “After that, we knew we had..”

In unison: “..drama and photography together, so we were like ‘Hey'”

K: “We are going to be best friends because we are going to have classes together all week.”

G: So we hung out in drama. Then, in photography we said we both like

In unison: “anime!”

G: “So here we are!”

(They fist bump each other)

Do you have a favorite memory from the week?


K: “My favorite memory was probably when we all went zip lining. I have been before, and so had our friend Skylar; but, Grace was so scared. Stephanie, our counselor, told her she had to give a peace sign when she went. She ended up just giving a very shy peace sign.”
G: “Yeah it was fun; but it hurt. My favorite moments have been all the times I have fell. I slipped on a rock by the lake within the first couple of hours at camp. Also canoeing was really fun.”

K: “She kept rocking the boat”

G: “I rocked it like once”

(Katie is holding up 5 fingers beside her)

G: “Or twice..”

K: “Or 5 or 6..”

G: “Maybe 5 or 6.”

What do you have in common with each other?
G: “We have past stories that are hard.”
K: “Yeah, we have very interesting past stories. We are both good friends with Skylar. We both like the lake and canoeing.”

G: “Yeah, I love the lake!”

What do you like or appreciate about each other?
K: “Grace is really sweet and an amazing listener. She also has a lot of funny stories and funny jokes. Like earlier at lunch, Skylar told me about this because I went to get an apple, there was a silence between them. Then Grace, just randomly was like…”
In unison (banging the table): “Hey, I think you’re really cool. I like you a lot. Maybe we could hang out or something??”

G: “Then, she died laughing. I was like..(finger guns).”

K: “She is really funny. She has a lot of funny stories. Her jokes are top of the notch.

G: “Thank you! What I like about you is that you are very sweet and kind. You can be really funny. You do that thing when you go ‘Hehe’ (they put two thumbs up and push their chins into their necks).”

Do you have a favorite memory from the week?
K: “My favorite memory was probably when we all went zip lining. I have been before, and so had our friend Skylar; but, Grace was so scared. Stephanie, our counselor, told her she had to give a peace sign when she went. She ended up just giving a very shy peace sign.”
G: “Yeah it was fun; but it hurt. My favorite moments have been all the times I have fell. I slipped on a rock by the lake within the first couple of hours at camp. ”

What have you learned about God this week?

G: “He is always by our side”

K: “He changes us for the better. He changes us from the inside out.”

 

 

Junior High 2 Day 5 Interview-2Cedric | Age 11 | Detroit, MI | 4th year
Atticus | Age 11 | Nashville, TN | 6th year

How did your friendship begin?
C: “On the bus.”
A: “We were all having fun on the bus, singing songs and stop.”

C: “A little bit of rapping.”

A: “We didn’t know we were in the same cabin. That was good.”

C: “Then we started playing tag.”

A: “And hide and go seek! That was a lot of fun.”

What do you have in common?
C: “Football. Basketball.”

A: “We are both Athletic. We both like to dance. We both like to rap sometimes.

What do you appreciate about each other?
C: “He always has your back. He is also fun.”
A: “He is really fun. He is really funny too. He is really cool. He is just a good friend.”

What have you learned about God this week?
C: “The world judges you from the outside, but the Lord judges you from the inside.”

A: “We learned these really neat stories. Like if you’re wise, you build your house on rock. If you’re unwise, you build it on sand. It means you have to build your house on foundation.”

C: “If you have faith in God, you will be smart because of Him. You can build a beach house that looks cool and pretty but it could be washed away. But the house on the rock, may not be as cool, but it is safer.

Why is diversity at Barefoot so important?
A: “It’s good tC: “I think it is good to be mixed up so you learn about different cultures. Now we get to be friends because there is diversity at camp.”

A: “If there wasn’t diversity, I maybe wouldn’t have met cedric or any of my other friends.”

 

Junior High 2 Day 5 Interview-3Saumos | Age 13 | Spring Hill, MI | 2nd year
Cliff | Age 13 | Franklin, TN | 1st year

How did your friendship begin?
S: “I asked him a simple question: ‘Do you like Minecraft?’ He said ‘Yeah.’ Then, we became friends.”

What do you have in common?
S: “We both like Minecraft. We both like playing video games. We are both couch potatoes. We both like swimming and jolly ranchers”

C: “And paintball.”

What was your favorite memory at camp?
S: “Probably extreme sports, tubing, or paintball.”
C: “Yeah, water sports and paintball.”

What do you like or appreciate about each other?
C: “I like that he is nice. He accepted me as a friend.”
S: “Yeah, same thing. He is the only one out of me and my other friend that watches horror movies. He tells me about them because I cannot watch them. My body won’t digest them.”

 

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Day 6


Junior High 2 Day 6-1Unfortunately, today is our last day of camp. We ate breakfast and chanted with our new and old friends. This week has been a transformative week full of God’s presence and goodness. It has been a pleasure to watch your children come to know God or grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord. Every week, we end with our youth performance that showcases the many talents of our campers. Music production laid out some beats and raps. Film created a spin off of Freaky Friday. Art painted powerful pieces honoring God with adjectives. Vocal performance performed two amazing mashups. Sharing Junior High 2 Day 6-2the camper’s hard work with the parents is such a blessing. Your children have shined throughout this week; and we are glad we were able to witness it. Throughout the youth production, campers received awards for different attributes and/or accomplishments. Each week, a boy and a girl camper are crowned Mr. and Ms. Barefoot. This week, Bennett and Grace, a first year camper, received this prestigious award. They were both uniters, leaders, and encouragers. We are sad to wrap this week up; however, we throughly enjoyed spending time with all of these campers this week. Please pray as they leave Barefoot for the upcoming trials and joys in their life. We hope that they are able to seek God in all situations. We also hope to see you all back next year for another week of fun!

 

Thanks for Reading,

Mary Kate

 

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