Ways to Serve header.indd

Day 1

Welcome to Barefoot at The Farm – Week 1!


We weren’t going to let a little (or a lot of) rain keep us from kicking off our time at The Farm with a bang!


Campers were greeted with cheer & chants, then gathered on the lawn with their Republics. Once everyone had arrived, it was upstairs to the loft for Morning Meeting. We worshiped to camp favorites ‘I’ve Got the Joy’ & ‘Get Down.’ And of course we also sang ‘Lean on Me’ because of this year’s theme, ‘Lean on We’ based on Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”


Our Camp Director Cali Bolinger taught the campers some chants, and then we were ‘surprised’ by Penny & 7 Deuce of the NFFL (National Flag Football League). They came to our ‘Bears Football Camp’ to recruit a new quarterback. Unfortunately, C. Grizzle informed us that he wants to tear down the camp to build a huge iPatch factory … what will happen to Barefoot Republic??? Unfazed, Penny & 7 Deuce ran the first round of quarterback training with a toilet paper toss (they were out of footballs). The boys won today, but the girls showed a lot of promise.


Next, Program Directors Michael & Julia went over the rules of camp, the most important being HAVE FUN!!! After some singing, Farm host Amy Grant reminded us that it takes courage to do something you’ve never done before, and that’s what camp is all about – trying new things! Next, she shared that every good thing comes from God, and that breathing is a prayer we can do all day. So as we breathe out things like fear, anger & lying, we can breathe in good things like Love & Truth. We prayed, ‘God, all that you have for ME, I receive.’ Finally, she had us look at the people on either side of us. “They are loved just like you are. And we are all family.” Some great words of wisdom for our week!


After that, it was off to morning Specialties. And while the rain got in the way of a few of the Outdoor Adventures, there was still plenty of fun to be had! Republics who couldn’t be outside got to watch a movie in the loft, and then a delicious lunch of mac & cheese, chicken tenders, rolls, apples & brownies was enjoyed by all. (Be sure to check out Becky Daniel of Burton Catering!) During lunch, campers gathered on blankets to work on designing a Republic Flag and getting to know one another.


Then, the rain stayed away and there was even some sun for afternoon Specialties & Outdoor Adventures. Many of the favorites like Tree Climbing & Stomp are back again this year, and we’ve added a few fun new ones like Stepping Stones & Kick Ball. The day was rounded out with a quick snack, more chants, and then loading up the buses. We truly got to put the theme of ‘Lean on We’ into action when things didn’t go exactly as planned, and in the end, Day 1 was an absolute blast (albeit a slightly wet & muddy one). New friendships are already being formed as part of what will surely be a life-changing week of camp!


Can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow 🙂 – cb


Photo album on Facebook





Day 2


Day 2 greeted campers with abundant sunshine and a palpable anticipation for all it held in store. The energy was definitely flowing as campers unloaded and Republics gathered on the lawn for a breakfast of cereal bars & apples, with a little ‘Go Bananas!’ chant on the side. Once everyone had arrived, we headed up to the loft for morning meeting where we got to see the video reel from Day 1, jumped for ‘Joy’ and tried to ‘Get Down’ with the worship band.


Next, Penny & 7 Deuce were back with their NFFL antics, while C. Grizzle showed up to tell us we had 48 hours until the bulldozers showed up to start clearing the land. Today’s quarterback training was the bobblehead challenge, where a girl and guy camper had to wear a pedometer on their head and see how high they could get the counter in 30 seconds. The girls showed impressive ingenuity, but the guys eeked ahead with some superb style.


After that, we were joined by Pastor Nick, who told us he would never be seen without coffee and his Bible. He asked us what we would need if we went skydiving, and we agreed it was a parachute, an airplane to get you up high enough, and to be attached to an instructor who was attached to a parachute. He went on to share the story of Moses and the Israelites from Exodus 17. The Amalekites were coming to war against God’s people. As long as Moses held up his arms, the Israelites were winning, but if his arms started to drop, then they started to lose. Moses’ arms got tired and so his friends Aaron and Hur helped to keep his arms in the air so the Israelites could defeat the Amalekites. In the same way, we need to rely on other people who trust God to help us. But before we can ‘Lean on We’, we have to believe in HE!


Then it was off to morning Specialties & Outdoor Adventures, so campers could put all they were learning into practice. Performance groups were already starting to meld as they learned the steps, lyrics, lines and parts they would play in the Youth Production on Friday. Horseback Riders were led through an obstacle course, and even rode without hands! Artists put the finishing touches on their canvases and made their mark in the Art Garage, Archers took aim at armadillos, raccoons and alligators, and athletes scored runs on the Kickball field. Everywhere you look, campers are working hard at having fun!


For lunch, we enjoyed a delicious Mexican feast from Burton Catering, and then campers gathered on blankets and in tents to hear & then recite today’s Bible story about Jesus’ baptism. Groups dispersed for afternoon Outdoor Adventures, but not to be outdone by yesterday’s rain, the skies opened up with a torrential downpour and we had to scamper back to the barn. The rain didn’t put a damper on our spirits, however, as the loft was filled with the sounds impromptu worship, chants, and LOTS of laughter. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long and the sun broke through again so we could get back outside for some soggy afternoon Specialties. Before we knew it, it was time to return to the barn for a delicious nutritious snack of muffins made by one of our amazing parents! Awards were given out to one camper in each Republic who had demonstrated exemplary qualities during their two days. And then, campers loaded their buses with smiles and waves to cap off a fantastic second day at The Farm.

Here’s to a zero percent chance of rain tomorrow! – cb


Photo album on Facebook


Andrew| Age 10 | 2nd year

“I was excited when I found out that my parents signed me up again!

Why were you most excited about coming back?  The games & the people.

What was your favorite part of Barefoot last year?  Archery, Photography & Visual Arts

What are you looking forward to the most about this year?  Getting to know more people, and counselors, and trying new things.

What does Barefoot mean to you?  A place to learn about God. And even though not every activity is about God, everything relates back to Him. He is in everything. I never want my friends to elevate me as an idol. God is the only thing anybody needs to worship.


Alexa | Counselor & Stomp Instructor | 4th year

How did you get plugged into Barefoot?  Tommy Rhodes told my mom about it.

What is your favorite part of Barefoot?  The kids!

What does Barefoot mean to you?  I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like my second family.

What is your favorite part of Barefoot?  Youth production. I love seeing everything come together in the end.




Day 3

DSC_0571With bright blue skies & cool breezes, we could not have asked for a better day to be at camp! As Amy said, “The best thing about rain, rain, rain is that the sunshine after is that much sweeter. And you guys brought the sunshine.” We were joined by a few new counselors after they finished up at overnight camp, and they took morning chants to the next level. From G-O-O-D M-O-R-N-I-N-G in the bus tunnels to, DI-What VER SE-What City, the Fire Dance & Go Bananas! on the lawn, spirits were flying high on this beautiful morning.


The energy continued when we transitioned to the loft, where Amy had us spread out like God was filling us up with every good thing. “Can you imagine someone bringing you the thing you’ve really, really wanted and putting it at the foot of your bed, but you never opened it? God has given us EVERY good thing, be we have to receive it. That’s what gives us hope.” She had us pray again, “Dear God, whatever you have for me, I receive. Whatever you have for us, we receive,” and then led us in a few songs.


Next, Penny & 7 Deuce were back for another round with C. Grizzle, who warned that the bulldozers were coming tonight. The kids are really starting to get worried about what will happen to Barefoot! Undaunted, Penny & 7 Deuce continued quarterback training with a Cheerio beard contest, because “every good quarterback needs a good beard.” One guy and one girl camper had to create a beard on their Republic leader using Vaseline and Cheerios, and this time the girls prevailed.


Then it was time for Pastor Nick to bring us another message from the Bible. He said that after our skydiving adventure yesterday, we needed to celebrate with homemade chocolate chip cookies, and asked what we would need to make them. The kids listed off sugar, chocolate chips, butter, eggs, and flour. He then related the story of the Israelites in Exodus 32. Moses had been called by God up to Mt. Sinai, but when the Israelites saw how long it was taking him to come back down, they grew impatient and asked Aaron to build a golden calf for them to worship instead. The very same Aaron who had held up Moses’ arms so God could give the Israelites victory now succumbed to pressure and built an idol. Back to those cookies, Pastor Nick pointed out that we were missing a key ingredient—salt. Without it, something is missing. And without God, we are missing the key ingredient of our praise & worship. Aaron listened to the wrong crowd. Like it says in Proverbs 13:20, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” We have to lean on the RIGHT We.


DSC_0725Campers are definitely getting the chance to walk that out this week at camp. From riding the bus to standing around with their republic, playing games to waiting in line, participating in worship or listening to the Bible story, they are constantly faced with a choice between walking with the wise or associating with fools. In the same way, today’s Republic story talked about the difference between the wise and foolish builder. Will we build our lives—our relationships—on shaky or solid ground?


DSC_0816For lunch, we enjoyed a delicious lunch thanks to Dairy Queen, including ice cream bars! And with no rain, every Specialty & Outdoor Adventure was able to go off without a hitch today! We welcomed a new Outdoor Adventure called Silly Safari where kids get to have hands-on encounters with a variety of wild animals. It’s so sweet to watch new friendships form, and inspiring to watch as kids apply what they’re learning, whether in the more formal teaching sessions, during their Specialties, or in real-life situations. On the ropes course, they have to rely on each other to get through each obstacle. At Specialties like Horseback Riding, Archery & Tree Climbing, they have to carefully listen to and follow instructions to stay safe. And Drama & Making the Band, campers are working together to learn their parts to create a cohesive whole. They are building confidence as they encourage one another to overcome fears and step out into new things.


It’s so hard to believe that tomorrow is already Day 4. There is still much fun and many more adventures to be had! – cb



Photo album on Facebook


DSC_0746Amy | 3rd year Camp Nurse/Support Staff

How did you get involved with Barefoot?

We first found out about camp through our church and decided to sign our kids up. This is my daughter’s 3rd year & my son’s 5th. It was such a great organization that I wanted to help out, as well.

What keeps you coming back to Barefoot?

I love seeing all of the kids get loved on & being a part of giving them a chance to come to camp.

What is your favorite part of the day?  The worship.

What does Barefoot mean to you?  To me, Barefoot is the epitome of summer joy!


DSC_0688Sophia | Age 7 | 1st year

Meg | Age 6 | 1st year

Abiola | Age 7 | 2nd year; 1st at The Farm

What’s been your favorite part of camp so far?

Sophia: Looking at the horse’s babies & stepping stones.

Meg: Riding the school bus.

Abiola: Riding horses & being outside. And I can’t wait to do Girl’s World!

What does Barefoot mean to you?

All: Making all new friends! Having fun & trying new things.


Day 4


It was another perfect day on tap for camp! Thursday’s can be hard as all the fun from a long week starts catching up with people, but the staff showed up with their game faces on ready to finish the week strong, and the campers’ excitement level was still high from the moment they arrived.


DSC_0894After chants on the lawn to get us ready for the day, we headed up to the loft where Amy introduced to a new song called ‘Got the Want To.’ Nearly everyone raised their hand when she asked, “How many of you have something about yourself that you don’t like? That’s what this song is about,” she went on to explain. “God takes those things and He alone can help us change them.” We also sang ‘Get Down,’ which makes for some great calisthenics, and ‘Where Do I Go,’ another new song which emphasizes the idea of leaning on God first.


Next Cali led us in the ‘Rowdy’ chant. “JC be about it – What? And I’m gonna shout it – What? It’s about to get rowdy! It’s about to get rowdy!” Then C. Grizzle showed up to tell Penny & 7 Deuce that tomorrow morning, the camp was going to be blown to smithereens. Time is out! BUT, he dropped his wallet, and when 7 Deuce opened it up, he found what he thought was a way to save Barefoot! We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see if it works. In the meantime, today’s skills training was a quarterback fashion show. One guy and one girl had to put on the pants, jersey & helmet for a football uniform and then do 10 jumping jacks. While the girl was tripped up by her shoes, the guys raced ahead of the girls and were able to pull off another win.


Then it was time for a short teaching from Pastor Nick. He came up and said that after we ate too many cookies during our celebration, we ended up in the doctor’s office, and had us list off things we would find there. Bandaids, a sink, stethoscopes, hand sanitizer, thermometers and the doctor were all mentioned, but he pointed out the most important thing is a degree on the wall. If you don’t know that your doctor is an expert, they can have all the right tools, they aren’t going to be a very good doctor.  He went on to say that we have to be okay that sometimes our WE is WEE. In Numbers 13, Moses sent 12 guys on a spy mission into the Promised Land to see if the land was good & what the people were like. After they had scouted out the land, there were only two who said they should go take the land, but the people did not want to because they believed the bad reports of giants in the land from the other 10. They believed the enemy was bigger than they were. Just like shepherd boy David killed giant warrior Goliath, and Jesus came into the world as a tiny little baby, Caleb & Joshua knew that their God was bigger and that He can do anything, even with just a few. God has the ultimate degree, and we can know that our God is ALWAYS bigger.


We wrapped up or time upstairs with the theme chant …
Lean on We!

Lean on We!

One body, One Spirit, One Lord

Lean on We!

Lean on We!

One God, One Father of all

Lean on We!

… Punctuated with plenty of stomping & clapping, of course.


DSC_1044It was fun to spend a little more time with each Specialty and Republic today, interacting with the kids, hearing about their weeks, and seeing all the progress they’ve made. It’s especially  inspiring to see different ones truly own their camp experience, stepping up as leaders, and the wonder on their faces as they experience new things. After a beautiful morning, we headed up to Tent City for another amazing lunch of Pasta with Chicken & Cheese, Green Beans, Corn, Rolls & Oat Bars from Burton Catering. Afterward, campers heard the story of The Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37 and were challenged to not by pass when they see someone in need, and to take every opportunity to serve those around them.



DSC_1134Tomorrow is a big day at Barefoot as campers get to visit the last couple of Outdoor Adventures and groups put the finishing touches on their performances for the Youth Production. It’s always incredible to see how everything comes to together so beautifully after all their hard work, and for parents to get a small taste of all that Barefoot at The Farm has been like for their kiddos.


We can’t wait to see you! – cb



Photo album on Facebook




DSC_1240Jackson | 1st year | 9

Wyatt | 1st year |  10

Julian | 3rd year | 10 (almost 11)

  • It was so cool how they kept talking to each other and going off on bunny trails during the interview. They didn’t know each other at all before coming, but had clearly formed some great friendships during the time they spent together in Photography.

What has been our favorite part about camp?
Ja: My specialties, Photography & Archery
W: Love getting together with friends for a day, hanging out & having fun, enjoying all the things this place has to offer.
Ju: What Wyatt said. And especially Vocal Performance.

How did you find out about Barefoot?
Ja: My mom just asked if I wanted to go to this camp. She said, “Your friend James is going.” And I said, “Sure!” And now I’m here. And I want to come back next year!
W: My parents’ friends, because they send their kids. My parents signed me up and I’m so glad I’m here!
Ju: I don’t really remember. My two sisters are here now, too. I might get to do another week at a church.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ja: I really haven’t thought of that.
W: If I don’t become a professional baseball player, I want to be a photographer.
Ja: Yeah, I’m the same as him, but with hockey.
Ju: A scientist and a musician. I play like, 4 instruments.
Ja: I want to be a musician, too. I play the drums.

What does Barefoot mean to you?
Ja: It makes me feel happy. I’m excited every morning. But it’s so hard to wake up!
W: I just love being here and talking about all this stuff. It makes me feel happy, too. I wake up before 6am!
Ju: It’s a Christian camp, so we talk about Christ. And I’ve learned so much about bows and horses and cameras.



DSC_1135David | 1st year | Videographer
How did you find out about Barefoot?
Through my girlfriend. I saw how cool it was and how much it impacted her life. I got laid off from my other job, and felt a prompting from the Lord to go all in. And I’m loving every minute of it!

What’s been your favorite part?
Getting to meet all the staff & leadership. I’m grateful for how they’ve welcomed me on and not treated me like a hindrance.

What does Barefoot mean to you?
I love seeing how much trouble the staff goes through to make the kids feel loved. They’re all so Christ-centered and loving. I have a new appreciation for how camps run. It’s been a good example of what it looks like to serve people and shown me really hard work.


Day 5

It’s the last day of camp and we’re trying to squeeze out every last ounce of fun from a fantastic week. I’m sitting in the barn this morning listening to the sound of drumbeats on the hill from Stomp, kids singing ‘This Little Light of Mine’ at the top of their lungs, and sections of music being played over & over as the dance group rehearses in the loft.


DSC_1155The morning broke cool & bright as campers piled off the buses one last time. Campers battled it out on the lawn while waiting to head upstairs – “Ladies in the house, ladies in the house. Say what! Fellas in the house, fellas in the house. Say what!” In the loft, it was heartwarming to look around and see many groups standing arms-over-shoulders as the band led us in all of our favorite worship songs again.


Then C. Grizzle showed up and tried to squash our spirits by telling us that the bull dozers were on their way. But not to worry, it was Penny & 7 Deuce to the rescue! They pulled out and started going through C. Grizzle’s wallet.  After revealing a ticket to Doc McStuffins on Ice & a Lifetime Membership Card for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Fan Club, they got to the real prize—a letter thanking C. Grizzle for being a founding member of the National Flag Football League as an outstanding quarterback. What?! Penny & 7 Deuce invited him to be their new quarterback. He didn’t think they would want him since he’d been so mean to them and all of us, but they reminded him that, at Barefoot, EVERYONE is welcome and EVERYTHING can be forgiven. He agreed to join their team and call off the bulldozers … Camp was saved!


DSC_1196Even though they had found their quarterback, Penny & 7 Deuce wanted to round out skills training with one last challenge—Flour Power. Because quarterbacks need perseverance and a willingness to get messy, one guy and one girl camper had to sift through a flour-castle with nothing but their faces in order to find a hidden Lifesaver candy, and this time it was worth double points. After a hard-fought battle, the girls emerged [literally] victorious and pulled out an overall win for the week.


Next, Pastor Nick came up to share a message on thanking God. In Joshua 13, Joshua is the new leader of the Israelites, and it’s time for them to cross another river. The last time, Moses parted the Red Sea using his staff. This time, the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant ahead of the people, and as soon as they put their feet into the edge of the flood-stage Jordan River, the water stopped flowing. They had to work as a team, because anything is always better when you work together. Then, in Joshua 14, after all of the people had crossed over, they gathered stones and built an altar to God. He got the credit for protecting them. When we Lean on WE, we have to give thanks to HE. Philippians 1:3 says, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” So when we think about our Republic Leaders & all the new friends we’ve made this week—our WE—we thank God. There is more in us together than we could ever do by ourselves!


DSC_1265It’s hard to tell the campers who came in not knowing anyone because here we are at the end of the week and everyone has formed such great friendships as they’ve played & worked & learned together. There were smiles & laughter all around in each of the tents during lunch & devotional time. We enjoyed pizza from Little Caesar’s and then heard the story of Mary & Martha from Luke 10:38-42. The art of storying & a child’s ability to soak up new information is truly amazing, as many campers were able to repeat the story almost perfectly after hearing it just once or twice. Make sure to ask them about the lessons & stories they learned this week!


After our last day of Specialties & Outdoor Adventures, kids got their camper shirts and we hung out on the lawn getting ready for youth production and waiting for parents to arrive. The kids were so excited to share all the things on which they had worked so hard all week. It was an honor and privilege to love on and pour into each of their lives, and our lives have been changed, as well. As the sun set and a full moon rose over The Farm, our hearts were overflowing with sweet memories of another wonderful week of camp. We are so grateful that you entrusted your children to our care, and hope that we’ll get to see them again next year!


Make sure to check out Facebook to see Pictures from the week, and also the Youth Production & Republic Photos.


Caroline | 3rd year | Counselor
How did you find out about Barefoot?
I had heard about it, and then was recommended by someone at my church.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Teacher or something with music

What do you love about Barefoot?
I couldn’t think of a better way to come learn about God. I love watching kids learn & get enthusiastic about God. And it’s not just during the lesson. It’s all day long. Kids are great! And I love getting a new group of kids every week.

What does Barefoot mean to you?
That’s a great question. To me it’s about watching kids open themselves up to God and each other, and learning to be really vulnerable. They’re a really good example of how you should live your life. Like in tree climbing, even though it’s scary, they want to do it because they know that we’re going to be there for them.


DSC_1136Abraham | 1st year | 9
(pictured in the front with some of his new friends)

What’s been your favorite part of camp?  Horseback

What does Barefoot mean to you?
Learning about Jesus and that friendships are important.

What have you gained from camp this week?
Confidence. I get to do a solo in the youth production and ride in the horse show. It helped me believe in myself and do things I didn’t think I could do.


DSC_0646Kaitlyn | 2nd year | 9

Kate | 3rd year | 9

We met and became best friends last year at camp. We were so excited to be together again at camp this year!

What’s your favorite part about camp?
K1: Horses, and getting to see my friends from last year.
K2: That’s hard … getting to help with horses, and ride so much.

What does Barefoot mean to you?
K1: It means helping others. It means happiness and joy to me.
K2: Learning about God and His creation. And it makes me happy.

What have you learned about God from camp?
K1: We need to have a firm foundation in Him because we’re supposed to build our house on a Rock.
K2: To follow Jesus.

What have you learned about yourself from camp?
K1: I can be a good encouragement to those who are feeling down.
K2: I can be more free to be myself, getting to do the things I love, meeting new people & helping others.