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Day 1


IMG_1933Welcome! Camp has officially begun, and we as a staff are so thankful that everyone has arrived safely. The campers were split up into their Republics for the week, where they got to know one another. After an all-camp meeting summarizing the ground rules of camp, we introduced the specialties for the week. Each camper takes two classes a day in whatever activity interests them most. Some people choose to do sports like football, ultimate frisbee, or extreme sports. Others go more artistic with specialties such as animation, vocal performance, or dance. There are even campers who like to do both! Whatever the specialty, the campers were excited to learn what they’ll be doing this week.

After a dinner of baked chicken, green beans and rice (with brownies as a desert!), we went into our evening program. This is where we worship (led by the talented Cory and Allie) and hear a message (tonight, from the insightful Pastor Adam). Pastor Adam spoke on separation anxiety. He explained that we chose to separate ourselves from God, thinking that He cannot love us for whatever we have done. The good news is that He WILL love us, no matter what. This is so important for everyone to know, and I am so glad that the campers get the opportunity to have this truth spoken into them. IMG_2018

We ended the night with our first Republic competition, “Messy Games”. We do three separate challenges: the first involving diving into pickle juice jello, the second gathering oats on faces with milk as glue, and the third covering the Republic leaders in shaving cream and finishing in dumping water all over them. Camp may be just beginning, but it is already so wonderful!

 

Until tomorrow,

Veronika


Day 2


IMG_2070Camp is in full swing and we are loving it! The campers are thriving, and it’s only day one. Each Republic presented their own name, chant and flag as representation for themselves during our weeklong competition, Purple Cup. Throughout the week, we will give out points to the teams that are on time, respectful, finding emblems, and winning the daily games. This is always a great way to practice teamwork and unity.

Today’s competition was Angle Ball and Crazy Ball, which alternated between the boys and girls. We were all tired after playing for such a long time in the sun, but got to rejuvenate during the evening program held in the amphitheater. There is something about being in the Word while outdoors that is so refreshing, and the campers seemed to think that as well. We transitioned from that time to Block Party, which allows the campers to dance to their favorite songs while eating snow cones. It was a long and hot day, and we were all ready for bed when that time came. We are so excited to see what tomorrow brings!

Best,

Veronika

Camper Interviews

IMG_2517Zachary | 12 | Nashville, Tennessee | 4th year camper

Why do you continue to come back to Barefoot?

Because it helps me learn about God and I get to keep meeting new people.

What’s your favorite thing to do for free time?

Paintball!

How is your cabin?

Great! The guys in there are my friends now.

Why do you think diversity is good?

It brings people together to help make the world a better place.

 

IMG_2527Marie | 12 | Nashville, Tennessee |1st year camper

How do you like camp so far?

It’s fun! My cabin is the best.

What do you like to do during free time?

The zip line.

What do you think about diversity?

We need to learn more about God, no matter who we are.

Sophie | 13 | Nashville, TN | 2nd year camper

Why did you want to come back to camp this year?

To see all of the friends I made last year, and I enjoyed my time here last year.

What is your favorite Republic competition?

Angle ball and Crazy ball, because it’s so fun.

What has God taught you at Barefoot?

He accepts everyone no matter what you’ve done or who you are.

 


Day 3


IMG_2647After breakfast and morning worship, we ask the campers to go into a quiet 10 minute period where they can be with the Lord. These 10 minutes aren’t to be spent with anyone else- just a solo time where they can pray, think, or journal. I think this time is precious, and really is beneficial as we become so caught up in all the fun and games. That is all wonderful in itself, but not our purpose for being here. We want the campers to have Christ as involved in their lives as possible, and we’ve found that is this is a great way to incorporate that.

IMG_2705As a team building activity, we spent time yesterday and today making boats out of cardboard, duct tape, plastic and box cutters (that only the counselors were allowed to use). When the Republics finished today, we set them out to the Rec Lake to test them out! Each boat was to carry one camper (in a life jacket), and a lot of them went the whole 15 minutes without their boat being destroyed. Regardless of some boats not making it very far, the campers and staff were very proud of the teamwork used to create them. Our Republic competition of the day was a relay called “Iron Man”. This is always a camp favorite, because of the fast pace and the energy it allows. The Republics each have campers set up all over campus to complete a small challenge like rock climbing, eating gross food, and shooting a paintball gun to advance onto the next challenge. We finished Iron Man and transitioned to evening program, where we worshipped and heard a message from Pastor Adam, which was a beautiful way to wrap up the night so that we can rest and prepare for tomorrow.

Best,

Veronika

Camper Interviews

 

IMG_2515Sophie | 13 | Nashville, TN | 2nd year camper

Why did you want to come back to camp this year?

To see all of the friends I made last year, and I enjoyed my time here last year.

What is your favorite Republic competition?

Angle ball and Crazy ball, because it’s so fun.

What has God taught you at Barefoot?

He accepts everyone no matter what you’ve done or who you are.

 

IMG_2529Teren | 12 | Nashville, Tennessee | 4th year camper

What is your favorite competition?

I like Braveheart because we set aside our differences to battle. We really use a lot of teamwork.

Why is diversity good?

Because in our world, people need to learn that you’ll have to be with people who aren’t the same as you.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I would recommend this camp to anyone who wants to come!


Day 4


IMG_2994Even though the rain made itself known, it didn’t spoil our day! We moved our usual outdoor activity “Left Foot \ Right Foot” indoors. Left Foot \ Right Foot is on the serious side of camp that really encompasses our mission. We have all the campers collectively get into one single file line, and move one way or another when a statement rings true with them. This to me is the most powerful moment of camp, because we become vulnerable and grow closer with one another in talking about our hard times. The Republics split back up after the exercise to debrief and discuss what had happened. We walked away from that part of the day better informed and closer to each other.

IMG_2708For tonight’s Republic competition, we held a showcase. The campers have been practicing for this all week, and their hard work paid off! They all created a skit where this summer’s theme, Lean on We, was the main point. The Big Fellas reenacted the Good Samaritan story in a comical way. The Narwhal Nation had several cliques unite to learn about God. Their ideas really tied into what we’re talking about this week, and the best part is that they worked together to complete the show.

Best,

Veronika


Day 5


Our last full day of camp was just as beautiful as the rest as camp has been. The specialties wrapped up and are ready to be recognized tomorrow at our Youth Production. The ladies took home the Purple Cup (Congratulations, Narwhals!). The message from Pastor Adam concluded, and we got the opportunity to write what we want to give up to God on lanterns which ascended into the night sky. We also took part in one last Republic competition: Braveheart. The guys and girls split up to attack the opposite gender in a battle of paint, colored flour, and sponges soaked in colored water in order to get the Republic’s leaders messy. The point of the game is to keep your leader as clean as possible, which was very difficult considering almost every person took a shower after the game. The night ended at a bonfire where they ate s’mores and listened to one another’s testimonies. These campers are allowing themselves to be worked on by God, which is amazing to witness. I am abundantly thankful to know these middle schoolers and see them in their walks of faith. Although camp is coming to a close, we hope to see the campers continue to be in the Word throughout the rest of the year.

Best,

Veronika