7/14/2007

Summer Camp '07...

We're back from our second year of summer camp! Our students had a great time and I really think that a lot of relational ground was gained. I'd love to say that this was the best year ever, but the truth is that Thousand Pines was HUGELY off their game. What is usually a great camp was thrown off by a few things that are usually done so well. Here's a list of the good and the bad...

The Bad...
  • The opening night's video contained, what I felt, was a derogatory comment about mentally handicapped people. I waited after the service to talk with the camp's programming director, Steve Garcia, about it. He was very caring, listening to my concern and hearing me out. He said he reviewed the line when the script was turned in, and decided that it was OK. He thanked me for expressing my concern, but threw in that they'd been playing the video all summer and I was the first person to say anything about it. (I felt like that was a little bit of an attempt to let me know that my concern was invalid.) I decided to let it go but, throughout the week, two more comments were made from the stage by the speaker, Davie Helton. I, as well as 2 of my students, have a special needs sibling and felt that this was not only offensive but extremely insensitive. This was such a horrible and completely out of character thing to encounter at Thousand Pines.

  • The cleanliness of the camp was terrible this year. My guys and I stayed in the Long Beach Lodge house along with two or three other groups of guys from other churches. We shared a downstairs bathroom with some of the other groups. They didn't clean our bathroom once the whole week! After deciding that the level of dried urine had risen above tolerable levels on Tuesday morning, we asked that they come in and clean. All they did was empty the trash from the trash can. THEY DIDN'T EVEN PICK THE TRASH UP OFF OF THE FLOOR! One of my leaders, Jarred, who is on the facilities team at our church found feminine hygiene products in the waste disposal containers by the toilets. We thought this was strange, since it was an all guys' house. We found out that this was because they hadn't cleaned the bathroom before we arrived. Gross...

  • One of the reasons why I bring our students back to Thousand Pines every year is the inredible staff. I love their attitude and heart. But this year, we encountered a whole new staff who did not share the same attitude that I've grown to love. This really broke my heart, as I had spent much of the year bragging on them to my team of leaders. Not only did they treat my leaders on par with or sub par to my students, but we overheard them on three seperate occasions talking about the members of our leadership team when they didn't know we were around. They would make snide remarks and roll their eyes when asked questions about recreation instructions. Seriously guys, this was a tough thing to wrap my mind around. It goes against everything I thought Thousand Pines stood for. The camp only provided two lines on the evaluation form for comments on this. So, I wrote that there wasn't enough room and that I would be writing a detailed letter and mailing it this coming week.

  • The food, which is usually good for camp food, was good at first, but got progressively worse as the week went on. On the last day, after having rec and free time all day long, we were met with a big piece of grease soaked fried chicken. Is this really the most healthy, and appropriate thing to be eating after a long day of activity?


    The Good...
  • The rec games seemed shorter this year. This was great because our students always get super discouraged when they try so hard while they compete in the games, but still lose due to "spirit points".

  • This week's worship band was Brayline. They did a great job of leading and sounded great!

  • I know it has almost nothing to do with what the camp did, but free time was amazing. i loved hanging out with our students and just spending time getting to know them better.

  • The above picture is of Jarred using a flat iron on one of our guy student's hair. It took us about an hour to convince him to do it. Everybody loved it except for him.

  • As we layed in bed on Wednesday night after lights out, we experienced our students' orchestra of fake farts. I almost stopped them, until I remembered how much fun it was when I was their age. So instead, I put my hands to my mouth and joined in.


    Such a great time! We'll be going back next year so, hopefully, we won't encounter any of the same problems...
  • 1 comment:

    Droopy's said...

    Hey what was the theme on for camp and what was the memory verse, and am i going to get kicked out for all my shannagens.

    Love Taffy

    Email me
    taffy@saddleback.net