Recently, all five children and I attended Rustic Youth Camp for the second time. RYC is owned and run by Christians who desire a place for young people to gather together each summer in a very rustic setting and participate in things such as Bible study, singing, arts and crafts, archery, trap shooting, rock wall climbing, kickball, canoeing, soccer, disc golf, and various other P.E. type games--plus lots of time for the children and teens to visit and get to know one another.
I was one of five teachers for the five and six year old class. We had 21 students! One of the teachers was the lead teacher, and let me just say that being the lead teacher is a lot of work. These lead teachers take their jobs very seriously, and they make sure that we provide the campers with a high quality camp experience. I am more than happy to be an assistant, and to just have to teach for one day. The other days I helped out as needed. All day. From 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The day campers are campers aged 3 years old to 6th grade. Once a child is 13, he or she can be an overnight camper. These campers stay in the bunkhouse with some very brave counselors. Olivia loves staying overnight in the bunkhouse. Julie, not so much. She tried the bunkhouse for two nights, and decided that she preferred to stay with the rest of the children and me. Olivia says that most of the fun occurs after the day campers leave! The overnighters enjoy supper and breakfast together, in addition to lots of free time and an evening Bible study. Time to forge lasting friendships.
Lynn and her four children and four of my children and I all stayed at Mrs. Beulah's house this year. (Last year we stayed at a local hotel, and we vowed to NEVER stay there again!). Mrs. Beulah lives about 25 minutes from the campground, and she was such a gracious host! We enjoyed getting to know her, and we really appreciated her hospitality. It was a lot of fun staying there!
Each afternoon of camp, there is a time called "Sports". Families are assigned either the red or blue team. We were blue this year. Every day during Sports, each class plays a game and the team that wins gets a point. On Friday night at the skits and awards program for parents and other visitors, the winning team is announced. Also on Friday afternoon, there is a sort of field day where each class rotates through various games, earning points for either red or blue.
Each class is also supposed to create and practice some sort of skit for the program on Friday night. My fantastic lead teacher had our skit all planned and we had most of our props made before we arrived at camp!
Here are some highlights of our camp week:
Parker and Clay enjoying lunch
Julie waiting in line for lunch
Olivia--in the woodworking area I think
Julie (on the right in front)
and her Bible class
Sam and Me
Clay during Sports on Friday
Clay (far right) and his class during their skit
Sam's class doing their skit. Sam is in a blue George Washington hat on the right. The narrator read several historical facts about our country's history, and then the children sang and performed sign language to God Bless America.
Sam--the children stamped the bandanas in class. The teachers painted the shirts.
Leah and her class doing their skit. They made their shirts during their arts and crafts time.
Leah pretending to be an elephant
Julie and her class doing their skit
Olivia, showing her happiness after receiving the Camp Sweetheart award.
Preparing for camp and actually teaching and working at camp wears me out! But it is so worth it! Not only are the children making friendships that will last a lifetime, I am making new friends too. And I learn so much by being surrounded by such godly men and women. I am encouraged by the other counselors, and when it is all over, I look forward to being with everyone again next summer.