Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Camp Journal Entry #1: T Minus 4 Days

For months now, we've been piecing together the plans and details of camp, organizing dates, planning transportation, making phone calls, contacting parents, planning mini-lessons, chatting with the camp, talking to staff, collecting money, but now we've come down to the final few days before we take our four hour long trek to the land of trees and squirrels: Prescott, Arizona.

Prescott is a lovely antique of a city, nicknamed "Everybody's Hometown." They've got entire lanes of antique shops, local coffee shops, small diners, pubs, and a deluge of senior citizens who dress up as cowboys just because it's Friday.

A crazy Friday night might sound a little like a movie; begin the evening with dinner at a local diner where the street musician on the corner serenades you with songs of a perfect world without computers and life on the prairie. After dinner, you cross the street to the square where people are dancing in the grass beneath the trees to the live Bluegrass band sitting underneath a Christmas-lit rotunda. Everyone is friendly, and you end up meeting at least five people who are genuinely pleased to meet you and would love to spend the evening telling you stories about the time their cousin was attacked by a raccoon while trying to change the tire on his jeep heading up Senator. A short drive up Senator brings you to a trek up a pine-dressed mountain with stars brighter than the city lights, and air cleaner than mama's fresh linens hangin' out on the line during a warm, breezy day.

Welcome to Prescott.


It is no coincidence that Prescott has more camps on that mountain than a Barreras family gathering has cars in Nana's yard. Each camp is beautiful and rustic in its own way, holding fast to the heart of camping; trees, clean air, bad phone service, and sleeping where you can see the stars. Have you ever been on top of a mountain so far away from city lights that you can see the wispy beauty of the Milky way spinning lightyears away? Have you ever seen so many stars that it's hard to point out the North Star in the mosaic of God's aesthetic greatness? Try pointing out Orion in the midst of millions of gleaming diamonds.

It's like trying to find a smurf in a ball pit.

I saw a star here in Las Vegas once! Then it shined a spot light on me and flew by.

Hm.

So I suppose it's apparent in this blog that I am pretty freakin' excited to go to camp and even more excited for the kids that we are bringing this year. I get so excited when I hear the words "I've never been to camp before." Camp is in my heart and runs in veins, and nothing gets me more excited than seeing campers encounter Christ and come back home on fire for the Gospel.

Nevertheless.

This will be my first summer camp I have not been an employee of Prescott Pines Camp in eight years...
Needless to say, I have been experiencing camp withdrawals. Symptoms of camp withdrawals includes, but are not limited to:

  • Quaking hands
  • Dreaming in camp songs
  • Wanting to dress in ridiculous outfits in public
  • Packing for camp weeks prior to going to camp
  • Sweating team colors
  • Training your youth group for camp games
  • Telling everyone with more than one ear about camp
  • Wearing camp shirts
  • Blogging about camp
The list goes on, but ain't nobody got time for that.

Something I'm really stoked about are the small breakout sessions where different guest speakers take a little time and speak on different topics, and I am one of the guest speakers. Last Winter I spoke on So I'm a Christian; Now What? This summer, I'm teaching on the Gospel Identity and what is means to be defined by the Gospel.

Isn't God good? Wow.

This will be a momentous summer of camp with so many firsts and so many finales. This will be my first summer camp as a pastor, my brother's last summer as Program Coordinator at the camp, Haylee's last summer working at camp, Mikayla's first time at camp, first time we're all riding in one van to camp, I'm so excited!

As the day gets nearer, be praying for all the students going to camp:

  • Mikayla K
  • Ashley B
  • Josiah C
  • Luis Kiki H
  • Kyle B
  • Lindsey M
  • Lily M
  • Ben M
  • Tyler D
  • Randi P
  • Elijah P
  • Cami P
  • and me! Nate T B
 Be praying that God would continue moving, working, and preparing our hearts for the incredible experience of camp. 

Pray that we would find a solid plan for transportation getting our Uth home.

Pray for Ryan Senters, the speaker, that God would give him wisdom and energy, and that God would speak His word through him.

Pray for the band, Army of Light, that they would be filled with passion and truth and lead the youth in pure worship of God

Pray for my brother, Danny, and his wife who is 38 weeks pregnant during one of the busiest weeks of camp all year.

Pray for Haylee Troth, Sarah "Breezy" Brizuela, Sam "Shmuel" Perez, and Ryan Farney, that they would lead the staff in love, patience, and fresh energy for their last camp of the summer.

More journal entries to come as the day gets closer and while we are at camp. Pictures too!


Nate T B