`49° 9' 51" N by 121° 47' 19" W <http://maps.google.com/maps?q=49.16424N121.788683W&t=h>`__
Well, this is two weekends in a row now that I'm at Charis Camp! Last weekend was a family gospel camp, but this time it's ECBC's youth camp, specially for teens! We've got over 120 kids, plus about 20 college-age counsellors, and a handful of parent chaperon/counsellors, and me the speaker.
This photo is from the announcement time at the beginning of the Friday night session. Any of the campers found to have violated any camp rules are subject to a punishment randomly drawn from Garrett's Jar of Doom! If I recall correctly, here the camper had to lie down on the ground while another camper, standing on a chair over him, took a big swig of water and spewed it out all over him! Other Jar of Doom punishments included the dreaded Wedgie, Purple Nurple, eating a whole spicy chili pepper, and -- my personal favourite -- keeping both arms raised during the whole 20min worship set! :)
It's just such a blast being with the kids; they are so precious! Many of them will open right up to us, whether in one-on-one sessions, or while playing games, or over lunch. Sometimes they'll even just snag us walking between buildings: "hey, can I talk to you? I've got something on my mind...." And indeed, the kids these days are dealing with a lot in their lives -- broken homes, broken relationships, loneliness, academic pressure, peer pressure, bad influences from friends, insecurity, self-identity. Christ is the only solution, and the only one who can fulfil what they're looking for -- the only true vine.
Our theme for the weekend is "Current" -- the kids came up with the idea, using three meanings of the word for three topics: "Current" means electrical current, reminding us that we need to be plugged into Christ the source of life. "Current" also means an ocean current, reminding us that just as one wave influences another, we can influence each others as Christians and pass on the wave of Christ's life. Lastly, "current" means the present time, now, reminding us that the world in the present time is hostile to Christianity, and we need to shine God's light boldly in a dark universe. Our key passage is John 15, which has three sections talking about remaining in the vine, loving one another as Christ loved us, and testifying about Christ to a world that will hate us.
John 15 is really a packed chapter, there's so much good stuff in there. So at first, I tried to fit way too much material into the first talk; it was perhaps aimed more at a college-level audience than to the teens, and I also went overtime by about 20mins. Later, I was told that I actually only have 30mins per talk! Yipes! So I tried to trim my three-point outlines down to one point each... and still ran overtime! :) But the kids did great; I could see the attentiveness in their eyes. I had some funny and encouraging feedback from one counsellor who said that her girls really enjoyed the talks; one girl said this was the first retreat where she took so many notes -- her handbook was full of blue! Heh, that's good, but even better is to see the fruit of God's Spirit at work in their lives down the road.