Well, it isn’t that bad, but it has been mostly drizzly and gray and chilly– such a departure and relief to the humid hot that the city often is during the summer.
The kids are in second activity right now: craft, bet Hebrew, drama games, and soccer and from the sounds of it are having a great time!
It is amazing for how much of our camp this year are first time campers how comfortable they are with one another and how much camp seems like “their place”. The oldest tribes of girls (almost entirely veteran campers) rocked cabin inspection yesterday with almost perfect scores–we will see if they can maintain the bar they have set for themselves!
The kids took their swim test yesterday and thankfully the weather cooperated, they really love the pool! Last night the tribe flags got completed and we are waiting for then to dry enough to give each flag responsibility of flying their standard.
Breakfast today was yogurt, cereal, homemade pastries, scrambled eggs, home fries, and turkey sausage. I can’t wait to see what is up for lunch…it can’t come soon enough. I am sure if you haven’t already, you will be hearing from your kids that the food Camp Pinnacle provides us with is AMAZING! We feel so well taken care of #foodislove.
That’s it for now, check out instagram and Facebook for more updates.
As I sit here we are at our first outdoor campfire- last night we got rained out and were inside. Ruski is sharing about Elijah and hearing the still small voice of God. Please be praying with us for these campers and staff to be hearing from God and seeking his face.
Our first full day of camp has been great– it almost feels like we have already been together a week! This is such a beautiful place and a place of family. I am so grateful for the Camp Gilgal family and for my place in it.
I hope these photos and video give you a glimpse of how much fun we are having. I can’t wait to share more!
Camp Gilgal East Junior Camp 2015 is off in full swing and we are so excited!!!! On facebook, instagram, and occasionally here as we remember you’ll be seeing the hashtag #gilgalat25. That’s because this is Camp Gilgal’s 25th season. At WWW we took time to make note of things that God had done in our lives at Camp Gilgal and as BabyCarrots likes to say: give props to Jesus. We’ll be doing what we can to keep that same thread of celebration and rejoicing alive on the blog this summer.
I want to kick it off by sharing this year’s Junior Camp memory verse with you. We get to reflect and remember what God has done in camp, because God is a good God and he is worthy of praise. Parents, your Junior Campers will be looking at the Israelites’ return from exile these next two weeks and will be working on memorizing these words. I pray that they are an encouragement to your kids and to you.
1 Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God!
How pleasant and right it is to praise him!
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem.
He gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals those who have broken hearts.
He takes care of their wounds.
4 He decides how many stars there should be.
He gives each one of them a name.
5 Great is our Lord. His power is mighty.
There is no limit to his understanding.
6 The Lord gives strength to those who aren’t proud.
But he throws evil people down to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord and give him grateful praise.
Make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds.
He supplies the earth with rain.
He makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He provides food for the cattle.
He provides for the young ravens when they cry out.
10 He doesn’t take pleasure in the strength of horses.
He doesn’t take delight in the strong legs of warriors.
11 The Lord takes delight in those who have respect for him.
They put their hope in his faithful love.
The rain and chill can’t bum us out, we are too excited for camp to start. I have been hearing from Dude and Strings and the campers are en route and everything is coming together. Anonymous, Hiccup, Storm, Google, Scrabble, Ruski, Sitruce, Birkenstock, Buster, Beardo, and I (RedSox) can’t wait for the rest of the staff to come back with the kids! Hooray!!!!
See you soon, check back often,
The staff (with just a couple of exceptions) arrived today and let me tell you it is so good to be at camp! There is a real element of this place that feels like home to me. This is where I’ve been every summer since I was in high school (except the year I was on Massah) and this is where God called me into ministry and gave me a vision for what it could look like to serve him.
We’ll introduce you to the staff in the next day or so, we have some camp names that are still forthcoming, but in the mean time I want to invite you to be praying with us for this summer at camp. Camp is a place that is significant in the lives of these staff and camp is a place of expectation for us. We come to camp not exactly knowing what to expect, but knowing that God is faithful to meet us in this place. I always think about going to camp a little bit like the pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem for Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot and it makes me really think about the Psalms of Ascent.
I love this Psalm because camp can be a time of nerves. Nervous new staff, nervous campers…sometimes even nervous parents? For all of us, camp is an opportunity to place ourselves in God’s care and experience his faithfulness. I pray that this summer would be a time of expectation for all of us and that we would be able to say with even greater confidence “my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
I look up to the mountains.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth.
He won’t let your foot slip.
He who watches over you won’t get tired.
In fact, he who watches over Israel
won’t get tired or go to sleep.
The Lord watches over you.
The Lord is like a shade tree at your right hand.
The sun won’t harm you during the day.
The moon won’t harm you during the night.
The Lord will keep you from every kind of harm.
He will watch over your life.
The Lord will watch over your life no matter where you go,
both now and forever.
This is the last Gilgal Gazette Monday until the fall. Next week Junior Camp will be in session and we will have updates in semi-real time and then 2015 articles will begin posting in the fall.
Strider’s First Jewish Experience
Hannah M., Age 14
Tribe of Judah
Not everyone who comes to Camp Gilgal is Jewish. Strider is a Gentile counselor at Camp Gilgal East. I decided to interview him about what it is like to be in such a strong Jewish community. I asked him what the hardest part in being in a Jewish community was and he answered that it was the culture shock. Not knowing much Hebrew and also not knowing some of the Jewish traditions like keeping Shabbat. Also I asked him what was the most important thing he learned from the campers. He replied that it was the open-mindedness. Being able to ask questions about the Scripture that he has never thought about asking before. The last question I asked him was how has coming to Camp Gilgal affected his faith. He told me that being able to come into an environment where he had nothing but God to think about made his faith become stronger. He was able to meditate and think about the Scripture without being distracted by the stress from this world. Having activities and being able to read your Bible removes all those distractions. Camp Gilgal was a great way to learn to grow and trust God.
Talking to Strider made me realize that coming to Camp Gilgal is good for everyone not just those with a strong Jewish background.
Daniel C., Age 14
Tribe of Dan
From the intense firefights to the long-range stand-offs, paintball was a great way to build friendships, strengthen communication skills and just flat out have an unbeatable time. Located across the road leading up to camp, the wooded course was very ideal for everything from team death match, to Blackhawk down. Besides the range in game types the course had adequate cover. Paintball is also a great way to relieve unwanted stress; through the joy one receives when they are gunning down their opponent. All in all, I would consider this time well spent!
Even though paintball seems extremely intense it is suitable for most people who are just looking to have a great time.
Although I was very unnerved during my first round, I very quickly overcame it and was able to enjoy my time to the fullest. When I look back on that day I am so happy I took part in this fun and adventurous activity. Through the pre-game attack strategy, we had great teambuilding discussion and during the game, there was vital communication while moving to cover, so that I wouldn’t be caught in the cross-fire.