¡Hola! Me llamo Greyson!
So today was the first actual day of camp. This morning we received our cabin assignments and were paired with a Panamanian co-counselor that will be our partner for the week. The kids arrived around 8am and range in age from around 5-12 years old.
Once the campers arrived we got everyone settled and spent the morning with a bible study lead by our co-counselors entirely in Spanish and the rest of the time getting to know the campers. Many of our co-counselors speak little to no English making it hard to communicate sometimes; however, it has also made me realize just how little the language barrier truly matters. We continued from there into lunch and on to activities (soccer, art, volleyball, etc.) for the first part of the afternoon.
After our activities and all camp game we went on to dinner and got the children ready for topic night. For topic night the Panamanians had a game already planned out in which the children were treasure hunters and had to follow a map, finding different clues along the way, to eventually end up at a treasure chest that had a crown for each camper inside. This activity was used to introduce the theme for camp this week (treasure hunters) as well as for a spiritual application. Abrahm, a staff member at the camp, lead this spiritual application and talked about how God has a crown for each of us and one day will call each of us by name. They then proceeded to call each camper up, one by one, to receive their crown.
The night was finished with a surprise piñata brought out to celebrate our team member’s Sally’s birthday!
The trip has been amazing so far and I don’t think that any of us could have asked for anything else. Everyone is safe and healthy and having a blast! The people we’ve met are so welcoming that we already feel like family. I wanted to end by sharing a special moment that we all had the opportunity to experience.
Yesterday, before the campers arrived, we took time to pray over the camp and over the campers that would be coming. We all stood in a circle, held hands, and listened to a prayer spoken in Spanish by Maribel (the coordinator for the Panamanian camp). This was truly amazing, and as she prayed all of the other Panamanian staff began to pray as well. I’m not sure exactly how to explain this besides saying it was powerful. Many of us could not understand a word she or the other staff were speaking; however, it was truly amazing.