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My name is Maddy “Cookie Nomster” Ramage, and I am one of the team members getting to write to you about our FIRST WHOLE DAY IN PANAMA!!! (wohooooooo) After we left our delicious late night dinner at KFC, we arrived at our hotel for the night (Hotel Aramo in Panama City) for a much needed night of sleep! This morning we met for breakfast in our hotel at 7:30 a.m. where we all got to try our first cup of Panamanian coffee along with rolls, eggs, and sausage!

Then we boarded our bus to go to the church we are partnering with in Panama, Casa de Oracion Cristiana! As we pulled up, some of the youth and church staff were there to welcome us. Many of the staff expressed how excited they were for us to be there! Our camp contact, Cezar, explained that they have been waiting and praying for Pine Cove to come for two years! We couldn’t do camp without fun camp games, so we started off with a Commission Camping favorite, leg keeper. The Panama team loved it!!!

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Right now, we are sitting in our first session of Commission Camping Orientation. As I was talking to some of the women from the church earlier, they were explaining how they are so eager to learn from us how we do camp. Any Pine Cove staffer will tell you the key is what we are talking about in our first session. It’s not about me. No Se Trata De Mi. We get this example from Jesus himself who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8). This is what camp is about. Serving those around us, just as Jesus has served us by laying all of his needs aside to die for us on the cross.

This is the only way we could start off our orientation with the Panama team because it is the main thing. Pine Cove has a saying, “Keep the main thing the main thing!” This is my prayer for our team today! I’m sure the Panama staff is going to get overwhelmed with all of the new things we are teaching them about HOW to do camp. But the whole reason we do camp is to transform lives through the gospel, not the many rules, games, and procedures.

The rest of our day we will be going through different sessions with our Panama team, and in the afternoon we will head to our actual campsite about an hour outside of Panama City! Prayers for building relationships with our awesome team as we are teach and learn from them!

Be on the lookout for another post once we get to our campsite!

Maddy “Cookie Nomster” Ramage