Off the Log, In the Blog
Tuesday was an absolute whirlwind! Looking back, the day flew by, but there were certain parts of the day that seemed to be forever long. Especially the part of the day where we had to load our campers up and put them back on the bus. We couldn’t mourn for long though, because only about 30 minutes later we had campers starting to arrive for our second session of camp.
Before we had to say our painful goodbyes, we had an extremely sweet morning with our campers. We ate breakfast together and of course, had to see the conflict of Monkey Boy get resolved. He was safely returned to Trey and Beatriz, for all who were worrying. Our staff thought that we had until 2 pm to say our goodbyes with our campers, but we got a call that said the bus was on its way around 12. With little time left, our translators were put to work writing notes of goodbye and encouragement left and right. Bracelets were swapped, FaceBook information was given, and tears started to fall as we said goodbye to the campers we had grown so fond of within a matter of hours.
The worst part about saying our goodbyes to these precious kiddos was that it lasted about 20 minutes. We had to load all of their belongings and get them settled and then wait for the driver to be ready. While we waited for the driver, the campers pulled down their bus windows and reached their hands out to us so we could share one last embrace or maybe do a handshake one last time before we left. It was an extremely bittersweet time for our staff, and a time that will be forever engrained in our minds when we think of our trip to Camp Tang. The wheels slowly started to turn as the bus backed out of camp and we gave them one last gauntlet. We chanted,” we love you” in Spanish and meant it with everything we had. One of the last images of those children that our staff has was one camper who was crying as they left. It broke our hearts but also was reassuring that Christ’s love was shown through our actions and what little words we did have to share with those children.
Before the tears were even dry, we had to take pictures with our Tiko Team and meet up to go over what would happen next. We had “Do Better” session, which was in Spanish. So while our team listened to the Tiko’s hash out details for our next session of children, we did something that we know how to do very well: eat snacks. During this meeting, the rain started to pour. With Camp Tang consisting of mainly a metal or tin roof, the rain was extremely loud, making it even harder to hear or comprehend anything that was being said, which made for a very sleep group of Pine Cove staffers. When the meeting adjourned, we met for some coffee and then cleaned and prepared for the next wave of campers.
All day we were physically and mentally preparing for about 30 campers, who were a few years older than last sessions kids, placing them around 10-12 years old. However, our Pastor here at Camp Tang later told us that we would have 50 campers. He later informed us that we would have 65 campers. That growth happened within half of a day. The Lord is so awesome! When the kids actually got here a head count was made and it ended up being closer to 70 children. Whoop!
We had a trickling of campers from around 5-6 and then had a bus full of them around 7. We started session two with a gauntlet, which somehow managed to have a tiny bike in it, and a salsa lesson from one of Costa Ricas finest cooks. After our gauntlet we gathered in the Chapel, where we put on some music and welcomed our new campers with a dance party. Dinner followed said dance party and then our campers were split into cabins, which came up with a name and cheer. We concluded the night with a worship session and reflection time.
This morning we have begun with some awesome activity classes! We have kids as old as 16 this session, so Tyler wanted to amp up our classes and make them really awesome, which he did thanks to our good amigo, Johnny Futbol. We now will have a zipline into our camp pond, full of obstacles they have to climb over. There is also a huge log that they use while holding onto the zipline in the water to try to get across the lake. We can’t wait to see that one in action! We also have an entire activity class just for soccer. Pray for our team to grow as we experience this humbling experience of losing to teenagers (We couldn’t beat the 7 year old campers…now they are 16 and huge)!
We can’t wait to see how the Lord works through the lives of these campers in session two and we could use prayers for sure. As of now, it has been randomly pouring buckets and buckets of rain, so feel free to pray for our program staffs creativity and our teams flexibility.
Cool story! As some of you back home know, our team has been battling phone companies and the internet this entire trip! But, the other night TJ made a call to his Verizon carrier and made some big progress! She ended up asking TJ what he was doing in Costa Rica, so he told her about our trip. Then she asked him what we actually taught the kids here, which allowed TJ to share the Gospel with her over the phone. How awesome! Through all of the phone and internet confusion, the Gospel was spread.
After while, crocodiles.
P.S. I just got back inside from trying out the log race across the pond….hence the title. As of now, the record is about 2 feet off the shore. So far, only the counselors have attempted it. But hey, the tadpoles and pond mush between your toes and up your shorts is not so bad once you get used to it!