Sunday, August 06, 2006

The beginning of the summer…

At the beginning of the summer I came to Cyprus to partake in a camp that the youth group here in Larnaca get to enjoy each year. Every year a team come and help with the youth group. This year two of my friends, Tony and Loukios would be part of it. They would also be the only two guys on the team. The team was made up of another four girls, two of which had come on the team last year. Therefore out of the six that were to come and lead the camp and other youth activities I already knew four of them. The names of the team members were Tony, Loukios, Kaitlyn, Jenny, Bekah and Laura. I was really looking forward to going to camp because I knew that it would be a lot of fun and it may hopefully be cooler than Larnaca. To our joy it was much cooler and the fun, well I will attempt to describe it below.

I had been asked to help out at camp by being a camp leader. The role came with the responsibility of being in charge, with another team member, of one of the four teams that the youth had been split up into. I was to be partnered with Jenny and we were responsible for the Green team. It was the first time that I had been given such a role at camp. Other times I had gone along as a camper and had a great time. This time I was going as a leader and I still had a great time.

Up at camp I never knew what we were going to be doing. I would take the day as it came. Some of the campers would ask me, “So Alex, what are we doing next?” or “What game are we going to be playing?” I had no idea the answers to these questions. I friend of mine that is here on holiday enlightened me on how I could have used that to my advantage. For example “So Alex, what are we doing next?” The answer could have been “It is time to make me and the other leaders a nice cup of coffee tea or hot chocolate, whatever they each prefer”

We would start off the day with breakfast at about 9am and then have our camp meeting, where we sang hymns and had a devotional from one of our team members, followed by our quiet time and then a talk by the BIG camp leader, Cliff. For the rest of the day there would be lunch and dinner with a bit of free time, a few games and another talk in a certain order. The games were of course team games, where there would be points awarded to the winning team.

This year the team system was new, and with it came coloured t-shirts for each team member and a point system. This is where being a team leader had its advantages. As a team leader I was able to give points for anything I thought should be awarded points, to any team apart from my own, that being the Green team, but could only take away points from my team. An example is when I awarded points to a camper for letting me and another leader both take showers before him. This system was great. The campers lived in fear of the words “watch it; I’ll take points off…” It was a way of control, which worked.

One of the games that we played was a scavenger hunt. The evening before, the team stayed up to try and get the clues ready, and I joined them. We sat under the stars and started to plan. Well we didn’t all start to plan. Bekah was the one that was trying to get us to help. Laura and Tony we the most helpful followed by Jenny. Loukios, Kait and I stayed with them and although we offered, we received no cry for help so we continued sitting there saying stupid jokes that later we would not find amusing. I had brought some biscuits that my grandmother had made, and at that point I got them out. Kait and Jenny were all to willing to eat them. When offering them seconds, I wasn’t able to finish my sentence. “Would you like….” “YES!”, thirds, “Would you…” “YES!”.

Well apart form staying up late trying to get the next days games and other activities ready we had good talks, good food, a hilarious variety night, where the girl counsellors did a skit making fun of the guy counsellors and only after watching it on the camp video, did we realise that they were really making a lot of fun of us.

All that to say that we had a lot of fun and I am looking forward to next year where I will be doing outdoor activities with youth and camps.

Thanks for reading
Take care


marcel said...

sounds like a lot of fun and somewhat like the camp i went on last spring (also as a leader). being used to hanging around people like you i didn't realize that there were people (the little kids) that would actually listen to what i told 'em :P
kidding, enjoy the rest of your summer break man, God bless

juf Ineke said...

Hey Alex!
sounds like you had an amazing time... ever considered becoming a teacher? Apparently kids have to listen to you all the time then:-P

When are you going to England? I'll go to the beach then and wave;-)

sending you a big hug!

marcel said...

question is more like: when are you coming over to visit? think of the amazing stacks of stroopwafels in store for you...