Wow!! What a way to wrap up WildHeart. To finish, we have a 5 day canoe trip that takes place on the beautiful Flambeau River. It is absolutely breathtaking to see the fantastic sites and views, enjoy the campsites, and most importantly take our last chance to impact the campers. The days all have multiple hours of canoeing and this is a great time to take in the fantastic sites while talking to the camper that is in your canoe. This opportunity is great to get to know the camper and to really create a bond with them. Relationship growth with the campers is just so essential for impacting their lives in a spiritual way. In the mid to late afternoon we would arrive at the campsite for the night and get to set up tents, get dinner ready, have fun time, and go to chapel before lights out. Chapel was powerful and talked about influence and being a leader in your life, and these challenges brought about questions to the campers to help it apply it to their personal lives. One thing that the trip cannot go without mentioning is rapids! Though many of the rapids we faced were small, they brought about a challenge and level of fun to the campers while we were out on the river. It really was awesome to challenge ourselves in that manner. After the canoe trip was over, we had to head back to Amberg, WI and the campers got to meet up with their dads. It was great to get to know the dads behind the campers and develop relationships with them as well. This opportunity was fantastic and great to see the dads interact with their sons. That wraps up camp though.... And if I had to say one thing about it.... Worth it, every last minute. Even though there were times of stress and it was very busy, the opportunity to work with the great staff here to impact lives of others who are having struggles with the relationships in their lives is so worth it. Well, this is my final entry and thanks for reading. To God be the glory.
One week down already!! Time flies and here we are getting ready to leave on a backpacking trip up along Lake Superior. The campers have learned their camp skills and it is time to put them to the test. The days of hiking are sometimes long and the campers push through some of the discomforts of long distances, but get to see great sites, have fun conversations, and learn from God's word. The first day is not a long hike and I got to enjoy a fire with the campers and talk to them after the chapel message. As we push forward, we see the breath taking sites along the Pictured Rocks and get to admire the beauty of God's creation. The trail is a great time to see the endurance of the campers and also presents another opportunity to talk to them and impact them spiritually. One of the times that was the most enjoyable for the group was swimming on the lake, and the enjoyment from them was very evident. The time I enjoyed the most was the messages that ultimately touched on belief. These challenges around the campfire provoked thought and allowed the campers to ask us questions to help them spiritually. Getting time to get even further in a counselling relationship with the campers was fantastic. The tired campers finally made it out after hiking over 25 miles and enjoyed a fun ride back to WildHeart. Now to get ready for the canoe trip!!
Week one of Wildheart is the time where all the campers are getting dropped off and the counselors are starting to get our feet wet as to what camp is actually like. The rush of learning all the camper’s names and finding out a bit about them while they are trying to learn a crashing river of information is absolutely crazy! After the first day, which is the campers getting used to the rules and finding out exactly what they are going to be doing, we rush out to the campsites and start the week of base camp. I got to get to know my campers a bit more and see their strengths and weaknesses, which is really helpful to try and build the team as not only a team and a unit, but also to see how I can help them as individuals. Throughout the week, the campers get to learn a variety of skills such as learning knots, building fires, how to campcraft items from tripods to tables, using a compass and map, and getting used to cooking over a campfire. This first week is also filled with fun activities like an obstacle course, games, some free time, and competition with the other team. The high point of the week, though, is the chapel and getting to have time to impact the campers in a spiritual way. Conversing with them and seeking to make a spiritual impact can be both exciting and also gave me a chance to see where they stood spiritually. This week is crazy and gave me a chance to learn how to teach campers and help them grow in outdoors skills and seek to impact their lives spiritually and physically.
Stephen has been going to Maranatha Baptist University for 2 and ½ years as a Pastoral Studies major with a minor in Business Management. He joined the Air Force through the Air National Guard base in Milwaukee a bit over two years ago. This has given him some unique opportunities, such as having to sit out from college for a little over a year because he was stationed in San Antonio, Texas. After college and my time in the military, he desired to be a preacher of a church in the states or abroad. This is his first time being a counselor at a Christian camp, but he has gained leadership experience through the military. He grew up camping, backpacking, hiking, fishing, and hunting with his grandpa. These have been major activities of his life growing up and are areas that he loves. He also grew up attending Christian camps, and they have shaped his life and goals in many ways. He views this as a fantastic way to give back to God and looks forward to camp this summer!