Monday, October 12, 2015

Bible Memory Camp 2015--Chapter One

First, some definitions.

Bible Memory Camp: an annual project in which we hand out cards printed with 50 Bible verses to the 9-to-14-year-olds at church.  If they memorize them and recite them to their parents, they get to go on a 3-day trip.

Camp: a loose term that can mean actual camping, with tents and campfires and hauling water, or staying in a house with actual beds and showers, or something in between, such as staying in yurts.

Yurt: a round, wood-framed, canvas-covered building based on dwellings in Mongolia and featured at a number of Oregon campgrounds.  They provide more structure and shelter than tents, and a lot less than motorhomes or houses, thus providing the true camping experience without the complete despair of a cold rain on a leaky tent with homesick 10-year-olds.
The outside of a yurt.
The inside of a yurt.

Our big red and white van, the Verse Contest, Treasure Hunts, the Sand Sculpture Contest, and Way Too Much Food Sent By The Moms: Unchanging camp traditions.

Paul and I have been involved in Bible Memory Camp for 20 years.  For a number of years, Arlen and Sharon Krabill were involved.  The last few years, we organized it, with various people helping.

Last year, Paul said, "Someone else needs to be in charge of this."  So he told the congregration we'd like to take two younger couples along and train them in. Was anyone interested?

Ben and Ruth Swartzendruber volunteered, and also Preston and Heather Kropf.

The Sponsors, still smiling at the end of camp
Ben thought, and we agreed, that this sort of interaction between church leadership and the kids from church has been invaluable.  So, in the future, they might invite a pastor/deacon couple to go along each time.

Which means there's a chance we'll do this again, but for now this was officially our Last Bible Memory Camp.
Weston and Jadrien in back. Then Tyler, Tanner, Trevin, Logan, Cody,
Brittney, Eunice, Ashton, and McKenzie. Annika in front.
It was wonderful.

Well, most of it was wonderful.

Paul stayed in a yurt with the boys, and I was in another with the girls.  The other couples had tents at another campsite. The first night, I climbed awkwardly up into the top bunk and unzipped my sleeping bag.  Did the girls seem extra expectant and quiet, in retrospect?  Maybe so.  Because down in my sleeping bag I found something long, tubular, brown, cold, alive-ish, and awful awful awful.  Not a snake, praise be to God, but awfully awfully snakelike.

Shudders and horrors, gasps and exclamations.

It was a long coiled end of one of those awful long brown tubular seaweed things.

And the culprit was Ashton, one of those lucky girls who isn't scared of anything.

She still teases me about it, sneaking up behind me after church and murmuring, "How about some seaweeeeeddd??"

And the next day, while I was still jumpy, McKenzie came up behind me on the beach and twined a long cold seaweed around my ankles.  GAAAAHHHHH!!

She laughed and laughed.

Both seaweed incidents involved this kind of seaweed.  Logan was dragging all this
along to use in his sand sculpture.  He reminded me of the prisoners
dragging the ship in the opening scene of Les Miserables.*
This was much more voluntary, and happy.
This was the first time we rented a community yurt in addition to the yurts we stayed in.  It was the best idea yet, as we could make food there, stash all the food without losing it to raccoons, and have a place to hang out together after dark.
Jadrian and Logan, the Camo Cap Campers
One night Ruth introduced a game where each team had to stack plastic cups using only a rubber band and string.

Trevin, Tanner, and Eunice

Tyler and Cody, with Ruth looking on.
 This post is getting way too long.  I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

But first, the Quote of the Day:
"Guys!  Act normal! It's the park ranger!"

*Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of Les Mis, which I watched on a plane once, about the only time I watch movies clear through, and it was pretty intense. Especially if you don't watch movies much. Excellent story, though.

That's Annika dragging the stick in the sand.
I think this shot just shines with the Fun and Joy of the Coast.


  1. Such good pics and story!!

  2. What a special time that must be for those kids. But you are wise to know when to step out and let another generation take over. I'm sure you have made a difference in many kids' lives (even if you think this is a small thing) over the years of doing this!