The weekend of February 23rd through 25th I had the privilege of traveling to YoungLife’s Brevard, NC camp, Carolina Point, with my area’s WyldLife group as a leader. This was my first time going to camp as a leader and it was so neat to see the other side of things! I loved getting to know all the sweet girls in my cabin better and watching them grow in their relationships with God as the weekend progressed. Today I’m sharing the weekend’s happenings as well as a video in a travel diary! I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video. Enjoy!
Friday night we arrived around 9:45 p.m. and shortly after dropping my bags in one of the eighth girls’ cabins I ran with my area’s leaders to the leader lounge for a meeting. In this meeting we were introduced to all of the weekend’s authoritative roles, including the speaker, camp director, program staff (aka the hilarious people who put on skits and organize the games for club), property staff, and more. In this meeting we also discussed the schedule for the night and Saturday morning. After a series of introductions and prayers for the exciting weekend ahead, we were dismissed and joined our middle school friends in front of the club room to anticipate club’s start. About fifteen minutes later, music began to play and the club doors open. During club we screamed and danced to a few songs, played games, and heard the talk. The opening club’s talk focused on the things we pursue instead of focusing on God and the idea that maybe we were meant to pursue the one who created these things. Following club was the opening cabin time, which was honestly a bit awkward for my cabin (as the first night’s cabin time often is). Cabin time ended around midnight, so we prepared for bed pretty quickly and went to sleep soon after.
I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and quietly got ready for the day (my cabin was still sleeping!) before heading to my leader meeting at 8:00 a.m. In this meeting we picked kids for the games that would take place in club and discussed the planned happenings for the day up to dinner. When the meeting ended, we went to the dining hall to claim our area’s tables at our first meal at camp. I have to admit, standing on chairs and dancing to get kids to my table at each meal was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. If you’ve ever been to YoungLife camp you know that as soon as the dining hall doors open every camper sprints to their leader’s table as though the table was going to stand up and run away. It was so fun to see that excitement from a different perspective! We ate some delicious pancakes and the best sausage (anyone else not like sausage unless it’s at YoungLife camp?) while watching the hilarious skit. After breakfast it was time for the cabin challenge! Our cabin did an array of activities, including leapfrogging around the pool, push-ups, dancing to YMCA on the dock, and trust falls from the stage to compete for the coveted cabin challenge winning title.
When the challenge ended, we went to the club room to wait for the morning club. I distinctly remember the song selection Saturday morning being so good, including mashups of cartoon theme songs (the Phineas and Ferb theme is such a jam, don’t lie) and the “Banana Song.” This club talk was one that’s always hardest to hear, the reminder that we are sinners and that there is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves. In my now five trips to YoungLife camp, I’ve seen kids of all ages struggle with accepting this fact that without Christ’s crucifixion (which isn’t discussed until the Saturday night club at weekend camp) we are helpless. That being said, the cabin time following this club proved frustrating for some of our girls (expected), but also brought up a lot about where they see Sin in their own lives. At the conclusion of cabin time, we had about half an hour of free time before lunch. Lunch was super good as usual (although I forgot what we ate, oops) and the skit led into field games! Field games included a few fun games I don’t know how to name, a huge tug of war, and flour bombs (which I luckily dodged thanks to having my camera in hand).
The end of field games marked the beginning of free time, so I quickly rushed to the cabin with a few of my eighth grade girls to grab our wallets before heading to the camp store. Somehow I managed to buy just one tee shirt and a sticker this trip (that’s a huge accomplishment for a tee shirt lover like me!), but the line was super long so the camp store easily ate up an hour of our free time. After taking our purchases back to the cabin, we went on the hike with a couple of our area’s head leaders. The hike was a lot of work but the view was so worth it. Atop the mountain, we took a few minutes in silence to just talk to God and marvel in the fact that despite His creation of the gorgeous peaks in front of us, He still sees us as His most beautiful creation. We took a few photos before heading back down the mountain.
When we got back to camp, I took a quick shower then hung out with a few girls for half an hour or so before dinner. We had the best lasagna, green beans, and bread for dinner while watching the climax of the skit. For dessert we had big cookie, but this weekend they prepared a “s’mores big cookie!” The famously sweet dish included graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate syrup in addition to the traditional giant, gooey cookie. After dinner I returned to the leader lounge for another meeting in which we discussed the plans for the night and worshipped as a large group. When the meeting concluded, I reunited with my area’s girls in front of the club room. Club was again filled with a ton of fun games, funny skits, and a great talk about the crucifixion of Jesus. At the end of the club talk, the campers were given an opportunity to silently find a seat around camp and write a letter to God for fifteen minutes. If you’ve ever been to YoungLife camp, we do something similar (fifteen minutes of silence to talk to God with all of camp’s lights out), but having never gone to camp as a Wyldlife kid it was really neat for me to experience this different take on the fifteen minutes. When the fifteen minutes ended, the bell rang and we went to cabin time. My head leader asked me to lead this cabin time, and this particular cabin time after the crucifixion talk and fifteen minutes is always my favorite as a camper so I was so nervous to lead it. We spent cabin time asking and answering questions about beginning a relationship with Jesus based on the club talk and discussing what the campers though and wrote about during their fifteen minutes. The five-minutes-to-club bell signaled the end of cabin time and I ran down to the club room with my eighth grade girls. This particular club included a few “minute to win it” games, the conclusion of the skit series, and a super fun dance party filled with glow sticks and lots of whipping and jujuing. When the dance party was over I headed over to the Mason Jar (snack bar) with my best friend and co-leader Cammie to purchase some Cheerwine slushies and ice cream. After we finished our snacks we returned to our cabins and went to bed.
Sunday morning my head leader, Townsend, woke me around 8:00 a.m. up with a stack of area tee shirts for my cabin. I passed out the tee shirts as the girls slowly got up in preparation for 9:00 a.m. breakfast (on the last day of YoungLife camp everyone wears their area shirts!). Breakfast consisted of lots of cereal, biscuits, and good conversations. After breakfast we returned to the cabin for cabin cleanup, in which we finished packing, took out the trash, folded all the blankets, and swept. As soon as we finished cleaning we went outside to take lots of pictures before our area meeting! I have to say, we got quite a few adorable shots, I wish I was that cute in middle school! Our photoshoots ended when it was time for lunch, a delicious platter of chicken sandwiches and French fries. We watched the meal skit’s conclusion as we finished dinner then packed the bus and headed home.
I’m so grateful I had this amazing opportunity to lead some of the sweetest middle schoolers around! If you have the chance to attend or lead at a YoungLife camp, trust me, you should go! You can read about a few of my other YoungLife camp experiences here, here, and here. Thanks for reading!