Monday, July 26, 2010

Camp details

Ed and I both taught English classes during camps, Ed during the first week and I during the second. We both enjoyed the role of teaching. When we taught, we had more opportunities to get to know those students in our group, and we both liked that. During the week that Ed was teaching, my role was "Mom" and during the week that I was teaching, my Mom and Ed took turns taking care of the kids. We both found camps a bit more difficult this summer than back in 2000 when we were just the two of us. Kids have a way of making things a bit more complicated. I struggled a bit during week one feeling like my role as Mom was making me completely ineffective at camp with students. And then during week 2, I felt that I was shirking my duty as Mom to be a teacher. Yeah, that's right, there seems to be no way to make me happy sometimes! Ed wonders about me too! Often I even confuse myself! :-)

Anyway, we are finding what works best for our family, and how we can be effective both as leaders and as parents at the same time. Over the next few years, we might just figure something out! I think that our presence as a family at these camps was a good thing, even though it was quite difficult at times. We heard many comments from students about how good it was to see a family having fun together, and especially to see the father in such an active role in the family. Over the years, it should get easier as Shaylee especially grows up and needs us less and less.

The camp atmosphere was a great place to share Christ's love with these high school students. Many have heard for the first time and are now back home to contemplate what they have learned. Our desire is to continue spending time with all of the students throughout the year, to keep sharing Christ's love and grace with them. We are looking forward to seeing them at youth group activities as well as having groups over to our house to keep up these friendships.

Bardejov Camp

We have returned from our second and last camp of the summer. As you all probably know from your own experiences, it is good to be back at home. This second camp was with the youth group and students from our town here in Bardejov. This is especially nice because we will remain in contact with these students that we have gotten to know, as we will continue to see them around town and have opportunities to get together with them.

We truly enjoyed having my parents at the camp with us! Mom helped in an English class, and mostly took care of our kids while we were in class and while doing activities with the students. Dad also helped in an English class, and also performed magic tricks to further illustrate the scriptural theme of each evening program. His magic was a hit!! Both Mom and Dad were constantly chatting with students and developing relationships with these high school and college kids. At almost every single meal they enjoyed visiting with these three high school guys and the camp nurse. We believe that everyone really loved seeing the stability of their good marriage and experiencing their evident Godly wisdom and were truly drawn to them! We are all hoping that they come back to the same camp again next year and continue being an example of Christ's love to everyone there!

Our kids absolutely loved every part of camps! The Slovak students, Slovak youth group teams, American teams and Interns all were so good with our kids! Even the camp cooks brought special treats to our kids. Our kids were constantly playing with, eating with, riding on, swinging beside, sitting on, and talking to these older kids and adults who treated them so kindly. They are already looking forward to next summer's camps!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More intern pictures

Continued from the last post, here are more pictures of our intern team members.

Our Slovak Intern Team

We have a great group of interns this year! They are here for the whole summer. We've had two opportunities to host them in our home during down times between camp preparations. Our kids have loved the attention they are getting from them. This intern team is divided into groups to run the 3 different camps that go on during each session, spread out across the country. Two of our team members are actually Slovaks, and the other 8 are Americans. They work together with the American teams that come for the week, and train them how to run the camps. Each intern is doing 3 camps (with a few exceptions). Our family is doing only 2 this first year. After this session this week, we will not do the third session. The other interns will be handling that camp.

Between camps

We have completed our first JV English camp as a family. We stayed in this cabin. Now we are home, have had 4 days to do laundry and relax, and are now ready to leave again this afternoon for session two. We had a great group working together at the Liptovsky Hradok camp...a great team from the local church in that town, and an awesome group of Americans who came to help us make the camp happen!

Our kids LOVED their week at camp. Although there were no kids their age there, they enjoyed times with the students, Slovak team, and Americans. Everyone was so sweet to them, and often I came in to eat a meal and our kids were already sitting and eating with someone else. They are eagerly awaiting session number two and keep asking what time we leave today.

Ed taught an English class, and I was in and out of the class, trying to keep track of Shaylee and the other needs of my kids. We had some good talks with the students and we truly enjoyed the camp atmosphere. We are still adjusting to doing camps with 5 kids, and to finding our roles at camp as we must still be parents at the same time.

My parents arrived here on Saturday! They are the first of our relatives to visit! We are so enjoying our time with them, and are looking forward to experiencing camp with them this next session. They are part of the team of teachers for the coming week, and are going to be a huge help at the camp with classes and with helping me with the kids. Dad will even be incorporating his magic tricks in the evening sessions to go along with the topic of the night!

We will update about this session when we return home in the middle of next week.

The Hartman visit

We had a great visit from our Colorado friends, Matt and Amy Hartman and their four kids! They were here at the end of June, and then they left for the Czech Republic to do a JV English camp right before we left for our first session of camp. So I am just now getting our blog caught up.

Our kids and theirs had a blast together! It was so fun to have some friends from home spend time with us in our home and in our town. Their oldest two kids went to visit the boys' school and spent the morning with them in class. It was fun for Jayce and Tate to show them what their school is like. We went to our town square and let them experience the famous Oaza ice cream shop.

It was a great 5 days with them! We enjoyed good talks and fun times. Thank you, Matt and Amy, for routing your trip through Slovakia, and for bringing us a storehouse of chocolate chips, pancake syrup, beef jerky and fruit snacks! You were a true blessing to our family!