Thursday, September 23, 2010

Part 2 - Youth Group Camping - Charleston Lake - Sept 2010

Welcome back........we continue......

So, after lunch we packed into our vehicles and took a trip to the beach.  It was part two of our water game of keep away....

Hmmmmm, I'm not sure who took this shot, but you should have let me put a shirt on first, eh!!!  

Most of the group ran into the water, but I held back a bit.  I HATE cold water, and this water wasn't what I would call warm.  Kevin, on the other hand, had other ideas.  I went in much faster than I anticipated.....

Not everyone wanted to go swimming.  That was just fine.  

Soon, our game of water keep away was once again under way.  You need to know that we play for keeps.  Kevin is not about to give up, and most of the time he'd have 4 to 5 people trying to get the football away from him.  He always prevailed.  

If you don't like getting splashed, or pulled under, or scratched, or even injured, you'd best stay away from we who play this game.  

A quiet moment during the game.  

Chris watched most of the game from the sidelines, I think.  

Jeff read a book.  

Cheryl took some pictures and supervised the beach for us.  

I had a blast playing the game, but paid a heavy price.  
Here is a long scratch from Jeannine.  

More scratches from some in the group.  I finally had to stop playing when I pulled my calf muscle pretty good.  I'm not getting any younger, and this group is really testing my fitness, or lack thereof.  

It was only after I returned back from the beach that I realized that I had broken my toe as well.  The water was cold enough that I didn't feel that happen.  I certainly began to feel it later on in the afternoon.  It was worth it though......really!

After returning from the beach, Brian and Ruth showed up for a visit.

They have a newly acquired cottage on the Charleston Lake P.P. grounds.  I knew about that before we went, but lost the email that told me where their cottage was.  It was a good thing they showed up to say hello and invite us over for a coffee....but we'll get to that in a minute. 

First, we have to talk a bit about another game that has become popular amongst this group.  

Tackle Duck, Duck, Goose!

  The group began small in number, but eventually most of us were playing, even me with my broken toe.  We had a hoot once again.  I'm amazed at how many of these YP play for keeps.  No holding back.  

Here Simon tries to keep Jacob  from getting to his spot.  I think Jacob out sizes him 2 to 1, so it wasn't much of a contest.  

Here you see Makusi in full running mode.  

You get hit on the head as the person passes by, and it seems that some hit harder than others.  I hope it didn't hurt too much Hannah.  

It seems that brother was pitted against sister as well.  Simon and Miranda are battling out in the back ground...but hey, Hannah and Leah seem to be fighting even though they have no reason to.  How about that! 

Here Mother and daughter fight it out...well, not really.....Miranda is pretty light.  

Sister on sister here.  Tobie and Hannah.  I think Tobie won this round.  

Hannah did very well against the boys.  She wasn't going to let them win.  No Way!  

Just look at her faicial expression here.  If looks could kill....I give up Hannah....(well, actually, I was victorious).  

Hey, this was just a cool shot of me running.  I couldn't resist putting it in the blog.  

Fontana is one to be feared during this game.  She just bulldozes you over.  Leah didn't have a chance.  

After Duck Duck Goose it was time for dinner.  Another staple.  Kraft dinner with vegetables.  Chris H and Jacob were in charge of making this happen.  

Not everyone liked my menu selection it seems.... or maybe it's because Ben can't have peanut butter at home, so he had it as much as possible this weekend.  

Melanie working hard to ensure the macaroni was perfect.  

Hmmmm,  looks like Tobie and Olivia didn't learn their table manners.   Gross! 

Simon agreed to carry water as well.  It's not as easy as he's making it look.  

After supper we relaxed a bit before having our evening camp fire.  It seems some took to being goofy...right Leah and Fontana?

Jonathan can't seem to close his eyes.  

More goofy faces.  

Some decided to put together some sort of play/musical.  

Rosy, are you in the play, or are you yelling at Megan....again!!

Soon it was time to attempt the fire building once gain.  Cheryl, Annette, and Makusi got front row seats to watch the beginning of the spectacle.  Maybe we should have sold tickets?

It didn't take nearly as long this time to get the fire going. 

At each camp fire I like to get somewhat personal with the youth group.  We began our time doing some get to know you stuff.  Here you see some raising their hands as they answer some of the questions.  

Some of the questions had very funny answers.  Laughter is always a great community builder.  In addition to the getting to know you fun stuff, I asked some more serious questions of the group and shared modern day parables with them.  

We also enjoyed more hot dogs and smoorze (? Spelling).  

Annette is always up for a spiritual conversation........or any conversation for that matter.  : )  

Eventually it was time for bed (well, not before a spontaneous round of red rover in the dark by some).  We awoke to a cloudy morning and a few drips of rain, but nothing major. I think Cheryl had her tent down even before I got up.  She also got to work on breakfast.  Pancakes.  

Rosy and Megan helped make pancakes too.  Great job once again.  

Then it was time to clean up camp.  I don't know how you can live in such a mess ladies.  

Jacob stayed in my tent trailer, but helped his brother set up and take down his tent.  Chris seems to be offering him pointers on how to pack up..... but maybe he should be helping me pack up  instead.  

We were packed up by 10 am.  We must have worked these guys too hard. 
As we were packing up, I was thinking about our next step.  I decided we should take Brian and Ruth up on their offer for coffee.  We'd also do church there too.  

Before we could leave, however, I had to tend to a small detail of a dead battery.  Good thing I had my booster cables with me.  

Here are the three stooges waiting patiently.  You figure out who is who.  They seem like they all like each other.....

...but give them time, and their mischevious side really comes out.  

Boy did Chris ever shrink over the weekend.  You really should eat more when you go camping.  


We soon departed our group campsite and headed into the park to see if Brian and Ruth were home.  We ended up meeting them on their way out.  They were going to Athens CRC but decided to have us over for church anyway. 

Their cottage is up the road from the trails we took on Saturday, but our vans with the trailers would have had a hard time getting up the hill, so Brian loaded a bunch into the van and off we went.  Don't worry moms and dads, no one was injured during the making of this picture and subsequent driving the 1 KM to the cottage.  

You are about to see several pictures of the Vlaming Cottage.  Sorry about that, but it was during a youth event so it's making it onto the blog.  Here is the guest house as you drive in.  

Look down and you see the cottage at the bottom.  They even have a pulley system set up to raise and lower items.  Reminded me of zip lining  (and I assure you that a couple of the YP really wanted to ride it up and down: ) ).  

We received a tour of the cottage.  This bell apparently injured Ruth when they first moved in.  You'll have to ask her how. 

Everything is on a hill here.  Here we are looking down from the patio to the dock. 

A cozy cottage running on propane and generator and batteries.  

We held church by a fire on a windy morning.  All singing done acapella  and even with actions to some songs.  

Well, not everyone did the actions.  This is the more conservative section of our church  : )  

Rosy continued to read out of our modern day book of parables.  Some really neat ones in there.  

Here is the group listening carefully to the parables.  I was quite surprised after commenting on one of the parables.  I mentioned to the group that statistically about 1/2 or more of them would walk away from church when they entered college and some of them got upset by that.  They wanted me to challenge them to stay involved in church when they became young adults.  That was encouraging.  

After church, it was time for lunch.  Leftover hot dogs.  I think Olivia is trying to grow a hotdog mustache.  

No, Rosy is not bleeding.  Just showing us a creative way to eat a hotdog with ketchup.  

A much better fire if you have good wood to burn.  

Some wanted to go swimming off the rocks on the property.  On the way we passed this cute little overhang that looks onto the water.  

There were many crazy, or should I say brave, YP who braved the wind and the cold water to jump off the cliffs.  Here Chris and Makusi jump in the water.  

Some jumped, some dove.  

Getting out of the water wasn't easy.  It seems zebra muscles are a plenty here, and sharp. No Rosy, that IS blood, not ketchup.  

Chris did a somersalt into the water.  

So did Leah, but it took her a while to gather up the courage.  

At the end, Brian gathered the group together and they swam to the dock.  

Here's a nice panoramic view as you look off the rocks.  

Thanks Brian and Ruth for your hospitality that Sunday morning. 

And so ends our camping experience.  

WE arrived home to rain in Ottawa, but everyone had a good weekend together.  It was lots of work, but again, these weekends are worth it because relationships are deepened,  and with deeper relationships you can discuss deeper issues of faith and life and young people need that in their lives, just like adults do.  I hope we continue to deepen our relationships together and thank you all for coming out and giving of yourselves.  Until the next camping trip.........