*pushing through crowds of screaming fans*
Thank you, thank you! Yes, I'm very happy to be back! I know, it's been a long time, but I'm sure I can make a successful comeback and continue blazing my bedazzled trail to super stardom! Oh, flowers? You're too kind! Okay, okay! Enough with the flowers-- ooh! Ferrari?! For meeeeeee?! AWESOME!!! (Yes, a Ferrari does merit the heinous crime of the dreaded triple exclamation!!!)
Alright, enough o' that. Yes, I have returned. But, no, it won't involve Ferraris. Or flowers, for that matter. Although I do like both flowers and Ferraris (the latter more so than the former, obviously.) But, we digress.
I am back at long last after finishing the school year and the summer (again, I much prefer the latter.) Wow, what an incredibly eventful summer it was! So crazmazing (which is my new word - a combination of crazy and amazing.) So, without further ado, allow me to tell you a bit about the aforementioned beaut of a summer holiday!
So, from 24 June - 7 August (with one week off in between) I worked as a camp counsellor at a summer camp, a few hours from where I live. (There was a week of training, 4 "Holiday Camps" and one "Moms & Tots Camp".)
This camp is called Scotian Glen and is run by the Salvation Army as a place that kids (ages 7-12) from underprivileged homes (i.e. public housing areas) around the Maritimes can go to camp - for free - and have an absolute blast in a safe and loving environment, as well as learn about Jesus. I was with the 11-12 year old girls.
I'm not gonna lie, camp was difficult. The kids (the boys in particular) were tough. But you couldn't blame them, knowing the situations and backgrounds they're coming from. Most of these kids live in violent and messed-up places. Most of them don't have two parents. Many of them have parents who are alcoholics, drug addicts, or in prison. Some of them don't have parents. Some of these kids have been abused, or neglected. Many of them have ADD, ADHD or other issues. And even the kids who come from relatively easy homes, still have problems - because, let's face it, we all do.
All of these kids rarely get the chance just to be kids, so one of the major aims of camp was to just enable and encourage these kids just to be kids and enjoy themselves! Camp gave them a chance to get to relax, make friends, and so much more, all in a place run by young people (i.e. myself and the other staff) who they knew they could trust.
Kids love having fun (pretty sure everyone does, actually! I sure do!) So ... Camp! Was! FUN! We played mad games, swam, made crafts, sang songs, watched movies, ate delicious food at crazy themed meals, learned Bible stories... It was wonderful. I can't even describe how much fun I had, let alone how much the kids must've had.
But as fun as it was, it was, at times, brutally hard. Especially at bed time. Oh. My. Goodness. The days are pretty much okay, since there is stuff to do, but at night. No. No. No. How come kids who are so tired fight sleeping so hard? I will never understand. Actually, I'd prefer not to think about the night times. Let's just focus on the fun.
But, yeah, camp was intensely intense. Intense to the max. But we had a great team of staff and we pulled through wonderfully, with only minor hiccups along the way - such as one of the guy counsellors having his fingers - the same ones - broken TWICE whilst breaking up fights between kids. And alot of sickness (no H1N1, though, thankfully!) including my brutal ear infection which was no fun. At all. But I survived - we all did - because God is awesome.
Yep, God is ridiculously amazing. I can't even express how ridiculously amazing He is. Without Him, there is no way on earth we could've done what we did. He chose exactly the right team of people to work at the camp - the 18 counsellors, the kitchen staff, the maintenance, the directors - and gave us all that we needed - strength, patience, love, courage, hope, compassion, grace, etc. He is so good, and the 6 weeks I spent at Scotian Glen really reinforced that for me. I learnt SOOOO much at Scotian Glen, and I hope to share some of these valubale lessons with you over the coming days.
But that was not all I did this summer! As soon as I finished working at Scotian Glen, I was off to another camp! This time I went to the beautiful Malgash Bible Camp (again, a few hours from my place) with my beautiful family for Family Camp. This week was SO RELAXING! Ahaha... It was filled with chillin' at the beach, games, worship - ooh, and watching a meteor shower! We lay on the beach one night and I saw about 30 meteors in just over an hour! It was epic!!! (Again, a meteor shower is an exception to the !!! rule.)
But wait! There's more! At the end of that week, I was asked back to be a volunteer counsellor at the next camp, which was Jr. High Camp. That was another INCREDIBLE week. I'd say maybe the highlight of my summer? While Scotian Glen was great, Malagash is a much better camp in my opinion, so I enjoyed getting to be there again greatly. I will talk about this week another time probably because this is getting looooooooong and you are getting boooooooored, and I STILL have more to say!
Then I came back AGAIN to Malagash to work in the kitchen (something different this time!) for the next camp, Sr. High Camp (I could've gone as a camper but I didn't because I hadn't been planning to come back and it cost a fair bit as well). It was fun to work in the kitchen, which I hadn't done before. We pretty much washed dishes, set tables, and served food. Hard work, but it was good because we had a good team and good music to help. The best part of this week was probably the lovely "Coffee House" we had one night where some amazing local musicians graced us with their beautiful mmmusical prowess :)
Well, that was my summer! I also spent a few days with my family on Prince Edward Island, which was loverly too.
So, I've gone back to school now - it's my laaaaast year (finally!) and I'm kinda stoked about that. Also, it's school camp next week which is good because I am suffering from camp withdrawal! It'll be different to not be running the camp, though!
And in other news, today marks the anniversary of 9/11. To my American friends, I am praying for you and your nation today, as you - and the world - remember and reflect upon the tragedy that happened on this day, 8 years ago.
Oooookay, I think I've written enough for one day. I didn't intend to share all that but now I have, so that's that, I guess.
Much love (and the last few rays of summer sunshine) to you all.
P.S. My new profile picture is a snap I took of my dog at the beach last week! Enjoy :)
P.P.S. I am going to Uganda in just 19 DAYS! I will tell you all about that soon!
1 week ago