First Week

First Session has begun and we’re off to a great start.

Though Chop Point Camp is located in Maine and is known for its eight-month-long winters, the past few days were uncharacteristically sweltering. Those from the South were right at home. However, an obstacle like weather can’t stop the fun from being had. We spent the first night of camp playing “get-to-know-you” games, which are essentially camp wide ice-breakers to really get the friendships rolling.

The next day we spent the morning in the gym, competing against other cabins in relay races, a little thing we Chop-Pointers like to call “Wacky Olympics”. It’s so dubbed because not only do we make up cheers, play leap-frog, and participate in many other “wacky” games, but also because we are expected to show up in the most ridiculous costumes the ten minutes we are given after breakfast will allow. Bright colors, capes, inside-out clothing, crazy hair… just to give you a taste.

Daily activities are in full swing now; wind-surfing, sailing, kayaking, basketball, mountain biking, arts and crafts, guitar, water-skiing… The list goes on.

God has graciously decided to grant us some reprieve from the heat, lowering the temperature to a cool 65 degrees today. As a Mainer myself, I was right at home in shorts and a t-shirt. My friend and I played a little game called “Find the Southerner”, which was, more often than not, the person dawning a full winter jacket, sweatpants, wool socks, and rain boots.

The next two nights were for bonding with our cabins, Girls and Boys Night Out and In. The nights out are usually spent getting ice cream or going out to dinner. On Boys Night In they played several games in the gym, such as dodge ball. While the boys were out the next night, we girls spent our night in eating chocolate strawberries, making bracelets, and painting our nails. One of our counselors, Raelyn, talked to us about how important God is, especially at this pivotal point in our lives.

Tonight was originally going to be Water Night, but was cancelled due to the cold. Instead we are having Horse Races, where the campers dress up as different characters and compete on a chalk-drawn grid for candy. There are six lanes, so dice are rolled to determine when someone is allowed to move ahead. I haven’t seen all the costumes, but I know for sure that there are some princesses, Indians, cowboys, and dinosaurs out there tonight. I myself am a superhero.

Sitting here in the office, I can hear loud and clear the spirited shouting, clapping, and laughter coming from the other room, so I think I’ll go join in the festivities.

More updates of life at Chop Point Camp coming soon.

Click on the Picasa or Facebook link at the bottom of the page for some of the pictures that have been taken so far this summer.

Close To Closing Ceremonies

All this Olympic talk has got me thinking that Chop Point is a lot like the great games. We start off with crazy and colorful opening ceremonies (Counselor Skit Night), we compete throughout the session for medals (evening activities), and then we have a very traditional and high energy closing ceremonies to celebrate the games, (trip to Reid State Park, rollerskating late at night, trip to Freeport).

All that fun stuff will begin starting tomorrow when we travel to the lovely Reid State Park on a bus to enjoy a camp wide day at the beach. This will be the first event that singles the beginning of the end. Later that night we will give out our personal medals to the kids in what is known as “Awards Night.” Each kid gets an award from a counselor that they have formed a special bond with. It’s fun to see every kid get their minute in the sun. There are also a few little surprises added into that day that are coming. Will keep you posted on these happenings.

Enough about the future, let’s look at the medal count thus far. We had our personal time trails during Obstacle Course Night. Each cabin got timed diving under canoes, climbing monkey bars, and rolling logs all while running around the Chop Point Campus. Each individual got timed as well. Sounds way too military-esque to be fun, but the cabins had a blast. We ended the night with our signature Glo-tamate game. We broke out the wrist glow sticks and the florescent frisbee and had quite the time.

It’s sad that it’s almost over, but we are happy that it’s happened. Still a lot of memories to be made.

Peace.

-A

Camden Cliffs and such

Why hello beautiful. Today the staff and kiddos completed a mile long hike up and down Maiden Cliffs in Camden, ME. We had a wonderful chapel service overlooking this view. They say buildings and magnificent structures are the beauty of man. Well this is the beauty of God.

After that we had lunch in a nearby park and then roamed around the drizzy town of Camden for the afternoon. Bout to start the annual talent night! Will try to get some pictures up to Picasa.

Peace.

Fires and Carwashes

The Weather Channel app on my iPhone is going to have to buy me flowers or something if it wants me to talk to it again. It was calling for a good chance of rain all of yesterday and today. Both days it turned out to be sunny with just a few clouds. Grr. Despite this, we had a camp wide campfire for our evening activity last night. We played a lot of fun and slightly crazy campfire games. We also devoured a decent amount of smores’. Because, you know, we’re in America and everything.

We had a donation car wash today for Campo Alegria in Nicaragua and raised over $1100 dollars!!! That puts us well over 2 grand for the summer. Very thankful God has blessed us here at the point and in Nica.

We have a Luau going on right now. If you want to check out some of the picture you can go here…

You can also good pictures of Quebec, first session, and other events throughout the summer.

Going to Camden Cliffs tomorrow and then finishing the night with Talent Night. Fun stuff.

Toodles.

-A

Days Going By

It’s unfair really. It goes by so fast that it’s tough to keep track of every memory and evening activity, but here it goes.

Last night after fighting some drizzly weather for most of the afternoon we decided to go with Cabin Theme Night. The cabins got transformed into a ride on the Amazon, a tornado sight, a round of Family Feud, a boxing match, a game of Jumanji, a speed dating service, and a bizarre circus. Definitely a good showing of the creative juices of the counselors and campers. In the past few days we’ve had the traditional Water Night, and Camper Counselor Hunt. One of the high lights of camper counselor hunt is that the counselor John now has to sing the song of the campers choice every morning at breakfast. I think Taylor Swift would be impressed with his efforts. We also had a Sok Hop throwback 50’s night. The dining hall got transformed into a drive-in, where the campers ordered their own food and got it served to them. We also had 50’s themed lip sync night. No big deal, just another creative slew of evening activities at the point.

A group recently got back from hiking Mt. Katahdin (the tallest mountain in Maine) and another trip just left today for 3 days of Mountain Biking at Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley. If you are looking for something to pray for, their safety on the mountain would be much appreciated.

Tonight we will have a camp wide campfire. Smores and games will be enjoyed by all.

That’s all I got right now. Daily activities are going great. Always fun to see life long friendships in their beginning stages.

Here is a good verse for the day. Another update coming soon.

Romans 12:13

Share with the Lords people who are in need. Practice Hospitality.

 

 

Peace.

Quebec Retrospectively

I drew the lucky straw for sure. I had the opportunity to lead a sightseeing trip to Quebec City, Canada! My co-leader Stephanie and I brought ten campers across the border to visit our friendly northern (French speaking) neighbors. When we got done with our drive on the first day, we dropped our things off in the dorms of the prestigious Laval University. We then took a short van ride to do a little exploring of “Old Quebec.” For our purposes, Quebec was sort of divided up into three sections. The first one was residential Quebec. This is where the majority of the apartments, businesses, and tall building were located. We spent the least amount of time here. The next was Old Quebec, which was close to the water but very elevated. Cars could drive through this part but the streets were smaller and the buildings were squished close together to give it the old-timey feel. And then there was Old Old Quebec (talk about what we did there later). That was on the edge of the water and you could only get there by walking down or taking elevator like gondola. Anyway, we spent the first night eating and exploring Old Quebec. We found a grassy overlook next to the capital building that the campers would walk around on and take in the views of the beautiful city.

The second day we spent the morning in the Quebec Mall. This wasn’t just any mall. It had a roller-coaster AND an ice skating rink in it. Kids were in there hockey pads flying around like it was no big deal. Canadians love hockey more than Americans love anything. Anyway, after the mall we did more walking around Old Quebec. At night we descended onto Old Old Quebec and some kids got a ghost tour while others strolled along the cobblestone roads and sat by the water.

The third day we ventured  just outside the city to see St. Anne’s Cathedral. It was pristine. The ceiling seemed at least 70 feet high, painted in beautiful and great detail. The whole building was coated in fine artwork and mosaic images of stories and characters from the bible. Quite the serene experience. We then went to staple of any trip to Quebec, a visit to the waterfalls called Montmorency Falls. The Falls themselves are actually taller than Niagara Falls by a couple of meters. We rode a gondola to the top of the falls, walked along the footbridge, and then came back down. After that we stopped to eat and then made our way back to the point! Overall it was a fantastic trip.

More updates as far as life at camp goes coming up soon.

Old Old Quebec!

Second Session Sweetness

And we’re off! We are about five days into second session and it’s been AWESOME! We miss our first session kids a ton, but this lot has already meshed extremely well. After a solid first night of Get To Know You Games, the counselors put together their final hour-long skit program of the summer. The kids still like us we think. They don’t think we’re too weird. The two following nights were Girls/Guys nights In/Out. The first night each girl cabin went out of camp and bonded, while all the guys stayed in camp and played manly games in the gym and on the soccer field. The second night the roles switched. It’s safe to say that the cabins are beginning to become very cohesive and fun. Tonight we went to the beautiful Pemaquid Point. The campers got to adventure and climb on the cool looking rocks and enjoy the breath taking view. We ended the night by singing a few songs and talking about some passages in Romans.

The Moose River Canoe Trip left this morning, and the trip to Quebec City starts on Sunday. Mountain Biking and Baxter Hiking leave not long after that. Things are really picking up here at the Point!

Let’s Do It Again

First session 2012 is officially wrapped up. Our grand finale consisted on dodgeball, rollerskating, and FREEPORT! (and all the campers said YEAH!!) As sad as we are to see the first session kids go, we are equally excited for the new batch of campers that are going to arrive tomorrow. Lots to do. We have to get them checked in, moved in, and have them take there swim tests. Tomorrow will be a Get to Know You Games. Let the fun begin again!

The first session banquet and closing program really was something. Campers and staff members shared their thoughts and memories of the session at the meal and around the campfire. It’s always fun to see what camp means to everyone.

Can’t wait to make more memories with this group.

Until next time.

-Andrew

Rounding Third

We are rounding third base here at the point. With only three full days left of first session we are officially in home stretch mode. Let’s go through the Sports Center (Chop Point) Top 10 of the last 10 days.

(Really no particular order, but for the sake of being cool, let’s count down.)

10. Water Night
Tonight the campers got a dose of some high quality H2O. There were water balloons a flying and plenty of water games that got ’em all drenched. So as not to buck tradition, the night concluded with the kids skipping down the water slide till the sun went down.

9. Cliff Jumping
Today I had the opportunity to motor kids out to a point in our river where they can jump off (from a very safe distance) cliffs into the Kennebec. About 4 groups were able to take the leap of faith and get themselves some solid airtime on the camp video. But yeah, spending the whole afternoon driving boats is a tough life. Pretty ok summer job I guess.

8. Southern Night
Cricket Spitin’, Brutus Riding, Grits Eatin’ Madness I tell you.

7. Car Wash
Every session we take a day to work. We are extremely blessed to live in America and not have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or what our water source will be. Even more so, we are extra blessed that we get to spend our summer at a beautiful summer camp in Maine. So we take the day to give back and try to give others who didn’t get dealt as fair of a hand a chance to go to Campo Alegria in Nicaragua. To do this we had three car washes go out into various locals areas. We had no set price, only donations. We raised barely south of $1000 to send to Campo.. It’s amazing what can be raised in 4 hours with prayer and hard work. God is very good and faithful.

6. Boothbay
With lots of kids out on trips, the remaining counselors and campers were able to load up the bus and chug on over to the lovely and quaint Boothbay Harbor. Boothbay is your prototypical Harbor Town that has dozens of little souvenir shops and ice cream parlors. I scarfed down my Pineapple Orange ice-cream in a matter of minutes. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

5. 4th of July Festivities
We managed to stretch the the 4th of July into a five day celebration (‘MURICA!). On the 4th, we went to the neighboring town of Bath and watched the Bath Heritage Day Parade. On the 7th we again traveled into Bath and let the campers enjoy the annual fair. Lots of fried food was consumed, I’ll leave it at that. And finally, on the 8th, we watched fireworks after the sunset. Turning 4th of July into 3 evening activities. Total Chop Point Move.

4. Cabin Theme Night
We had an enactment of The Parent Trap, a simulation of a European soccer arena, and a journey through Narina just to name a few of the themes that were created during Cabin Theme Night. One of my favorite traditional Chop Point night for sure.

3. White Mountain Hiking
Six Campers and two staff members climbed Mt. Madison in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. No tents were packed, only hammocks. The weather was warm at the base, but cool at the peak. A fun time was had by all.

2. Capture The Flag / Braveheart
Braveheart night cannot be explained. Only experienced.

1. Memories
Can’t write them all, or even one percent of them in this blog post. But smiles, laughs, and more laughs are seeping through conversations in the dining hall, soccer field, and waterfront. It’s a priceless vibe that I have the blessing to work in. Bummed it’s almost over, but will be sure to keep everyone posted.

Be blessed.

First few days + Acadia Biking Trip

Whew. Been a crazy last few days here at the Point. Let’s do this by day.

Monday, June 25th

A whacky day overall. We had Whacky Olympics which had to get moved to the gym because of a bit of inclement weather. We had a bit more whacky weather which caused most actiivies to be led inside, and to top the night off we had the ever whacky counselor skits that the kids tirelessly laughed at (or at least pretended to).

Tuesday, June 26th

First full day of activities. The weather was more than courteous despite a few showers here and there. The frisbees were being thrown, the sailboats were putting along, and photos were being snapped (for photography class of course). Overall, a lovely day in Woolwich.

Wednesday, June 27th

Another full slate of activities. Weather was still cloudy, but it was no hindrance to the day. The night cleared up for a competitive yet good spirited Sports Night. Kickball, volleyball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee were all enjoyed by all.

Thursday June 28th – Saturday June 30th

I (Andrew) had the opportunity to go on a trip to Acadia National Forest. It’s advertised as a bike trip, but that didn’t stop up from going to find a bunch of side adventures. When we got to the camp sight on Thursday we went and did a little nature hike and found a big mud pond. All of us (unexpectedly) got our shoes and sandals stuck in the mud. We stopped and took a few pictures along the way, as well as settled into camp site for the night. Saturday was a full day of biking. And by biking, I mean beautiful and magnificent site seeing. Little known fact, Acadia National Park is the second most visited national park in the country. And for good reason. The views of the ocean, mountains, and forest are all quintessential New England scenery. After a little more driving around the forest on Saturday, we returned to camp to find that everyone was celebrating a Peter Pan themed night. As I type the Pirates and the Lost Boys are fighting for the rights to Neverland. Tomorrow is Steak and Lobster Night. Definitely beginning to feel the groove of camp.

All good things here folks. More posts soon.

-Andrew