Friday, June 27, 2008

Jerry's Dream Camp

Last day group shot
Mr. Laura & Aunt Charlotte proudly wear their shirts

Sydney & "Bob" with "Booshie" & Selah in the background

The Sibling Staff

Director Carp speaking

Group shot

Messy game

Seth the "camper" & his camp buddies

You are probably not able to read what the white shirts on the first pictures on this blog say they read "We build Jerry's Dream Camp. Kiwanis Club of Pleasant Grove."

Jerry Diffee would have been happy to see what happened at Hidden Acres during our third week of camps. Pastor Jerry who passed away over a year ago was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Pleasant Grove and a big part of the tradition of raising funds for inner city kids to attend summer camp. He knew what an impact just a week of camp can have on these kids who would very likely not experience a week of summer camps if not for the generosity of Kiwanis club supporters.

We were very encouraged at the start of camp to see so many parents come and drop off their kids at camp. Usually all of the kids are dropped off at a location in Dallas and bused to Hidden Acres.

I talked to a couple of campers about their camp experience. I asked a young boy pictured above, "What is your favorite part of camp so far?" He said, "everything!" "This is my first camp ever and I love everything about it."

A young lady named Rebecca, (It's easy for me to remember her name)who has attended our camp at least two other times has grown up so much from last summer. We talked about last year's camp and she asked about some of the counselors she missed seeing this year. Then she told me with a twinkle in her eye and a smile that brightened her face "I want to work here when I grow up. I want to be a counselor." I replied, "that would be great! Did you know that Kit Kat (Kate Stevens), Sharkbait (Toby Elery), and BabyE (Amanda Elery) used to be campers and are now on staff?" She nodded and then informed me about how Kate had been attending Hidden Acres since she was in second grade and that she too had wanted to work at Hidden Acres when she was a camper.

I had a follow up conversation with Rebecca and asked her if she was involved at a church. She told me she was and attended with some of her family members. I encouraged her to keep going to church, reading her Bible, and praying. I told her she needed to be strong in the Lord to be a camp leader. She smiled and said yes as if she was up for any challenge to achieve her goal. I watched her as she interacted with the staff and noticed her almost soaking up the love and example of the camp leaders. I saw her basking in the glow from Kit Kat, Baby E, and others. I pray that Rebecca will someday be back to be one of those girls who other girls want to grow up to become.