Last week, I went as a counselor with my church to Apache Creek Deaf and Youth Ranch. I very much enjoyed my time there. I had the opportunity to work with the staff. It kept me busy, but I found it a refreshing and spiritually uplifting kind of busyness. I was grateful to meet so many wonderful people and be a part of the ministry there.
We barely got on the church bus before some of the gals were asleep...
I stayed in the dorms with the junior girls. They were wonderfully well-behaved and sweet.
Apache Creek Deaf and Youth Ranch was in a beautiful mountainous location with a fun set up. There was just about every kind of activity one could want. I had been praying a lot for the camp, its staff, and ministries for several months before actually going, so it was exciting to actually be there.
I worked with the staff during one of the activity sessions on the climbing wall. I actually really enjoyed learning how to hook everyone up! Here, our youth pastor is taking his little girl up.
We had five church services a day. Our schedule went something like this: I woke up early, we got the girls up and dressed, we went to devotions, breakfast, dorm clean-up time, church, activity, church, lunch, activities, group games, clean-up time, supper, church, game time, and bed. Yes - tiring. I also had counselor meetings, daily assignments, training, playing the piano, and doing whatever extra work my church or the directors needed.
I took the photos above around 6:30 in the morning. I would get up at 6:00, get ready, then go for a stroll outside (and get coffee, of course!). I would then rush back to make sure the girls were getting up and ready for church.
Love these gals!
The theme was Indian "Combs" with teams of Contenders versus Seekers. Contenders are awesome. :)
Pastor Destry from Carlsbad was the guest preacher. He did an awesome job!
The dorm inspections every day were hilarious! Thankfully, my bay ended up with a score of 99 out of 100!
The "fun" songs we did were great. I was relieved to know almost all of them. We only did waddaly atcha once though....
The full-time staff sang specials for us every night. And I played in the evenings on a piano dressed up as a jeep!
Rest time was more of a verse time. I helped the girls learn verses all week.
The "rodeo" was pretty fun. It was Contenders versus Seekers in games of tug-of-war, balloon pops, and fun with the clowns. I helped the teen girls in one of the tug-of-war games, and I am thrilled to say we beat the guys.
The skits were hilarious. It was a war of wits and speed as Indiana "Combs" led his group of adventurers to the cave holding the golden treasure...all while evading the evil Russian and his mad scientist who were determined to get there first!
Me and the girlies...
We had some bro moments or something going on...
Everyone was really well behaved and had such a good time!
Dillian and Pastor Dan. What goof balls. :)
I think Ashleigh enjoyed getting up to do a fun song!
I was the assistant hike leader on Thursday (which basically meant helping lots of little ones up the trail and making sure no one fell off the mountain!). We hiked up Cross Mountain overlooking the camp. I liked that we stopped to read the verses tacked to trees along the way.
Samuel (assistant camp director and hike leader) and Sonya and Pastor Brian (our pastor and his wife).
The train ride to the cowboy cookout on Friday morning was really enjoyable. I helped with the skit. There was a stick-up...and I was one of the train defenders.
Everyone enjoyed the pancakes and cowboy coffee!
I took a few moments to do a little photography!
On Friday, I led and judged (along with two other judges) the singing competitions. At the same time, the young preacher boys did their preaching competition.
On Friday night, everyone dressed up for the banquet and awards ceremony.
We were so proud of Sophie and Nick Clement for getting their verse prizes!
Edgewood really did great with bringing home the awards!
The guys enjoyed getting awards for the various competitions and for the preacher boy competition. I handed out awards as well, but (obviously), I didn't get photos of it. ;)
The final skit was hilarious! Our "pygmy" was better depicted as a "pig-my"!
The final showdown with Indian Combs and the evil Russian (I think he and I have settled on the name Semyon Eudard or something like that!) was really fun.
Indian Combs wins! I loved the comb in his hat, as well as the huge one he did his hair with.
There was some great singing and preaching that night, followed by a wonderful time around the bonfire that included singing and testimonies until around 2:00 AM. No pics of the bonfire, but it was my favorite part. Listening to all the testimonies was slightly emotional for me, as I had witnessed the Lord's hand changing the campers (and myself) from the start of the week to the end. It was a really special time.
The week at camp was really great. I led one little girl to the Lord and had the opportunity to counsel many other junior and teen girls from broken homes and in difficult situations about witnessing and leading Christian lives. It was such a blessing. Really, it was quite humbling and rewarding all at the same time. I am so glad I had the opportunity to go.
Note: 99% of the pictures are mine. However, I did sneak two or three from FB. Thank you to my fellow camp photographers!
How was your week?