This is the last week.

I leave this place on Saturday, the place I called home for 11 weeks.
whoooooaaaa. 


The Cistern

At camp we have a fake cistern. It’s just a sheet wrapped around to form what looks like a cistern. 

In February I read the Joseph story (I’m reading through the whole bible, and that was where I was at) and this is what I wrote: 

"Genesis 37:28 ’So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty piecest of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.’

I know this isn’t important, but I wonder what Joseph was doing while he was chillin in the cistern..”

This is so funny, because at camp we take such an importance to Joseph being in the cistern. How he was stuck there with no way out, but still was blessed. On Monday night we take the campers to the cistern. It’s dark, scary, claustrophobic and just down right uncomfortable. Then on Tuesday morning we take the campers back to the cistern, to relish the fact that Joseph was still stuck in the cistern. We read aloud these words “I’m in a cistern, but I’m not dead. I’m in a cistern, oh Lord be with me now.”

We’re all in cisterns, but we’re not dead. We all have barrenness but we also have the hope of birth. However, the whole time we are blessed, because blessing is God’s presence. 

It’s interesting how God works.


You guys, I love camp.

I’m really horrible at this. I’m pretty sure I’ve thought of updating this little blog about 500 times, but am finally doing it now.

It’s safe to say I love camp.

Coming to Youthfront Camp South has been probably the best thing I’ve ever done.

Considering my last post was 8 weeks ago, a lot has happened between then and now.

I’ve learned a whole lot, so much that I can’t even explain. (Plus writing isn’t my greatest skill, so bare with me)

So, I’ll just tell ya’ll 3 things. First, the logistics of camp and what a day looks like. Next, what the campers learn and stuff, then finally what I love/don’t love about Youthfront Camp South. 

1.     I really enjoy logistics.
I really do.

Here’s what a typical day looks like as a Cabin Leader. (*= I’ll explain in #2)
8:20: Bells go off to wake up campers
8:30: Make sure campers are actually awake
8:50: Encourage campers to leave the cabin to go to morning prayer!
9: Morning Prayer*
9:15ish: Breakfast with other cabin leaders
10: Morning Gathering (review last nights gathering/watch yesterday’s video)
10:15: Experiences/Cabin Time
12: Midday Prayer
12:15ish: Lunch (we eat the same thing every Monday, every Tuesday, every Wednesday…etc. Safe to say I really enjoy a good PB&J)
1: Free time! (Pool, ATV’s, Paintball, Snack Shack, Blob, Walk around, Nap Time….)
5: Spiritual Formation time with other cabin leaders*
6: Dinner
7: Evening Gathering
8:15/30ish: Spiritual Formation*
9: Vespers/Evening Prayer
9:15: Community time (Free Time) Or Evening Activity depending on the day*
11: Go back to cabins/Complin*
11:30: Bed timeeee

2.     The whole summer we are learning about Joseph (Genesis 37-45) and overall how he is blessed while he experiences barrenness and birth.
To most people we think of being blessed as when good things happen to us. Like when we get cool gifts or succeed in baseball or whatever. However, at camp we are exploring the fact that being blessed is ultimately God’s presence and that when we experience barrenness and birth, God’s presence is still there. I would love to talk more about this idea with anyone, but for the sake of length, I’ll leave it at that!

           

Morning, Midday, Evening Prayer and Complin

What makes Youthfront different than any other camp I’ve been apart of is that they are built around the fixed hours of prayer, also known as Daily Office. Instead of building Youthfront around chapel, free time, cabin times, some band and what not we center all of the experiences on the practice of prayer.  These four times consists of reading of scriptures, music, listening, silence, corporate and private prayer, times of confession and confessing the creeds.

Spiritual Formation:

During this time campers are offered different options to spend time with the Lord. They can stay alone, discuss topics in a group, worship together or whatever else is offered that night. Youthfront seriously takes amazing care of their staff, setting an hour a day for cabin leaders to do this together. Each day we do something a bit different, but overall during that time we focus on the “I am’s” of God throughout the word (like this week is John 10 when Jesus talks about how he is the “Good Shepherd”).

Evening Activities:

Tuesday night is Alien Invasion and I dress up as Zenon the Girl of the 21st Century…well until my costume ripped in half two weeks ago.
Thursday night is Olympic Night. Both of these nights we play games and it’s fun and stuff. Ya.




3. I love it here but let’s be real, I can’t stand the food. It’s sick nasty. However, as my mom says, “I’m just thankful to have something on my plate.” So… ya.

I have two favorite things about Youthfront: the community here and the opportunity to love campers.

- The community here has changed my life. The relationships I’ve built over these short eight weeks have become some of the strongest relationships with people I’ve ever had. My friends here are all so similar to myself, and we all have the same passion: to love God, love people and love the world. I really am going to be so incredibly sad leaving in August. Living in community with other people is what I think Christians are called to do, and Youthfront does it so right. I could go on and on about this but I’ll just leave it at that. 

- Being a cabin leader is really hard. It’s hard hearing stories about these camper’s lives and having to let them go back to their horrible realities. I’ve especially noticed how self-conscious so many girls are and it seriously breaks my heart.  However, just getting to love them and make them feel special for a week makes me so joyful. I feel like I’m really doing what I’m supposed to do with mylife, love people. I am forced to humble myself and serve others and it feels great. I knowit’s not about how I feel, but this feeling is something greater…it’s the freaking Holy Spirit! I know it. The Spirit moves in me the most when I’m with these campers. Last week one even wrote me the cutest note about how I was like her big sister. I cried. Now, not all of them live in horrible realities but they all come with brokenness. We all have brokenness, and when we are vulnerable with each other about this brokenness our cabin connects. Each week it’s really powerful to see the campers become vulnerable with each other. I just love that. Love love love love it.

Week 1 girls at lunch!

Week 2!

This girl is too cool for words.

Look at this beautiful cake some staff girls made me on my birthday!

So ya.

That’s camp plus a lot more.

We had the week off last week and I really missed it a whole lot.

Also. If you read my twitter/look at my facebook you can probably get a lot more details about my life.

Write me!


katie goes to camp

I’m really excited to invite all my friends and family (or just anyone willing to read this little blog of mine) to join me in my summer extravaganza!

 

I’m going to camp!

 

From May 22 to July 28 I’m embarking on a journey to this place called Youthfront South in LaCygne, Kansas (which is approximately 95.3 miles away from my door step). I will be serving, worshiping, eating, sleeping, playing, sweating, laughing, praying, crying, dancing with high school girls as a Cabin Leader.

 

I’m really really excited but to be honest I’m really scared at the same time.

 

I’m scared I won’t get enough sleep

I’m scared I’m too uncompetitive

I’m scared the staff won’t like me

I’m scared the girls won’t take me seriously as their leader

I’m scared I won’t be a good leader

I’m scared I won’t focus on the Lord

I’m scared I won’t have enough energy throughout the day

I’m scared petty things will distract me from the purpose

I’m scared I will miss my family too much

I’m scared I won’t know how to react to the girls

I’m scared I will treat a girl unfairly

I’m scared of wearing a swimming suit every day (stupid, but reallllllyyyyy)

 

The devil is seriously haunting me with things to be scared about but I have NO reason to be scared!

Isaiah 41:13 For I hold you by your right hand—
 I, the Lord your God. 
And I say to you, ‘don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’”

 

Obviously I’m scared (I’m human!) but it gives me so much peace in knowing that the Lord is with me because if it weren’t for him, my wondering mind would have driven me crazy by now. Sometimes it seems like I’m just abandoning myself from everyone I love to spend two months with strangers doing things I am scared to do. However, I know that in order to be comfortable in my faith I have to be uncomfortable in my life. Camp is sure going to be uncomfortable at times. I know that a lot of my gifts and strengths will be used as a Cabin Leader. My mom always tells me how great it’ll, and I really think so too. But ultimately, I just want to be obedient to what I believe God’s Word tells all of us to do, go and tell. So, I’m going and I’m going to leave the rest up to JC. I want to depend completely on the Lord. I don’t really know what that will exactly entail but God uses people in the craziest of ways and I really believe he is going to use me at Youthfront this summer! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m more excited than I am worried but I think that my freight is a part of me not trusting completely in God, which is really not okay. I think it’s important for me to address those things. I seriously cannot wait to see what will happen these next 12 weeks or so! Leggo.

 

I think I can grow a lot by documenting my time at camp, and I’d really like to share those experiences with the people I love (and quite frankly, I don’t enjoy telling the same stories over and over and over again.) I want everyone to know how God has been faithful through all of my worries, because I know he sure will be. I can’t promise I’ll be able to post extremely often, but I’ll do my best! 

 

So here I go,

Tomorrow night my family will head on over to LaCygne to drop me off! (Just like they did for girl scout camp the summer between 4th and 5th grade hahha) This week and next are orientation and then session 1 starts June 4! Also, I hear phone service works well at camp but I’m not positive I’ll have time to be on it a whole lot. So, I encourage ya’ll to go old school and write a letter/getting mail is fun (also, my birthday is during camp. Wink wink ;) hahhaah)! The address is at the top! (Plus pen pals are fun, right Christy Crouse?!)

 

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”