Since the fifth section of this week’s bible lesson relates to Christian Science nursing, this morning’s Prac Talk was turned over to the resident Cedars Christian Science nurse for fourth session, Penny Swank. To hear the inspirational insight that she shared about the fifth section you can listen to the actual Prac Talk on the Cedars Camps website, which you can find here!
Archive for July, 2009
CIP participates in the “Fantastic Four” on the first Monday and Tuesday that they’re at camp. The Fantastic Four is four different activities that challenge the campers to use Christian Science and learn about teamwork. Usually the activities are things like the high ropes course and the low ropes course.
One group was up at the ropes course doing the “Giant’s Ladder.” The Giant’s Ladder is basically 6 or 7 long boards that get higher and higher, and the distance between them also gets wider. Since sturdy wires hold it up, the ladder shakes and moves, making it more difficult to climb. This activity takes two people, so it really allows the campers to use teamwork and bond with each other. One person can help boost the other one up, or one can help pull the other one up. They have to work together to reach the top of the ladder. It also gives them a great chance to use Christian Science to help them overcome their fears.
One camper who had just finished the activity and had made it to the top said, “From this experience I learned a lot. I for one feel really empowered for being able to complete such a big challenge. I was really relying on God to know that I would be safe if I fell. Even though the ladder was shaking I felt really calm because I knew I was in a harness and I knew that there was also God’s harness with me.” – Sam
It was a great feeling for the campers when they were able to reach the top of the ladder because it showed them that they really could overcome any obstacle as long as they relied on God, and on each other. The activity helped them learn that communication is also a big part of teamwork, and without it, they would not be able to reach the top and achieve their goal.
Another camper commented, “It really taught you how to use teamwork because it’s kind of hard to just get there by yourself. To reach up to the next ladder you have to hold on to somebody. You also have to trust in Christian Science and think about how you’re perfect and God loves you and that you won’t be able to fall, and if you do, you won’t hurt yourself.” – Tanya
Sunday July 26-
Excitement and anticipation filled the air as the counselors awaited their new campers for fourth session. Third session had just ended, and now it was time to start another wonderful two weeks! Many campers arrived on the CedarS Express, which is a great way for them to get to camp.
If you live far away from Cedars, or just can’t make the drive, the CedarS Express buses pick campers up from the Principia Upper School Campus and bring them to camp. If they fly into Saint Louis, they are met at the gate by one CedarS parent, and another one takes them to the Upper School. After dinner and in fun in the Game Room, they spend the night before riding the CedarS buses to camp. It’s a great way to make traveling easier, and start making friends earlier!
Counselors meet the campers right after they depart the bus to greet them and show them where the cabins are. One counselor exclaimed, “I love the first day of camp because all the campers are coming and there’s so much excitement with everyone being in their new cabins and meeting each other and making new friends and just the excitement of all the activities that are to come. The next two weeks are so much fun and everyone is just so open!” – Gabby A.
Another described why she loved being counselor, “I think one of the best parts of being a Cedars counselor is witnessing all your campers’ spiritual growth that goes on because demonstration is the most important part of Christian Science. We cherish each camper as a maturing individual, spiritually, and getting to see them apply their religion to their life for two weeks is really unparalleled to anything else.” – Sarah M.
After all the campers had arrived, they were able to unpack and start bonding with thier new cabin mates. Fourth session was off to great start!
Thursday July 23-
Tonight was an exciting night at Cedars Camps! The boys invited the girls to the council fire where the theme was “Camelot.” All the girls dressed up as characters from Camelot and came prepared for a night of fun. First they needed princess to watch over the council fire, so they had all the girl counselors compete in challenges to find a winner. After many fun trials and competitions, they were finally able to pick a princess. She was crowned and placed in the throne to watch over everyone.
The next activity consisted of the boy’s cabins performing different skits and acting out stories from the Bible. The boys had a great time dressing up and performing their story for everyone to see. You could tell from their happy faces that they loved being able to share their story in front of everyone.
There was such a sense of tradition and excitement in the air. The night ended with some tremendous fire breathing done by several boy counselors. Everyone watched in awe as they blew fire into the sky. It was a great way to end a night full of fun.
Monday July 20-
Today the girls went out on four different trips: the Float Trip, the Caving Trip, the Pack Trip, and the Fishing Trip. Trips are a great way for campers to be able to go outside of their comfort zone, and become closer to God by facing new challenges. Campers are also able to bond with new people that they may not have been able to before.
For the Float Trip, the girls all strapped on life jackets and boarded into canoes to paddle down a river for an exciting boat journey. Before getting into the canoes, they were taught different paddle strokes so that they would know how to steer the canoes. They sang songs, told stories, ate lunch on the water, and just had a great time canoeing down the river.
The Caving Trip is a great way to overcome fears because you are faced with some new challenges. Before the girls headed into the actual caves, they got the opportunity to go rock climbing. Many of them had never done this before, so it was a great opportunity to use Christian Science to help them. Other girls had done this trip in previous years and were just excited to be able to do it again. “I’ve done the trip before and I was really scared but it was a ton of fun. I love the trip because it’s just about going outside of your box and just doing different things like repelling, and going on the climbing wall, and then caving in small places, and its so much fun! During lunch you get to hear the water in the river, and all the animals so it’s really fun being in the wild.” –Sarah. After rock climbing, they got to explore the inside of the cave.
The Pack Trip was for those who love horses, or wanted to learn how to ride even better. The girls had a great day horseback riding through different trails, and just bonding with the horses.
The Fishing Trip was a blast for the girls. They got to go fishing in Cedars beautiful lake, and also catch as many crawdads as they could. They had a contest to see who could catch the most crawdads, and the winner caught over 200! After fishing, they got to go swimming in the pool, or go down Cedars’ awesome water slide! It was a fun day in the sun and all the campers had a great day
Sunday July 19-
Today the CIP campers all ventured up to “the Wall”, which is tall wall made out of wood. The goal of this activity is to get every camper over the wall. The first person to go up is helped by everyone else down at the bottom of the wall. Then whoever is at the top of the wall can help those trying to get up from the bottom, but only two people are allowed at the top. Once someone has gone over the wall and helped out at the top, they return to the bottom of the wall but are no longer allowed to help anyone else get up the wall. The campers must figure out how to get the last person up the wall with no help from anyone at the bottom. This is a great bonding activity for the campers because it allows them to work together as a team to figure out the solution.
The CIP campers were doing a great job communicating with each other to try and figure out the best way to get everyone up the wall. Everyone was willing to listen to each other, and everyone had great ideas. They eventually were able to get everyone over the wall except for the last person. Now it was crunch time, and you could tell that all the campers were trying to figure out the best solution. After a few different attempts they finally figured out that they could lower someone from the top of the wall, and the last person at the bottom could grab their legs and be pulled up the wall. The campers were able to get every single person over the wall and it was a great success! The campers were able to prove that through trusting God and each other, they could overcome any challenge!
Today the CITs all met with Warren Huff, the camp director, in his office to talk about the Five Fundamentals of Cedars Camps. CIT stands for counselors in training. These young people are doing this special program to learn how to be a great counselor for the campers at Cedars. They get to act as counselors, living in cabins with the campers and helping with activities, to get the full hands-on experience. They learn how to help campers grow in Christian Science as well as grow themselves.
All the CITs sat around in a circle while Warren went through all the five concepts and helped everyone fully understand what they meant. The five fundamentals are:
1. We regard each individual at camp as a child of God, who reflects alertness, joy, peace, ability, love…
2. We respect each individual Christian Science young person as a future active worker in the Christian Science movement.
3. We stand firm in our desire to use Christian Science in all of our actions and to be good examples.
4. We believe that all have certain interests and talents, and we want to do all we can to further these and at the same time to introduce new activities and interests.
5. We expect to make camping at the CEDARS fun!
Warren explained the concepts very thoroughly and told the CITs why we had each one. When he was describing how each camper reflects alertness, joy, peace, ability, and love, he said that joy ‘should be like a thermostat, not a thermometer because it shouldn’t be affected by the consequence.’ The CITs chanted each fundamental together, and then one did individually. It’s important for staff at Cedars to have them all memorized so that they can give the campers the best experience possible.
The CITs also had a discussion about the Junior Leadership program that Cedars offers. One camper who had been in JL said, “You are expected to know more as camper, you’re not told every little thing. You make your own food, which is really fun in the palace; you get to go shopping for that. You get to experience all the trips, like caving and the float trip. Probably the most fun I had was the green and white field night. You actually get to run your own activity and be counselor for a night. You make sure these kids have a lot of fun and its just great to see them all excited. You’re getting ready to be a leader so the counselors are throwing you little bits of advice like “you can be a leader like this…” or, “this is how you can make this a group activity for everybody…” Brandon
Friday July 17
Yesterday Cedars enjoyed an awesome Lake Day and had a blast at Big Surf! The first half of the day was spent doing fun water activities such as swimming, diving, the water slide, and the zip line. Then everyone loaded into the buses and was off to Big Surf! We sang camp songs and told stories all the way there. The campers were able to go on some great water rides like the “half pipe”, “wave pool”, and “lazy river.” It was a great day to express God, and everyone was able to spend some quality time with their friends and counselors, and even make some new friends. One counselor described Big surf as being “a place where we get to all come together and get to know each other even better and we get to see God’s joy in action. We get to know new people and have fun. We’re able to leave camp and come here to experience spirit, and all the good things this place has to offer.” – Maegan B.
Campers and counselors alike had a wonderful time splashing around and were served a great Big Surf lunch! A camper commented “I like coming here because you get to enjoy your good friends and you’re always happy and never sad or mad because all your friends are here to support you.”
After a blissful day out in the sun, the campers piled back onto the bus for the trip back to camp. We had a hymn sing during the ride and campers were able to pick their favorite hymns to sing. It was a perfect way to end such an uplifting day.
Thursday July 16
Last night Cedars had its first testimony meeting of third session. The boys and the girls got to have separate meetings, where they came comfortably dressed in their pajamas. The meeting began with some wonderful readings, and continued with inspirational testimonies from campers and counselors. You could feel the love encircling the camp as young ones described how Christian Science had comforted and aided them in their times of need. We heard healings about pets, getting over fears, overcoming trials, and more.
One whippoorwill camper shared a testimony about how she had a scary dream, and how her counselor helped by reading her the Science and Health and she began feeling less afraid. They then read the introduction from the “Armor of Thought” which was about how when an armadillo feels danger is coming, he rolls back into his shell and his shell is always with him. She shared, “I thought of that as God is your shell, and he’s always there. I started feeling a lot better and when I went back to sleep I had no problems sleeping.” – Allegra V.
Wednesday July 15 – CIP participates in day 2 of the “Fantastic Four”, which consists of the climbing wall, horseback riding, high ropes, and low ropes.
A CIP camper gives her experience of overcoming the climbing wall:
“I was doing the climbing wall today and at first I was really scared, but then the counselors helped me and power hour really helped and I just love the environment that Cedars gives you and that helped me overcome the climbing wall.” – Morgan C.
Tuesday July 14 – CIP had a great time having Ski Day at Pomme De Terre lake where they spent the day water skiing, swimming, playing games, and having a cookout.
Some counselors comment on their experience:
“We love being in CIP because we love getting to know new campers and it’s so much fun!” – Caroline K. & Caitlin O.