Senior Youth Camp

         From time to time I think it is really important to highlight other aspects of the work of Crosstalk Ministries since all of us share a somewhat symbiotic  relationship, each trying to support the others as much as we are able Being also the (rather reluctant) Office Liaison, a certain portion of my daily work already revolves around this “inter-ministry” support, but the past week has been very largely focused on Senior Youth Camp!
        As I write on a hot Friday evening, this wonderful sister- ministry will be holding it’s gala banquet dinner (Fairy-Tale costume themed this year) and Campers and Staff will soon be heading down to the Worship Hall for the final evening Service. Tomorrow morning there is a Closing Worship to which family members are invited, but tonight they will all be “in community” for one last, special time.
        During the week, back here at home base, I have fielded calls from anxious parents, run errands for various program supplies, reformatted, printed and enveloped countless Prayer Letters and I regret to say that on some of those +30ºC days (with  humidex of over 40º) I did grumble under my breath !
But then came Thursday…
          I’m not really sure how everything came together ready to take to Camp at 9am Thursday morning, but I think God’s Grace was the major factor in pulling it off! Early that morning I ran one more errand, this time to the copy centre to pick up the 85 Camp photos, which Henry had produced overnight,  Brett was also doing a Thursday workshop and since he is currently living almost around the corner @ The Isaiah 40 Foundation, he generously offered to be chauffeur to myself and Wil. We were packed and waiting at the door when he arrived at 9am.
Such a pile of stuff! Everything from Day Camp Team Evaluations (VERY IMPORTANT) to felt dragon wings (part of my Godson’s Banquet costume) from extra printing paper to 85 white candles for the Friday night Service along with my lunch and knitting, Wil’s paraphernalia the aforementioned stack of prayer letters and sundry little gifts for the Huyer family and other  “special” staff members to whom I wanted to offer some extra thoughts and prayers of support.
 Once all this was stuffed into Brett’s car, Wil jumped joyfully into the back seat and we were off! It was a lovely hot sunny morning and the various highway construction hold-ups of the previous weekend had mostly evaporated so we made the tip to Camp smoothly and in record time (well Brett is a bit notorious as a VERY fast driver!).
 Once arrived I was greeted by several Team Members who rushed to hug me and then we all piled into the Staff room. There were my three little Godsons, and William presented me with the gift of a yarn octopus he had made himself. And Then I was holding Baby Andrew while trying to sort out all the bags and boxes we had brought and talking to at least 10 staff all at the same time. A glorious jumble!!
  Things eventually quietened down and I sat in a corner, with my knitting and with Wil at my feet as Victoria finished up a morning staff meeting. Next she came and sat with me so I could go over all the documents and supplies and deliver the various messages The rest of the morning flew by as different
staff members poked there heads in the door and I eagerly listened to their stories of how Camp was going. Soon it was time for lunch so I unpacked my little picnic and enjoyed it right there as wild horses could never drag me into the extremely rowdy Camp Dining Hall!!!
  As soon as lunch was over I met with all my Team Members who were at Camp in order to distribute the Evaluation Envelopes and then turned my attention to setting up me beaded necklaces workshop, which was to take place in the dining hall. Because Wil is technically not supposed to go into the various Camp buildings ( especially the Dining Hall!) Timothy generously offered to take him for a tramp through the would in the fond hope of using up some of his boundless energy.
The workshop went very well. It was lovely to meet with a varied group of 10 Campers, only 2 of whom I already knew as Day Camp Team Members. I had expected “Beaded necklaces” to be a “girlie” workshop and so was pleasantly surprised that 6 of the group were boys! They all were actually interested in learning some beading techniques and the hour soon flew by. At the end they all pitched in to pack up the supplies and replace the tables and benches we had moved for set up. As I said  good-bye to them I was really touched when my two Team Members each presented me with the necklaces they had been making!
     After stashing my beads back in the Staff Lounge, Wil and I walked down to the Worship Hall and sat on the porch while each cabin group took their turn going in to present their Memory Verse renditions to the two “judges”.  Every day Cabin groups learn a new verse and have an opportunity to come up with a creative presentation of it to be “marked’ by the judges. Not having ever actually stayed at Camp I’m not quite sure of the procedure but I believe the results of points awarded are announced at dinner time. It was very interesting to listen to each group as their presentation ranged from drama to acapella singing.
    Once all the groups were done the Campers had free time until dinner so that was when I met with a group of 6 Campers and 2 Staff to teach the Liturgical Dance I had choreographed to be offered at the Saturday Closing Worship.
  They were a super group, some from the Day Camp Teams and 2 whom o had never met before and who had no previous experience of Liturgical Dance but they were all really into it and within only one hour had mastered all the moves. It was a real joy to work with them!
      I was amazed to check the time and find it was almost 5pm so Wil and I hurried back up to the Staff Lounge to find Brett. He turned out to be over at the volley ball court watching a game but soon we were packing up the car, I had a last cuddle and kiss with baby Andrew and then we were back on the road. It was close to 7pm before we reached home and on the way I invited Brett to join me for a dinner of freshly picked corn on the cob since my friend Barb had been kind enough to pick up my Thursday Farm Share and to deliver it to the door as we were unloading the car.
  I quickly shucked the corn and we soon sat down to a feast of fresh vegetables, baking powder biscuits and cheese, followed by almond gelato. Brett headed off after our meal and after clearing up Wil and I were both ready for bed!!! It was one of the nicest days I have experienced in a long long time. The sense of community at Camp is special and one can truly feel the Holy Spirt’s presence over the whole Camp. Even if I did not have many commitments to keep me at home base, I know that I would not enjoy much of the craziness and noise which are part and parcel of a Camp experience but that day was a golden one and one upon which I will continue to reflect upon with a thankful heart.
Saturday… Did I have time to cook anything this week?? OH YES!!.
This afternoon I’m hosting one of my special “Spanish Inquisition Tea Parties” (this phrase was coined a few years ago after former Team Leaders began to ask if they could bring their boyfriends or girlfriends for me to “inspect”.) In Day Camp circles these tea parties appear to have become quite a right of passage and in a moment of complete mental aberration today seemed to be a good day to host one for Jessica and Tyler. The main snag being that at some point the WHOLE Huyer family, plus the Camp Speaker, will all be arriving to spend the night AGH!!!!!
One item I made for tea is my favourite Whole Meal Shortbread, here is the recipe.
Wholemeal Shortbread
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 16Tbsps. butter
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
In the bowl of a food processor place the 2 flours, brown sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse just until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out into a 10” Springform pan and using your fingertips spread it evenly. Place the pan in the oven and reduce the temperature to 300ºF. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and using a cleaver, score into 8 even wedges. With a thin skewer punch a decorative pattern of holes on the surface of the shortbread. Return the pan to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack and remove the sides of the Springform pan.
Cool completely then cut through the score lines and lift wedges from the pan base. Store in a tin or freeze.

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