So, what do we do at camp BlueSky? Well I think the best way for me to answer that is to walk you through a week of camp and the best way to do that is a day at a time. Registration opens at 2pm on Sunday but the reality is campers and their parents start arriving way before that. Most parents understand that we will not be ready to start receiving their campers until 2 o’clock but occasionally you have some that will test you. I don’t necessarily mind those conversations, talking to parents is something that I have become quite good at over the years. Before campers arrive, we have our staff devotions, final cabin preparations, and lunch. Keep in mind our campers from the previous week have just left on Saturday at 11 so there really isn’t much turn around between groups.
At 2 pm sharp Bronwyn and I would step outside the program office and wave big blue and red flags and registration would begin. One of the amazing things about Camp BlueSky is all the different countries and people groups that are represented by our campers and their families. So during registration it’s fun to meet and talk to parents and hear their stories of what brought them to Kenya. We hear everything from families who are here doing mission work like us to diplomats and members of different government organizations. We had one camper whose family had come from China and were spending four weeks in Kenya, they enrolled their youngest son in two weeks of camp because they wanted him to spend that time working on his English. Another flew from South Sudan just to attend camp. There is almost as many reasons to come to BlueSky as there are campers.
After Registration, the entire camp gets into their Mountain groups. These are different groups based on their age and named after the different mountains in Kenya. For example, our youngest boys cabin is Longonot and out oldest girls cabin is Kenya (the biggest mountain in Kenya). Once in their mountain groups we march to a place we call Impala Grounds to go over expectations for camp, sing some songs and do Mountain Group Cheers. Each mountain group has their own cheer and it’s one of the best traditions at camp, we hear these cheers a lot! In fact, even as I type this I have several stuck in my head.
After that we head to the main field and split everyone into one of two tribes. The tribes are called Chumvi (Swahili for Salt) and Nuru (Swahili for Light). The names are from Matthew 5:13
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Once in your tribe, that is your tribe forever so everyone who has been to camp before is already in their tribe but for everyone else it’s an exciting reveal to see who will be where. After that is our first Chumvi vs Nuru games, tribes compete in games all week to be the overall winner for the week. It’s another amazing BlueSky tradition and additionally one of the things that makes Camp BlueSky special. After the games it’s time for dinner and as soon as dinner is over everyone heads to Tsavo.
Tsavo is my absolute favorite part of camp. We start with fun songs and games and are interrupted by our “skit characters” who lead us all week in fun activities. This season it was 2 characters from the 80’s who taught the campers fun 80’s dances and led some games. After that we start to move into our more serious time, we start by singing fun worship songs and then we move into a time of powerful praise and worship. Then I would get up and speak about our theme for the week. This camp season the theme was “Called by Name” out of Isaiah 43. The first night I would introduce the theme and talk a little about my called by name story, introduce the prophet Isaiah and share about how Bronwyn and I felt called to Kenya. We would end in a time of prayer and then campers were dismissed to cabins where they would hopefully shower and as a cabin discuss the things we went over in Tsavo.
So that is day 1! I will be walking you through all seven days of camp in the following weeks and I hope you enjoy hearing about what we do. Feel free to ask me questions through wordpress or facebook if you have them.
Thanks for reading.