I am on my day off during my first two-week session. One thing I can't get over is the fact that parents will send their seven-year-olds to two straight weeks of camp. I would hate to be the counselor of a cabin of ten homesick seven-year-olds. Pure misery. Thankfully, I am in a cabin of 16-year-olds, and they are blessedly awesome and amazing! This week of camp has been wonderful, from the campers to the weather, which has been significantly cooler than past weeks.
I write to you today from Joplin, Missouri. Since I had a few extra hours for my time off, I drove up here yesterday afternoon and went to a traditional Third of July cookout with Momma J and Papa Ryan - and Josh, of course. There was lots of delicious food, along with great fireworks, and a bunch of people I didn't know, which was fine, because all but about four of them were adults. I can totally get rest from camp by being around adults for a day. Win.
Good news: The pink eye is gone! On Sunday when I was at camp, the pink eye was really bad. Usually on Sundays I would be greeting campers and their families, but we didn't want to scare families by showing them my terrifying eye, so instead of my usual job, I was sent to a place where no one would possibly have to see me: the radio room. All afternoon, I made announcements over the loudspeaker at camp. It was actually really nice. I was in the air conditioned office, and I had a lot of extra time to myself in between making the announcements. I used the time to write some letters and doodle on a Post-it note.
Since the weather was so much cooler this week, all the wranglers went on a couple trail rides during rest period out to the hay barn pasture. While there, we would run our horses around and have a good time. One day I rode my favorite camp horse, Biscuit, who is afraid of everything but is still awesome. He's the youngest horse at camp, and is very poorly put together, but I love him. Anyway, we came in third in a wrangler race. It was a lot of fun to go at a gallop and a canter, since all of our trail riding with campers is at a walk and we rarely even go over that in the arena. It was a literal great change of pace.
This morning I got to go to Carterville for church. This is what I was most excited about for my day here in Joplin. The service was marked with sadness, as I found out when I got there that a deacon in the church had taken his own life on the Tuesday prior. Even with this event having taken place, the family of the man was at church this morning. I got to see the body of Christ lived out as the congregation gathered to pray. The minister, Robin, preached an excellent sermon about the elephants in the room: that we are in a serious war; that we need to stop fighting each other, but we should come together and fight as one against Satan; and that it is okay to have anger, but that anger should lead us to righteousness, not to sin. I felt blessed to share my morning with such an amazing family. I also got to see some of my family group that I was in this past school year, which was great. I had been keeping up with them through email, but I was really glad to get to see the Jordans and the Fewins in person. All in all, a great trip.
And now I have to go rather quickly, for I am supposed to be back at camp in less than two hours, and that's about how long it takes to get there from Joplin.
But really quick, a shoutout to those who responded to a previous post and have sent me camp mail: Thank you to David Heffren, Jessica Scheuermann, Candice Summers, and my mom. Camp mail is just about the best thing ever. I love and miss you all!