As most of you know, this past week was our high school’s summer camp at Hume Lake. For those of you who have never been there, Hume is quite the location for a week away. It is located in the middle of the Sequoia National Forrest, and sits right on a lake with a gorgeous view of mountains and trees. The camp is really a small Christian community, with a High School Camp, a Jr High Camp, and High School Leadership Camp, a year long program for College Students, a couple of hotels, a hundred or so cabins, and a general store and gas station.
At the High School camp itself, kids have a big dining hall, a large chapel, a coffee bar, The Frozen Sombrero (Mexican food and Ice Cream), the Snack Shop (burgers, great grilled cheese, corn dogs and shakes), a big, shaded deck where we play games, a lake where you can kayak, row boat, or just swim. You can rent bikes, skate board in their skate park, play Frisbee golf on their 18 hole course around the outskirts of the camp (something we do every day), play paintball, dare to climb a high ropes course, take a painting class on the grass next to the lake, or even get a few friends into a recording studio and walk away with a CD at the end of the week. Needless to say, Hume offers what no one else can match.
Our week in Hume is one of my favorites of the year. They have a good run of great speakers, usually have a solid, God centered band, fun videos with a message, and an opener that leaves you with goose bumps every year. It provides awesome times of making memories and getting to know the kids. It gets them away from distractions just long enough for them to realize how distracted they really are. During this week you see sides of kids you didn’t know existed, you seek God work more than you expect, you realize that kids who signed up seemingly coincidentally actually have a divine appointment with God, and you laugh with kids who you didn’t know how to laugh.
This year was not unlike any other, and I end up learning more than the kids. Some things are serious, some things are silly memories. But all are treasured. So here are the top ten things I learned this year at Hume:
1. High Schoolers have no idea when to clap.
One of the humorous things that we tracked throughout the week was how the kids around us clapped for seemingly anything, as long as it was pointless, fruitless, and meaningless. If it was anything of consequence, you’ll hardly get a blip. Here are a list of some things that received applause:
– Cell phones
– Pirates of the Caribbean
– Bananas and Mangos (mentioned in a poem/rap that was movingly presented)
– Facebook vs. MySpace
– Young Elvis- (young David was mentioned right afterwards to no applause).
– Pushing cows over and fireworks
– Pinto- I can almost guarantee that roughly 85% of the kids have no idea what a Pinto looks like.
– Kansas (the state, not the band or University)
– A Smoker Friend- the speaker mentioned one of his friends in college smoked and it effected his running, and someone actually clapped when he mentioned the smoker friend).
– Previews at the movies
– The speaker’s exclamation of meeting his wife at Hume and saying, “That woman is hot!”
– Beer, Lawn Chair, Helium Weather Balloons, and a gun- a story of the guy who decided to fly one day.
– Refrigerator artwork
– Picture Books
– Harry Potter
– School House Rock
For the record, C.S. Lewis go no applause at all when mentioned. So sad. When so many things are applauded, the applause no longer means anything. It cheapens the effectiveness and function of the clap. I would like to start a movement to redeem the clap, and reserve it for things that actually mean something, like an encouragement to read your Bible, or possibly even a mention of C.S. Lewis.
2. Daniel Vera is a Brutal, Merciless Friend Killer
For those of you who know Daniel, this may surprise you. Daniel is treasured as a source of all random knowledge, which has earned him the nickname Wiki. If there is ever a question on any topic, we turn to Wiki. He is normally caring, loving individual, but this week we saw the dark side of Daniel.
Let me set the scene. On the last evening, I stayed in the cabin because a couple of our leaders had to leave for a wedding on Saturday. I heard a bunch of yelling and the boys were saying that a huge spider was in the bathroom. I went and checked it out and it was just a Daddy Longlegs. Daniel noted that one leg was much longer than the others, and I told him it was a censor. He quickly corrected me, but I pretended to be very sure to confuse him.
The boys decide to name him Legs J. Mahoney, and he becomes part of our family. A little while after I exit the room, I hear yelling and scream, and then see Daniel come into our room with scissors in one hand and his toiletries bag in the other. Daniel killed Legs. I saw the scissors and asked him if he cut Legs’ legs off, as that would be the cruelest irony for him to endure. He said he thought about it, but decided not to. He just crushed him with the bag.
So I go back into the room, to attempt to recover a body. You can’t kill a creature right after you name it. Unable to find the body in the trash, we decided Legs deserved a proper burial. So I grabbed a ribbon, a couple small braches, fashioned a cross, and formed a grave. All the boys came out by the grave, Ricky played his guitar, Caleb and Joey provided the eulogies, where Joey revealed that Legs was his mentor and that his middle name was Jackson, and I read through the first half of Ecclesiastes 3. We also had a red light shining on the proceedings, as it was about 11:30 at night.
It was a moving time, and the guys in cabins around us were staring at us, wondering what in the world we were doing. When we were done, we headed inside and Daniel was warned to sleep with one eye open. He was reminded that spiders are very territorial and vengeful. It was unfortunately at this moment that I realized I was sleep underneath him. I was just hoping that kind words and the lengths that I went to in order to give Legs J. Mahoney a proper burial.
3. Centaurs are better than Unicorns
One of the great things about our group is the pointless, yet entertaining debates we get into. One evening we were hanging out in the Snack Shop and when you ordered, they asked what your favorite animal was. They would then call out that animal when your order was ready. James, one of our seniors, said the Unicorn was his favorite, and that didn’t settle well with us. Needless to say, it is a girly animal. But James was intent on proving that the Unicorn was a war animal. So I asked him, “Which would you rather go into battle with: a Unicorn or a Centaur?” And so began the debate.
The debate became quite heated that night, resulting in playful shouting matches, stopping people around us to ask them, as well as petitioning employees, the speaker, and the drummer in the band. Needless to say, almost all of them said a Centaur was their choice. The debate continued throughout the week, and we decided to come up with a list of reasons why Centaurs were better than Unicorns. I will supply the 52 reasons we have so far at a future time.
4. Tim Costine = Spirit and Motivation
This may seem a bit prideful, but on the last day a couple of our leaders had to leave to be in a wedding, so I took over their team that was squandering in 20th place (out of about 25 teams). The last day that have ‘the Great Race’ which is wear the whole team holds a rope and runs together throughout the camp, accomplishing tasks at various stations. Our team, the Yo-Bots (Yoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!) placed 6th place out of all teams, and it propelled us up to finishing in 10th place. I think we were the only ones that were happy about while still not finishing in the top ten. Eat that Josh. (Sure, it may have something to do with a bunch of the boys doing their memory verses and those being added to the final scores at the end of the week, but I choose to believe it was my super spirit!