On arriving Delanco it was under a cloud cover, slightly cold, and crowded with early birds ready to have an awesome week. My mother had gotten in line and called me over to sign some agreements and pick my bed in Downstairs Big. Sadey Handy and I got the first pick of bottom bunks and went in to set up. Her bed broke so Turtle and Geraldo came in and fixed it with some strength, determination, and cardboard.

Our room was slowly filled with people I met last year, different counselors, and three campers I quickly acquainted myself with. This was my second time being at Delanco Camp and all of my counselors’ names have been Emily. I had so much fun the first night I can hardly remember what came first, chapel or the games. So I’ll start with chapel.

Once I walked in I sat with my friends in the third bench on the left, it would be on the right from a stage perspective. We quickly spotted a giant wrench and an inaccurately-made pair of giant scissors. Later we noticed some huge jacks, an iPod that came up to my shoulders, and some colossal candy canes. Then Chris Low formed The A-Team which consisted of Nelson Jerez (The Leader), Dan Brown (The Smooth Talker), Vincent Altimari (The Strong Guy), and me. I was the only girl on the team and I had to be the crazy person. Thanks Chris! He gave us all a task. Nelson had to choreograph a dance with at least five people that lasted a minute of longer. Dan had to talk people into giving him their shoelaces until he obtained five pairs, or ten shoelaces, if you can’t count. Vincent had to do one thousand push-ups. I say I had the easiest job. Naming ten inanimate objects was the first job done and I took it a step further. I dubbed twenty things because I’m that amazing. And all assignments were to be completed by the end of the week. Now enough about chapel, onto the games. In the dining hall we played some ice-breakers and Mingle Games like never-have-I-ever, shuffle your buns, and some other activities that either have no names or I just can’t remember. I won a super long twizzler rope and a deck of jumbo cards. Everyone else got false mustaches, things that grew when they got wet, and mini games made massive.

Later in the week we were put into groups for group activities, tiny team time, and prayer groups. For group activities we played different word games, team builders, and measured out Noah’s ark. However, the main activity was building things out of cardboard boxes. My group built a truck. I named him Tucker. The other guys made a camper and named him Pablo. I was upset about this; I had named my little blue hippo Pablo way before this “camper” was constructed. Tucker was not allowed off of the sand so he was destroyed violently. (Check out the video) The tiny team time groups were the Goldfish, Penguins, Seahorses, Lobsters, Ducks, and Frogs. We all had to make something to represent our team. Goldfish won with our giant goldfish on a fishing pole and mini school of fish. Then there were the chants, the sticker challenge, the rafts, and the race. I forget who won for all of them, but everyone copied the Goldfish in the sticker challenge. The team that put their color sticker the highest on the pole won. And the prayer groups were very nice. They were small groups and were spread around camp at the snack shop, the craft shack, the beach, etc. My group was at the snack shop. Even though we messed around to pass some time we had some deep and serious prayer when we stayed on topic.

The night games were epic; Toy Story 3, The Goonies, Baby Olympics, Where the Wild Things Are, and more. Toy Story had the staff all dressed up. Most were main characters; others where strange or creepy, like a monkey with pan lids that got on your nerves and a big baby with a zombie stare. We saved the toys from the evil teddy bear. In The Goonies game there was One-eyed Wally’s treasure. It tested the campers’ knowledge of Delanco. Each place gave you a piece of the map, but there was one more hidden clue on the back. The Baby Olympics was a completely different situation. Everything was done on a blue tarp. There was baby-food eating, crawling, rolling, and getting grapes out of applesauce. I found it so gross that I just sat back in the sand and watched. Where the Wild Things Are was the last game we played. We sat around a bonfire and the book was read to us. They even had a bed, lamp, and boat to go with the story. We had to run and round up the wild things in our teams, but there was also another team that stole the wild things from us. All the games had candy involved in some way, shape, or form.

The last night we checked in on the A-Team for the last time. Vincent and I were the first done. Dan had collected ten shoelaces, but lost them. Keturah Chisholm, our magnificent missionary speaker, had stolen them, so Dan’s job was done. Then we came to Nelson, “The Leader”. He was the only one who did not complete his task. And then the main event came. The time for testimonies was long and wonderful. Some of them even had to wait until after the night game. I was truly moved after hearing all of the stories and tales of how God moved in the lives of my friends and fellow campers. Before going to bad all of the girls got together and had group devotions. Personal testimonies were told and people fell asleep. We wrote our baggage on stones and threw them into the lake to help us let things go. It was a remarkable last night. On the very last day we did some mega cleaning and Chris sang a special song. Parents had arrived and all of the over-sized items were being sold. I wanted to get the immense iPod, but there wasn’t room in the car.

Overall, my camp experience was just great, but my God experience and my encounter with him at the altar was just unbelievable and my made faith so much stronger. Even though it was my last time at Jr. High 2 I will return to Delanco, my home away from home.

One thought on “My home away from home

  1. Thanks Kathren for sharing about your camp experience at Junior High II. Some of us here have had the privilege of leading a lot of junior high II camps over the years, but over time we have forgotten about some of the fun and spiritual things that we have done. Your summary of the week provides not only a historical document of Junior High II 2010, but is further testimony of the work that God continues to do through the ministry of Delanco Camp.

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