The campers have arrived!
After a morning of instruction and last-minute preparation for their arrival and an afternoon of getting our last "down time" for the next week (more on this in a bit), we all rushed outside and made a welcome tunnel at 3 p.m. as the charter bus inched up the steep hill to Chata Jadlová.
One thing I can assure you all is teenagers always act like teenagers, regardless of what part of the world you are in. The guys will forever make themselves look incredibly awkward in their pursuit of impressing the opposite sex and the girls will always pretend like they don't notice. I know this because I spent the remainder of the afternoon playing Uno with one group of campers and quizzing another group.
Something that is different, however, is Uno. The Czechs seem to have developed some rules that make it especially brutal. For example, if I were to lay down a Draw Two card, the next person could also lay down one if they had it in their hand, followed by the next person and so on until someone can't lay one down. That person has to pick up the sum of all the Draw Two cards. I know, right? Needless to say, Alisha had to draw six one time and her response certainly had the campers laughing.
Also, the school kit bags are already a hit, with most of the campers taking time to decorate theirs to use for the week. It's also been a great way for people like Alisha to connect with some of the more artistic kids and build those relationships. Thank you to everyone who helped in putting those together -- they are certainly being put to good use!
Our schedule this next week is going to be pretty intense. There is an optional worship/devotional time in the mornings that starts at 7:30, followed by breakfast at 8 a.m. and English Class from 9:15 to 12:30 with one 15 minute break in the middle. Then lunch, then "free time," which is a time for kids to do crafts, play games, and socialize (NOT nap time). Athletics run from from 3 to 5 p.m. until dinner. Then we have more music (and *gasp* dancing!) and an evening Bible Study. After Bible Study, the students have 2-3 hours to run around and play more games, until lights out at midnight.
As you can see, little opportunity for rest on our part, considering a large part of Czech youth culture seems to be staying up WAY past midnight and having curfew at midnight is actually a compromise.
I will explain more about the English Classes, Bible Study, and the approach to evangelism we are taking, as it is not exactly what I expected (although that doesn't mean it's bad).
Please pray that the camp staff will continue to have the energy it needs to be genuine, engaging, and supportive.