Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Clergy Kids

We arrived in Leesburg in time to have dinner with some friends at Sonny's - 
the Sanders and the Holdens. Following dinner we drove into the Warren W. Willis Youth Camp in Fruitland Park for our third annual Clergy Kids and Family Retreat. 

We were in building three again with the Holdens. There were some other familiar faces
and good friends and lots of new faces as well. Three years ago when we went, Wesley was one of two  kids under the age of 5. This year? There were 12 kids who were 5 and under!

We checked in, played group games in the Fellowship Hall and then went to chapel. 
Back in our building for the night there was a TV set up with a DVD player and another set up
with Xbox for the kids. This is our boys with the Holdens' son Will. 

Checking out the hermit crab the Nelsons brought to camp. 

Saturday morning we had breakfast in the new dining hall. Here's Daryl entertaining the Holdens' daughter Mary Elizabeth. Then it was time for devotions and a group picture in the chapel. 

The grownups got plenty of time to hang out and chat while the kids spent time in their small groups together during the day. One of the things that some kids got to do during group time and also later during family free time was to play in these cool bounce houses/slides. 

Someone liked being king of the mountain! 

We also did "The Big Hunt" again - an intergenerational scavenger hunt. 
I was on team 5, Daryl and Parker were on team 6 and Wesley was on team 7. 
Wesley's team finished first, but was missing one correct answer. 
They got a wonderful consolation prize of a giant bag of candy to split. 

One of the most interesting elements in the Hunt was below at the War Table. 
You had to shoot a marshmallow into the mouth of one of your teammates from 7 paces back. 
Wesley had fun using up the leftover marshmallows at the end. 

There was time for 4 square and basketball. 

In the evening after dinner, there was the annual talent show. Then with some spare time before chapel, we took a walk on the dock. Will needed to finish something for a Cub Scout belt loop on astronomy so we spent some time not only looking at the stars, as well as hunting for gators on the lake with a high powered flashlight. Lake Griffin is full of gators, but there apparently weren't many near us.

The kids tried to play 9 square in the air in the dark and then ended up playing basketball for a bit.
Parker ended up connecting his face to the very edge of the court and so we missed chapel to do a bit of first aid. One of the other moms in our building is a nurse and checked him out - he just needed a band-aid, some TLC, a bag of ice for the knot and some ibuprofen for the headache. We finished out the rest of the evening with an ice cream party and more videogames. 

The next morning it was time for breakfast, one last small group session and closing chapel. 
Each age group had something to do. Wesley's class had made signs to hold up
with different parts of the Bible verse on them - his sign said "Each 1" - talking about
each one having different spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ. 

Parker's class had used play-doh to make models of what they thought their spiritual gifts were and they shared up front in chapel. 

Then it was my turn to do the wrap-up of the weekend. 
Our speaker had to leave Saturday night so Daryl and I and our friend Christy Holden helped out
with Sunday morning worship. 

Daryl leading the kids in our Scripture lesson - I Corinthians 13.
He had volunteers lay out on the floor and spell out LOVE while he was reading
and everyone else gathered around to see what was happening. 

I talked a bit more about I Corinthians 13 and then Christy led us in communion. 
She had Parker and Will serve communion to everyone else. 

After chapel was over, Wesley got permission to play the drums. 
He had been dying to check them out - 
he always stares fascinated at the drummer while the band plays. 

The retreat was officially over, but there was one thing left that Parker wanted to do. 
We had not gotten a chance to walk the Path of Silence and go tree-climbing. 
So the Holdens and Allens stayed behind for a bit and went on a hike. 

Prayers left by campers at the base of the cross. 

We were all starving by that point. Since no one had to rush home, we swung by Osaka Japanese Steakhouse in Leesburg and had lunch together. The kids got a kick out of watching them cook at our table and we got a little more time with our friends before heading home. The sign of a great weekend? The boys were asleep 5 minutes into the ride home! 

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