Simon's thoughts as we approach the end of two weeks of Camp

With our second and final week of Beaver Cross camps nearly over I’ve had some time to reflect on my experience so far as well as wonder what will happen in the future.

It wouldn’t exactly be a lie if I said that I was looking forward to going to New York city as much as the camps when I first applied to this trip, but as we had more meetings and found out more about what we were going to do at Beaver Cross I got more and more excited. Now that I’m here and have spent 11 days doing camps I can honestly say that this is one of the best experiences of my life  and it will hold a place in my heart and mind forever.
Don’t get me wrong; there have been a number of challenges both physical (leaches, having to navigate American healthcare for an eye infection, not to mention all the walking), and spiritual in receiving bad news from home. Not to mention the stress working with children who just don’t always want to stick to the programme (which has given me newfound respect for anyone who ha…

Emily updates us on the weekend...

We started off the weekend after a well needed sleep and a tiring first week at camp. Many of the overnight campers for that first week are signed up for two weeks, and so there's a 'mini' camp over the weekend, and on Saturday that meant a trip to 'The Great Escape', a theme park and water park nearby.  We left at 9:30 am with the weekend campers, and once there we split into groups depending on where people wanted to go. One group wanted to go to the water park, one group wanted to go to the milder rollercoasters and rides and another group wanted to do everything. They also included the thrill seekers.  Unsurprisingly, I was in that group. There were around nineteen kids overall not including leaders. We went around the different attractions and rollercoasters for about two hours until 12pm, where we met up outside the theme park and had lunch. Lunch was interesting, to say the least. We had it in the bus, and everything for lunch was brought outside the bus an…

Update from Adrian

Hi everyone…sorry that there’s no blog post from a young person again today…the truth is that there’s not a lot of spare time at Camp for them to write.  Hopefully, we’ll get a few thoughts form some of the team at the weekend, but for now here’s a little update…
Beaver Cross operates two simultaneous Camps at the Spiritual Life Centre – a Day Camp (kindergarten to yr8 approx) and an overnight camp (the age range for overnight camp while we’re here is Middle School but that varies over the Summer).  Our team is divided between these camps, with a  couple also being involved in programme support, which effectively means providing logistics for the two camps.
Each morning begins with a time of worship and teaching called ‘Good Morning God’ followed by different activities.  Some of these activities are undertaken for the whole week and classed as skilled eg Tae Kwan Do, Sport (this week’s skilled sport is rugby, ably taught by Adam and Andrew), Arts and Crafts.  Other activities change…

A day in the life

Ellen explains a bit about the daily routine at Beaver Cross

Today was the second full day of working on Beaver Cross’ over night camp.

A typical day here consists of breakfast at 8am followed by cabin clean up and “Good Morning God” as the first session of worship in each day. Following this campers take part in their skilled activity, which can be anything from martial arts to sports led by Adam.

Lauren and I have been stationed at archery for the skilled activity and after just two days I have come to the conclusion that like most sports I am not particularly gifted at archery. Following this we have lunch and observe the campers’ different eating habits such as pouring chocolate milk on a cookie and eating it with a fork. The next part of the includes a well needed siesta when naps in the cabin are openly welcomed by the NI Team, then Campers Choice activities such as taking on the high ropes course, swimming or canoeing in the lake, or arts and craft, all of which are followed by…

The campers are here!

Our first day with campers is over.  Here are a few thoughts on the day from team member Beth, who will be working on overnight camp this week:
With the jetlag starting to fade today’s early start was slightly more managable, after attending this morning’s communion service in Christ the King Church we continued preparations for the campers arrival for ‘Penguins and Polar Bears’ week. 
Taking Father Mark’s message of stepping out of our ‘Christian bubbles’ and doing something active with our love for God, our team members have all been assigned various roles in supporting the team of staff here at Beaver Cross.
This afternoon as campers began to arrive the sun was shining and there was an air of excitement throughout the cabins as returning young people were reunited, mixed with a few nervous first time campers- much like myself!
Very quickly after the campers settled in and our team members got to grips with the confusing timetable of activities we were all having fun trying out som…

Day 1 nearly done!

Time for our first proper update…
Once again, thanks for all your prayers and good wishes for our Albany Team.  After a long journey by air and road, it’s great to have spent our first 24 hours at Christ the King Spiritual Life Centre, here in Greenwich, NY – which is where the Beaver Cross Camps are based.  
Saturday is the ‘in between’ day in that, while there is still work going on setting up for the next camp which begins tomorrow, there are no campers here.  That means it’s been a really good opportunity to get to know some of the Beaver Cross Staff who live on site during the Summer.
A good number of them are in High School or early College and so really close in age to many of our team, and it’s great to see bonds of friendship forming between the Americans and the Irish team already.
The first part of the day was set a aside for a bit of a lie in after a long journey, followed by the all important England Quarter Final.  Danny Hyde, who heads up the Youth Ministry in Albany D…

Team arrived safely!

Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers...we arrived at Christ the King Spiritual Life Centre last night and, after a welcome dinner and quick tour we went straight to bed!

Saturday will be spent getting to meet some of the American staff, orientation and, most importantly, a chance to bond over World Cup Football (or Soccer, to use the vernacular!).  We hope that different team members will have a chance to blog about their experiences.  Also, don't forget to check out the DDYC Facebook page!