I have not been able to blog for a while because of final exams at the end of the school year and state golf. These first few weeks of summer have also been very crazy, with the last seven days being the craziest of them all.
It all started on Sunday June 21st. My mom, dad, and I met my cousins, my aunt, uncle, and my grandma at church for a special Vacation Bible School service. After this, we went to Perkins for breakfast. Directly from Perkins, my uncle, my cousin Taylor and I left-after saying goodbye of course-for bible camp. The bible camp we were heading to is on Lake Wapogasset in Amery,Wisconsin. The camp is known as “Wapo” for short. We drove in a jeep with no doors the entire 2 hour drive. It was VERY windy, but super fun! After checking in and getting settled, my uncle Josh left to make the trek home. That night consisted of games, dinner, and then I left with my group to go to Ox Lake. Because I was part of the group of TIM Teamers (Teens In Mission) and not a Wapo camper, I did not sleep at Wapo. Instead we slept at a camp about 15 minutes away that we would travel to every night by van. There was no electricity in the cabins, and there were MANY bugs, but overall Ox Lake was a pretty nice place. It was so remote we could see the stars and the Northern lights! Sleeping was a little difficult sometimes, however, because the walls of the cabin were so thin that many noises-such as thunder and birds-kept us awake and woke us up in the mornings.
The next day we learned about interfaith communication, had a swim test, played many games, ate some snacks, had a campfire, went to a special worship, and ate wonderful meals, including oatmeal, tacos, and hamburgers. Some of my favorite games we played were: Gaga (This is played in an octagonal shaped pit and kids try to hit each other with a ball in the legs. If you get hit in the legs, you are out, and the last person standing wins. Click here to see an image of a Gaga pit), 9 square (The original 4-square playground game just expanded to 9 squares so more people can play) and frogger (Someone is chosen as the “frogger” and they stick their tongue out at people who then “die.” A person tries to guess who this frogger is before the frogger kills everyone). I finished the day reading Hebrews 11 in my bible.
The next day was TIM TEAM Tuesday which meant the TIM Teamers got some extra special activities including TIM TEAM Beach Bash (an hour of beach/lake fun reserved for only us, no campers) and an awesome TIM TEAM field game. We also succeeded in “low ropes” course challenges such as having to line ourselves up in order of birthdays on a log without falling off or talking (this doesn’t have anything to do with ropes, but it is still considered low ropes). Another awesome thing I got to do that day was go to Ellie’s Ice cream with my youth director, Julie, and her college helper Charlie. We went during covenant time, which is a time to talk about promises and goals you are making to yourself and the church within the next year. So, as we were eating the delicious ice cream, we talked over my goals. These included reading the bible more, helping close friends and family in need, being a substitute teacher for Sunday School at church, and attending the high school meeting at our church once a month. To end the day we at spaghetti for dinner, had campfire, and went to a Drama worship, which portrayed the “fruits of the spirit” with Disney characters.
Wednesday was a very good day, especially because we had waffles for breakfast. (If you had a chance to look at my other blog, livelovesyd.wordpress.com, you would know that I LOVE waffles) Then we did a high ropes course and it was amazing! I walked on a tight rope, climbed a rock wall, zip lined down, and did “the flying squirrel.” (This is when 5 people are harnessed together on one side of a rope and another person is harnessed to the same rope on the other side. The person runs straight ahead while the 5 people run in the opposite direction at the same time. Suddenly the person gets lifted up into the air and flies! It is so awesome.) I was the flying squirrel at one point and also one of the 5 runners later on. After this we had bible study, which we analyzed the Good Samaritan story, and lunch. Next we drove to Wapo, had covenant time, went to the “regular” Beach Bash for the other campers (My cousin Taylor and I made a sand octopus for the sand creation contest), ran in the Wapo Marathon (8 laps around the entire camp! Taylor and I went the furthest), ate dinner, went to the campfire, attended “Drawn to the Word” (A man paints bible stories while performers dance/sing. This time he illustrated the Good Samaritan story), drove back to Ox Lake, and went to bed.
Thursday we started the day with the bible verse Mathew 6: 25-34, then French Toast, and then we left for Wapo. We listened to a “workshop” on being mindful and aware of ourselves and then ate lunch. After that we had covenant time where Julie and Charlie brought me to Ellie’s for Ice cream AGAIN. I had a new flavor this time called Pirate’s Bounty, which is caramel ice cream with M & Ms and Oreo crumbs. It was SO GOOD! After this we went back to Wapo for “Spiritual Personal Growth” time which I did yoga and practiced deep breathing, then I did tie dye, and played in the 9 square tournament. Later we got ready for the banquet, which is a fancy dinner where everyone dresses up. Then we had campfire, went to Light Worhsip (Counselors act out bible stories behind a lighted up curtain so you can only see their shadows), and finally we left for Ox lake and went to bed.
The picture on the left is a picture of Taylor and I in the 9 square tournament. I am in the neon yellow and she is in the purple shirt. On the right is a picture of us dressed up for the banquet.
The last day, Friday, we at breakfast quickly, packed up, cleaned our cabins, traveled to Wapo, had bible study, went to a closing worship and then said goodbye to our new friends and our counselors. The week was so fun that it had seemed to fly by! After closing worship, my mom came and picked us up. The car was so packed for the family reunion that we could barely squeeze our suitcases in! We managed to fit everything in and after stopping at the “Wapo Shoppo” to buy two t-shirts, we went on our way. We stopped at Burger King and then Taylor and I fell asleep in the car for about an hour. When we woke up we were only about 15 minutes away. I was so excited! However, when we got to the place we were staying (Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge in Brainerd, Minnesota) it was pouring rain. We got soaked trying to bring everything in and every time we would go out to the car we would put on our rain jackets and think of it as an adventure. That night after we warmed up from all of our rain adventures, we went to dinner at Ruby’s, which is a restaurant in the lodge. We could have whatever we wanted because the food was included in our meal plan, so I tried so many things! Almost everything was delicious, except for the fact that I dipped my mini corn dog in spicy shrimp sauce because Taylor and I thought it was ketchup! Let me tell you, that is not a very good combination. Following dinner, Taylor, Jazzy, and I went swimming in the indoor pool. Then, after our long day, we went to bed.
The next morning I woke up at about 6:30 to eat breakfast because we were playing golf at 8:00 on the Ruttger’s course. I ate pancakes and they were AMAZING! I played in a group with my mom, my cousin Murray, and my uncle Josh. I was a little frustrated at the beginning because I wasn’t playing very well, but for the second nine I realized that I should be having fun because I was playing with people I didn’t get to play with very often. After I was happier, I started to play better. I even birdied the seventeenth hole! Following golf, I ate fried chicken for lunch and then went jet skiing and tubing on Bay Lake. When we were jet skiing we had the privilege to see a sea plane land right next to us. It was such an awesome experience! When we returned back, my cousins Taylor and Jazzy and I participated in a sand castle contest (again!) and we made an entire village, including “rock mountain,” a factory, houses, a church, and a castle with a moat around it. We were tied for first place out of three people. Before dinner that night, we took a family photo and, since I haven’t seen the pictures yet, I hope we have one where all of the babies/children where looking! Dinner was all inclusive again so I got to try even more dishes, including creme brûlée! That night we had a family bonfire and my dad, Taylor, and I left early to play “night glow mini golf.” Unfortunately by the time we arrived at the course, it started down pouring and lightening, so we couldn’t play golf. We were sad and soaked, but when we got back to the room, I decided to make a mini golf hole in the hallway. I used an ironing board as a ramp and a coffee cup for a hole. It was pretty fun!
The next day, Sunday June 28, was my birthday! My mom woke me up by singing happy birthday and she had put birthday decorations on my bed. I also wore a “Happy 15th Birthday” sash to breakfast and there was a banner that said “Happy Birthday” in the hallway! I had birthday pancakes at Ruby’s and then everyone sang to me. It was so cool! My mom had bought a cake, so many people ate cake for breakfast. Then I opened some gifts, which included new Fitbit bands, a new shirt, and an iPhone 6. My mom had been very generous and given me her phone upgrade. After breakfast, we packed up and left the Resort around noon. Taylor, my grandma, my mom, and I all drove in one car and my dad followed us in my grandma’s car. We didn’t go straight home, however. We stopped at a place called “Lily Putt” in Coon Rapids, MN, where we played 9 holes of mini golf and rode go-karts. Then we stopped at The Anchor Fish & Chips for lunch in order to try authentic English food before traveling overseas in about 3 weeks. We ordered fish and chips (which are basically french fries), Shepard’s pie, mushy peas, and a meat pastie. I really liked everything! On the way home I studied for my Driver’s permit test the next day. When we finally did get home I was so happy because I had been gone for a week! My dog, Laylee was especially excited to see me and I was excited to see her as well. That night, my parents decided to bring me to Dairy Queen. I thought it was just going to be us three, but my mom had actually invited all of my friends. It was a total surprise and it was so great to see everyone while eating my medium M &M blizzard. This was a fantastic end to an even greater day and week.
It wasn’t over, however, because the next day I passed my permit test at the Eagan DMV so I could actually drive! I have driven for a total of 140 minutes already in the past three days! Driving is pretty cool and I feel older now that I am 15 and can drive. I still have MANY things to work on (such as parking!) but I think I am getting the hang of it. ☺️
Overall, this week has been so amazing and I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any different. I am thankful for my friends and family and all of these spectacular experiences. 💞
Stay tuned to hear about my trip to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales later this month. Also, if you know any of my friends/family that would enjoy reading my blog, feel free to share the link. (https://thelifeofgolfsyd.wordpress.comhttps://thelifeofgolfsyd.wordpress.com)
Thank you for reading!