For example - I was even just talking about this with Alisha a little while ago - the memories of all the years spent at camp will always be cherished. Most of the groups that would come in were inner-city kids, and many of them live tough lives, whether it was a broken and/or abusive home, being bullied at school, or gang affiliation. Many of these kids would come back every year, and so we as staff got to know them over the years. And when these kids would start to trust you, they would start opening up to you about their lives back home. I've heard stories about kids being raped, being abused by relatives, parents going through a messy divorce, siblings who are in gangs and now they're being pressured to join, the list could go on... The last day of these camps were always the hardest, knowing we had to send them back to their hell. But the best part was knowing that we were able to give them 5 days out of their year where they could be kids again and just have fun!
Other great memories at camp were made with Opportunity Camp, where mentally and physically challenged adults would come out for a week. This was my FAVOURITE camp, and I miss those guys so much... Most of the campers came back year after year, and so we'd get to know their personalities. I remember chatting with one of the campers after a meal one time, and we got on the subject of the Bible. He would always carry his Bible everywhere he went, and what he told me that day will stick with me forever: "This is what I believe in. I believe what it says, Jesus is my Saviour, and He loves me." You cannot tell me that just because someone has a mental disability they don't understand. God speaks to EVERYBODY, and although sometimes people may not be able to express themselves, they will have the ability to believe in Christ!
Another favourite memory of camp is cabin devotion time. Every night with the kids, we were supposed to have our own cabin devotion time, and we were usually given material to follow. But my favourite devotion time was with the Music & Gospel Arts Camp one year, I had the oldest girls cabin, and we basically just talked about whatever they wanted to talk about. Wednesday nights were supposed to be specifically for talking about salvation and giving the kids a chance to accept Christ into their hearts, but that week's Wednesday we ended up talking about boys and relationships. Totally not the "right" topic, but it was so great! We (my co-cabin leader and I) were able to teach the girls an important lesson about dating relationships, especially since they were getting to the age where boys are interesting. That week, there were some boy campers who "liked" a couple girls at the same time, and the girls seemed alright with that, but what we taught them was that although it's okay to be interested in boys, be sure that it's only one boy and that that boy was only interested in you, not a bunch of other girls too. It was funny watching the kids the next day, when the boys came up to the girls and were like, "I like you but I like your friend too," and the girls were all like, "Psssh back off!"
Okay, so enough of camp memories, I have plenty of other great memories too... One of my favourite memories is spending time with Wayne. I have a brief memory of being at his apartment in Lancaster, MN with my mom, and him and I went to the park close by. I don't even remember how old I was, possibly like 9 or 10? But I remember we were trying to work out a nickname he could call me, and I told him he could call me his munchkin. It never did stick, he always just ended up calling me Stacey, which was fine lol. I also have memories of him coming to visit me at work on Wednesdays. He was an international truck driver, but he would only go to Minnesota, just short trips across the border. But he would usually leave early Monday morning, be back in town Wednesday evening, then not home til late Friday night. I pretty much had set shifts at the time, I was a server at Sal's, and every Wednesday he would come visit and sit in my section and order oatmeal, toast with peanut butter, and green tea. He wasn't really affectionate with words, but those visits spoke more affection to me than words ever could.
Anyways, enough memories for today, I really should get back to working on getting my stuff put up on my walls... =)
Day 25 - A life-changing moment
Day 26 - The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 - The thing you most enjoy doing
Day 28 - Someone that changed your life
Day 29 - Your talent
Day 30 - Your reflection in the mirror