Our trip to Camp Barnabas is here! We left on June 8th and will return on June 15th. We’ll be posting updates on our facebook and twitter pages:
I’ll also add updates at the bottom of this page as often as possible.
Our team this year is:
Please keep our team in your prayers if you’d like to encourage anyone on the trip you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and put their name in the subject line.
If you have any questions about email Josh.
UPDATE 1 – Sunday – June 12th – 12:43 AM (trying for some sympathy – haha)
Weâ€™re having a great week at Camp Barnabas! The campers are amazing and weâ€™re having a great time getting to know them as we live and play together. There are over 400 campers, volunteer, and staff here this week and the majority of the campers have physical challenges that cause them to use a wheelchair. Itâ€™s already been a blessing to get to know these campersâ€™ beautiful personalities as we work together to have the best week at camp that we can possibly have.
Each of our Camp B team members that are over 16 are paired up with an individual camper. Iâ€™ve asked them to write updates about their campers – these were written about 24 hours after the campers arrived.
My camperâ€™s name is Lindsey and she is 17 years old. She has Cerebral Palsy and is in a wheelchair. Sheâ€™s very smart and we have already had some great conversations. I canâ€™t wait to find out what God has in store for both Lindsey and I throughout the rest of the week! It feels great to be back at Camp Barnabas.
My camper this year is Meranda. She is in a wheelchair and needs help with pretty much everything, itâ€™s definitely a challenge but totally worth it. Iâ€™m excited to see what this week has in store and I canâ€™t wait to see how much God has in store for me.
Not knowing what to expect this week, Iâ€™ve been very blessed with my camper and cabin. My camperâ€™s name is Maria – sheâ€™s 11 and from Arkansas. Iâ€™m in a siblingsâ€™ cabin meaning that of the kids have special needs but at least one of their siblings do. Mariaâ€™s a very quiet but really sweet girl. This morning she got to go fishing for the first time and really enjoyed it! Because we are in a sibs cabin we get to do some special things like go camping and have sibs parties. Though Iâ€™m sure itâ€™ll be tiring, I canâ€™t wait to see what God has in store for the rest of the week!
What can I say that hasnâ€™t been said about someone who is coming back after a self-exile? I was received with open, welcoming arms from both the staff and the campers. My camper and I hit it off immediately. He is an energetic and imaginative boy with Muscular Dystrophy. We have already had a countless number of spongebob squarepants impersonations. The rest of the cabin is just as amazing. There are campers who have nicknamed us, campers who are avid Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fans, etcâ€¦ I look forward to what these boys have in store for me and my cabin in the ensuing week.
My camperâ€™s name is Scotlyn and she is 10 years old. She is fully capable mentally and physically, she is the sibling of another camper here. Believe it or not, her amount of energy is far beyond mine. She is a lot of fun but a huge test of my patience and compassion. She is outgoing and bouncing off the walls 24/7. Itâ€™s been a good first day and Iâ€™m looking forward to the rest of the week. (I haven’t been able to get Lydia and her camper to stop long enough to get a decent picture yet!)
Emily is paired up with a boy camper and they are getting along great – I gave her a notecard to write an update and she said she was going to try to take a nap during free time. I never saw said notecard again.
Anna is working hard and doing a great job as a barnstormer. Her schedule is a little different from the rest of the group. Iâ€™ve given her 2 notecards to write updates and she lost them…Iâ€™m not buying it!
Iâ€™m the cabin dad and sleeping in a cabin with seven campers who are all in wheelchairs. All seven are also non-verbal, however several have discovered unique ways of making noise in the middle of the night – so far weâ€™re averaging about 4 hours of sleep. Itâ€™s been such a blast to hang out with these campers, their personalities are beautiful! Itâ€™s also a joy to watch our students and the other students here give of themselves and love these campers.
Please keep everyone here at Camp Barnabas in your prayers. Over the next few days, campers and volunteers will be getting a bit more tired but God willing weâ€™ll all have enough strength to continue having an amazing week!
We hope to update you again on Monday. Thanks for checking and supporting.
Update 2 – Monday – June 13 – 11:47 PM (getting to be before midnight)
Our week at Camp Barnabas is nearly over. Exhaustion has set in and yet everyone here is still having a great time. Itâ€™s hard to express in words how incredible Camp Barnabas is, Heaven meets Earth in a uniquely beautiful way in the midst of all these teenagers giving of themselves to love and serve the campers here. We have a few more updates from our Camp Barnabas team (updates are harder to come by as our team gets more tired, sleep during break time becomes much more of a temptation). I look forward to you being able to hear stories from all who are here with us when we get back. Feel free to stop any of us that you see and ask us about our experiences here.
Hello my (small) audience: Since my last update, I have made even more progress with getting close to my camper. After a retracted Adamâ€™s Apple from an enumerate number of piggy back rides, several bruises on my legs from continuous water slide usage, and rapid eye movement (REM) due to lack of sleep. I couldnâ€™t be more pleased with my experience an justified with my choice to revisit Camp B. These kids really are amazing and I feel like my cabin mates and I are truly lucky to be able to spend a week with them. Yes, there are some aforementioned low points, but that could never override the fun, the laughs, the absurdities, and the connections.
dictated, but not read
P.S. the ceiling may cave in 7 dance parties from now
P.P.S. Jose Manjarrez â€œItâ€™s like an earthcakeâ€
As the week goes on our girls are growing closer and coming out of their shells. Maria has been reluctant to try different things but has done really well at all of them – lassoing a cow, fishing, archery, shooting rifles. We got to have a â€œcamp outâ€ with a few other sibs cabins, where we had sâ€™mores and breakfast at the camp site but got to sleep in our cabin. Even though we get a decent amount of sleep Iâ€™m still worn out. Today we get to go on a creek float which will hopefully be relaxing. We are lucky to have a really great cabin mom who helps with everything and makes things more fun. Itâ€™s been cool to see all the campers become friends so quickly. Iâ€™m looking forward to the next two nights but am ready to eat something other than camp food.
This week has been good, but it has also been very challenging. Lindsey had an accident on The Screamer (on the high ropes) and she has been having some serious back pain since Friday. It has been very frustrating though because Lindsey doesnâ€™t ever want to make decisions or tell me that she is in pain so my patience is wearing thin with that, but Iâ€™m doing my best. The week has flown by and I canâ€™t believe that we are heading home in two days. Iâ€™ll be sad to leave all of the girls in my cabin because they are such amazing girls and they have taught me so much.
The girls are wild and I am exhausted. My favorite activity has been archery and I think it was my camper, Scotlynâ€™s, too. It took a lot more strength than we thought it would and was hard to get the hang of. After failing many times it felt rewarding to finally hit the target. Iâ€™m enjoying interacting with the girls and staff this week and its great to see God working in the hearts of everyone at Barnabas.
Updates not submitted: Emily Sabo, Megan Grable, Anna Allen – shame them next time you see them. They are all doing really well and are blessing others even if not writing updates.
Iâ€™ve really enjoyed being a part of my cabin this week. I share the common theme of exhaustion that we see running through our studentsâ€™ notes while at the same time experience a joy that comes purely from loving God and loving others as we continue to do our best to pour ourselves out to make this the best week of these campersâ€™ lives. The days are physically taxing at times while being full of laughter. I feel blessed to be here and am looking forward to this last day with our campers (I also hear my mattress calling my name!). Being able to be with these campers and to get to know each of their personalities is truly an incredible experience.
We look forward to sharing more with you when we see you next! To all of you who have Â prayed for us and sent emails to folks on our team…THANK YOU! It truly is a blessing to Â know that you are lifting us up to God and to receive kind words, encouragement, and to be reminded of you. Much love and weâ€™ll see you in the Land of Lincoln real soon.
I’m working on uploading some pictures to flickr right now. However, I’m only giving them 6 more minutes to upload before I go to bed. We’ll see how it works – http://www.flickr.com/photos/cbcspringfield/