Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blogging From Camp

Here I am sitting in the dorm at Point Loma Nazarene University, able to liveblog about my experience as a counselor at HumeSD. The girls are all in the room next door talking about "stuff."

Here's my observations so far:
Our dorm rooms, the campus atmosphere, the speaker (Darren McWaters) and musical worship have all been excellent. Darren, particularly has been able to communicate basic theological truths in a way the students could understand. Hume does know how to put on a program camp quite well. The things that haven't been so great are the activities offered (while very cool to go surfing, sea kayaking and skatepark; all of these are fairly expensive -$20 mostly and limited to a certain number who had parent permission, money along with the ability to do these things). Some of the students complained that there wasn't much to do if you weren't into the beach (the weather has been cool the past two days too.)

The food in the cafeteria was okay (I must say Biola's cafeteria is much, much better -I have eaten there with Laura), a step just below the cafeteria at work. I don't think offering pizza and burgers as an option to high school students every lunch and dinner is a wise thing nutrition-wise.

My pet peeve though is recreation. It is very well-planned and executed here. But it has the same problems with rec back when I was a youth 30 years ago -the very nature of the competition -it's very competitive. It's not just Hume -TFB never did much Hume Lake Camping until I was in college/young adult age. We often did our own camps at Lake San Antonio, Bass Lake or caravaning, yet we still had these competitions that brought out the worst in people, including leaders. Forest Home and Thousand Pines were not much different back in the day. The points scoring always seem subjective and arbitrary -for example, my students complained that it seemed they won most of their team games yesterday, but somehow they slipped from 10th to 14th place. The girls' attitude was why even try, why bother to memorize verses if they may or may not improves their standing (No, Bible memorization does not have value for them by its own right, although it should.) And although, it hasn't happened yet here, I remember the "creative scoring" that was used to boost teams that have fallen behind so they could come from behind and win on the last day (not because they said all their verses either.)

I'm not saying to do away with rec, but there has to be some way of rewarding achievement without rewarding bad behavior (the cheating that is perpetuated in the games -one boy today through a ball from the sidelines, hitting one of our girls who assumed that meant she and her partner were out. Since they were in a race, they stopped playing and our team lost. There was no deduction for the boy's team that played foul.) Then there is the "spirit points" that seem to help those teams that have HS cheerleaders on their teams. Pity the squad that lacks cheerleaders and jocks while instead populated by the asthmatic, awkward and "geeky". (The memory verse requirements are there to "even things out, unfortunately, there are no spirit points for cheering on the memorization wiz.) I know that camp recreation is a big part of the summer camp experience, but it really should look less like one of those teen summer camp movies where the teams play dirty tricks on the other side. We aren't there, but the temptation seems to be great.

But even with these concerns, I feel overall, it's been a wonderful week. I'll blog more later, especially on what we've been learning.

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