by David Meiklejohn.
Junior camp this year ran from Saturday 5th July to Saturday 12th July. We had good weather, lots of kids, fewer leaders than usual, a very good time and 11 professions of faith.
The week was packed out with activity as usual, though I was ill, so missed out on a few things. We'll go through the week day by day:
Everyone arrived by 3 o'clock. In true camp style, a game of football was started within the minute. After dinner the kids had a games time (football and hockey) and then got ready for the first meeting of the week. Here they were divided into their teams - red playing against green. The teams were effective throughout the whole week, with chances to gain or lose points at every opportunity.
After the meeting and supper, everyone settled down to quiet times (ha!) and the first night of camp.
We had a nice lie in on Sunday and only had to get up at 7.30. After breakfast the kids got ready for church and then played on the swings until transport was ready to take them. We went to the Albert Hall in Renfrew. After this we came back for lunch, a trip to Erskine for the wide game, dinner, evening meeting, supper, quiet times and bed. I missed most of this due to being very dizzy and light-headed after the church service.
Monday was when things really got started. Leaders up at 7, campers at 7.30, morning camp books, breakfast, cabin cleanup, bible lesson, then ready for the trip at 10. On Monday we (well, everyone except me) went to Blackshaw Farm. This was the wettest day of the week, but the kids came back jumping with enthusiasm. At Blackshaw they had played on the rope swings, gone to the play area, slid downhill on sledges, hung on to the death slide, seen lots of farm animals and bought lots of bouncy balls.
The trip was followed by dinner, a game of rounders, the evening meeting, supper, quiet times and bed. This was one of the easier days!
Tuesday was a fully packed day. We had missions in the morning, followed by games and handcraft running in parallel. After lunch we went to Port Glasgow, to Parklea where the kids looked for crabs on the beach, went for walks and practised their football and rounders skills. This was the first outing I could go on. Hurrah!
We came back for tea, then a game of non-stop cricket before the evening meeting.
The games included football, hockey, races, the stick game (get yourself dizzy and fall over a lot in the name of competition), the sack race, tug of war and the bucket game, which must be explained. In this game, everyone gets a shot at throwing a ball to knock over a bucket of water onto the opposition team member of their choice.
After the bucket game the water fight commenced. Buckets had been strategically placed around the camp, with large tubs of water for refills. Anyone outside was fair game, even if they had been tricked out into the open (Izzy). The water fight finished with a lot of drenched clothing left outside to dry.
Thursday was another away day and again I couldn't go. The kids went to the safari park at Blairdrummond, and came back looking fairly happy and excited. While they were away, the camp experienced a great thunder storm and masses of rain, which dried up by the time everyone came back so I'm not sure they believed us.
Thursday was also Nicola's birthday and she was brave enough to come along to camp. The event was celebrated with a 21 bucket salute, followed by a 10 bucket salute for Lyndene whose birthday was on the following Saturday.
Friday was back to the full programme, with missions, handcraft, games, lunch, then a trip to Paisley to visit the shops. This was perhaps the most harrowing expedition of the week, but no children were lost and the trip ended fairly happily. A fair amount of money was spent on sweeties for the midnight feast.
After the trip and dinner, we had a game of rounders and then party games, with old favourites such as musical knees, eat the mars bar, 12345, waves of Troy and knights, horsemen and cavaliers.
Once the party games were over we had the evening meeting, followed by the camp fire, where the children had a chance to tell what the Lord had spoken to them about during the week. This finished, we went back to the dorms, had our quiet times and gathered the food for the midnight feast. Highlight of the midnight feast was fluffy bunnies, which involves stuffing as many marshmallows into your mouth as you can and still being able to say "X fluffy bunnies". Angus, as usual, was champion at this.
The week was over, the kids headed home around 10am while the leaders tidied up and headed off home themselves for a needed rest. All except the ones who were booked up for another three weeks. They had to get ready for more kids arriving in a few hours.