Camp J.O.Y.

Laurel LYF Lynchburg WorkcampersWow… what a week. I am dead tired right now, but I know if I don’t post this today, it’ll be a while before I get around to. On Saturday morning June 2nd, Mike and I left with 9 of the teenagers to head to a new camp that is being built in Lynchburg, TN called Camp J.O.Y. J.O.Y. is an acronym for Jesus, Others, Yourself in case you haven’t heard that before. A group from Snellville, GA and a group from Paducah, KY also joined us. Clay, the new youth minister was going to meet up with us at the camp later in the afternoon… or so we thought. We were the first group to arrive (Perry and Jason already had a small crew that arrived like on Tuesday). We were given the “tour” of the camp, which pretty much consisted of a barn, an area where the cabins are going to be built, and the creek.

Dig some holesAfter we had the tour, we started to get to work. Our task for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday was to pretty much dig holes. The holes needed to be 2 feet deep and 18 inches in diameter. Since this area, like Knoxville, has seen very little rain in the past couple of months, the ground was very hard. In addition to just being hard, we also ended up hitting a lot of rock and roots. Overall, not a fun thing to dig out with just a shovel or post hole digger. Sunday, we were able to get a tractor with an auger. This tremendously speed up the amount of time it took to dig the holes. The auger would drill a hole 2 feet deep and 12 inches in diameter. We’d just have to clean out the holes and make them wider… or so we that’s what we thought.

It's Christmas Time!!!!!The worst part of this trip, by far, had to be the sleeping/showering arrangements. The guys were in two houses. Each house was fairly small and only had 1 bathroom. Each also also had like 18 guys in them as well. However, our arrangements might have been better that the girls. The guys houses were connected to city water. The girls on the other hand, had well water. There were 25 girls staying in one house with only one bathroom as well. A couple of the neighbors had offered to let some of the girls use their showers. Just imagine 25 girls having to share a bathroom. Well it turned out on Sunday that the girls had managed to run the well dry. This meant not water for flushing the toilet, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, and of course showering among other things. As you can probably tell from the picture of Trey, our house was filled with Christmas decorations. It turns out the house we were staying in, only gets used as a Christmas Shop in the winter.

A New Attendance record?????Sunday was the start of the inside jokes that would develop on this trip. The first started as we arrived. We were greeted by the preacher. He told us that the air conditioning unit that cools the auditorium had gone out and they were looking for somebody who could fix it, but since it’s Sunday during church time, they couldn’t find anybody. Someone asked if he was serious. His response was “No, I’m not serious…. Yes, Yes I am serious.” It was really not even all that funny at the time, but it was something that developed as the week progressed.

Next was what happened in Sunday School. The teacher wasn’t really ready for this large of a crowd, so we divided up men and women. In our class, the lesson was from a VERY OLD “Church of Christ” tract called My First Choice. When he showed it to us and we saw the cover which was clearly a bride and groom, we all thought this class was going to be on marriage or something like that. We could have never guessed the direction the class was going to take. The story was about 2 guys who are best friends and go to a Christian High School. Both guys are competing for Valedictorian. During one test Joe sees Bob with a cheat sheet that he is using on a test. Joe is conflicted on what to do. Joe wasn’t the only one who saw Bob cheat on the test. Another girl named Jane sees Bob cheating as well. Jane isn’t really all that smart (though she’s top in her Home Economics class) and doesn’t even really know Bob or Joe all that well either. Joe talks with Jane to confirm that he did see Bob cheating on the test. What should Joe do? Well it turns out, Joe didn’t decide fast enough because Jane goes to the teacher and tells on Bob. Bob ends up getting a 0 for the test which ends up giving Joe the title of Valedictorian. OK, if your still with me and didn’t fully catch that story… read it again. Get ready for this… The final outcome of the story. Joe ended up becoming a Gospel Preacher of the “true” church while Bob ended up becoming a preacher of a “denominational” church. This was the moral of the story???? Don’t cheat or else you might become a “denominational” preacher? Actually, I can’t say I was surprised that this kind of lesson was being taught in church. I almost guessed that the story was somehow going to tie in how the “Church of Christ” has it right and everybody else has it wrong.

SuperhumanUnless you were on the concrete crew, there were times that we had to go on break waiting for one thing to be finished before we could start on something else. During those times the kids would either go down to the creek, stay at the site and sing, or they would play a game. The game of choice was a game called Superhuman. To play the game, you play rock, paper, scissors (or timber, french hunter, rabid beaver) with somebody who is on the same level as you. The winner goes up a level and the loser goes down a level (unless they are at the lowest level). The levels are egg, chicken, dinosaur, human, superhuman. If you’re an egg, you roll up in a ball on the ground. If you’re a chicken, you go around walking and clucking like a chicken, etc. The game ends when somebody reaches the superhuman level… which generally doesn’t take long at all to reach.

I knew this was gonna happenIn the end, we accomplished quite a bit while we were down there. The barn got its concrete flooring, which made it all the way to Wednesday afternoon before somebody walked or ran across it before it was fully dried. We got two cabins ready for flooring and a third ready to start the framing. We made it with nobody getting seriously injured on the worksite. The only injury came while we were on break at the creek. A girl from Snellville stepped on a sharp rock and got a pretty deep cut. I looked at it and saw that she definitely needed to see a doctor. Her dad was also on the trip, so I just pulled him aside and told him what happened and that she needed to see a doctor. We ended up taking her to the ER in Fayetteville.

To conclude the trip, we stayed the night at my parent’s house. Everybody had a more comfortable place to sleep and my mom cooked a really good breakfast on Thursday morning. You see… all week we had just been having powdered donuts, pop-tarts, and cereal for breakfast. We ended the trip by eating at Big Ed’s Pizza in Oak Ridge.

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