Camp Friendship, June 16- somewhere in the middle of nowhere near Lugansk, Ukraine.
I am having a blast. And I am sore all over. I arrived at Camp Friendship about 4 days before the 1st Camp began with the intent of serving any way I could. I spent 3days cutting grass with a push mower and it was nearly “Mississippi” hot.
On Saturday, nearly 300 children ages 6-14ish arrived for Camp 1- it is two weeks long. There are probably 80 workers at this camp, most of them Ukrainian and most of them working in the Kitchen, the grounds, keeping the furnace going for hot water in the showers and laundry room, being Dorm Parents and Interpreters. A team of about 15 young people and a handful of adults from ServantLife in Birmingham are also staffing this Camp.
My “job” now that camp has begun is 1) clean the pool in the mornings, 2) work in the Camp store just before lunch, 3) Run the Frisbee Golf Course after lunch, 4) Be a Lifeguard at the Pool from 4-6 and when I’m not Lifeguarding, then I help with an English Class for 8 or 9 year old boys. During whatever free time I have that coincides with the kids’ free time, then I just hang out with kids. I think all of us “Americans” are connecting quickly with individual kids. I have about 4 that look for me every day to throw the Frisbee or play guitar or whatever.
While the weather was steamy hot the first few days here it has cooled off considerably. It’s beautiful during the day and downright cold at night. It’s nice!
The kids are kept pretty busy. We start our day with a Flag Ceremony and the Pledge of Allegiance at 8:15 followed by breakfast. From then until lunch the kids rotate between Bible Studies, Crafts and Music. After lunch is nap time for the little kids and organized recreation for the big kids. They have “semi” free-time after 3 pm- I say “semi” because there are several organized activities happening during this time- Frisbee Golf, Ultimate Frisbee, Futbol, Ping Pong, Volleyball, English Classes and other games and activities. Dinner is at 6:30. After that is a Worship Service, followed by games and competitions and a talent showcase from the kids. It rocks.