Hello, from hot and sunny (humid) Lakeland, Florida!
I wanted to stop in and hopefully provide some afternoon entertainment via pictures and stories from the summer camp Scott and I have been working the past four days. Currently, we are on a quick break to transition from hosting high schoolers to middle schoolers at Camp Orlando 2014.
Quick back story on how we got here:
Scott and I used to be a part of the First Baptist Church of Orlando community for years when we lived in Florida. Scott was tied in with the drama troupe and I spent a lot of my time performing in productions and shows with the dance ministry!
The summer before we moved to Michigan, Scott volunteered to help out with Camp Orlando as a Cabin Leader and stayed with a group of high school boys for five days. In the past, “camp” held true to it’s name and took place in the woods, which is pretty much the exact opposite of the college campus we upgraded to this year.
Seriously, are we spoiled or what?
Friday afternoon, almost two hundred high schoolers representing schools all throughout Central Florida took over Southeastern University in Lakeland.
The city is a relatively small one, located in-between Orlando and Tampa.
To fully embrace the experience, Scott and I hitched a ride to our church and bused over with the students and staff, which took me right back to field trips from my school days. Remember these busses?
After about an hour drive, we pulled into the college campus right before dinner time. The teens became instantly excited (slash terrified) when we were greeted by the infamous “mascot” that appeared four years ago.
Waco is a gorilla who usually appears at night and breaks into cabins and dorm rooms to scare the you-know-what out of students, while someone follows him to get their reactions on video. Every year, the staff creates stories about where he goes during he day time and what he’s been up to.
This year, he has made his return clear by greeting us and showed up in several rooms startling both students and staff. He even made an appearance in our room, and then caught Scott and I red handed on a midnight run to Wal-Mart.
I guess they take curfews pretty seriously around here.
Just like the students and Cabin Leaders, Scott and I settled into our dorm and are staying on campus for the week.
We spent a few minutes unpacking our stuff and I quickly realized I was rooming with a tennis shoe hoarder.
I did it. I finally proved that Scott has an obsession with sneakers! I’ve always said it, but I finally got proof enough to share. Not including the three pairs of sandals hiding on the floor, that’s thirteen pairs of shoes you see there. For ten days. Case in point!
The only explanation I can figure out is that he might have been a little nervous packing, since he would like to look presentable on stage.
For the first time ever, Scott has been hired to emcee an event and be “the funny guy” to get the crowd going in between most events.
Scott’s been in sports entertainment since college, but he’s usually behind the scenes or the performer on stage. He’s never been the person in charge of entertaining a crowd with words and a microphone, so I was really looking forward to be here to witness all of the nonsense first hand.
Nonsense is a great way of describing it, too!
Throughout the camp, he’s encouraged students to tweet him funny stories that happen around camp and shares the good ones during Morning Camp News. There’s embarrassment, bodily function talk, and photos and videos included in these shares, and somehow he got these guys to re-enact a Frozen sing-a-long right here on stage!
And then there’s the games. I don’t have many photos of those because I’m usually involved in setting them up. Some are original Hesington ideas while others are spin-offs of classics like musical chairs, but with blindfolds.
After the morning warm-up session, the students break into their teams for discussions and then they head out to the fields for recreational activities.
Throughout it all, Scott gets on the microphone again and challenges students to complete random tasks and answer general trivia questions for spirit points. We have come to the conclusion that these kids will do just about anything for points.
This team definitely won most original effort by creating and performing their own war song.
During the games and activities, I have the task of coming up with trivia questions and keeping score of points. I’ve actually learned a lot of useless information that might just come in handy one day.
So tell me…
What is Mickey Mouse’s original name?
Who discovered rubber?
Which is the highest mountain in Africa?
For the record, it’s Mortimer Mouse, Charles Macintosh, and Mount Kilimanjaro. I’ll be here all day, folks. So will Mr. Coolshades.
(That Cross-Fit tee gets me every time!)
You might be wondering what’s going on in the food and fitness departments. So far I haven’t fit much activity in besides walking the campus, since we are staying all the way on the opposite side of most of the activities.
I’m working on it, and actually plan to take a run around the property as soon as I publish this post.
The campus is so beautiful!
The food is definitely your typical camp food, and I’m extremely grateful to have the salad bar option for both lunch and dinner. Usually, I’ll grab whatever protein they’re serving and load it with veggies.
(My version of nachos.)
After the first morning of indulging in runny eggs, mystery sausage meat and hash brown potatoes, my stomach had quite the wake up call. Since then, I’ve only been grabbing coffee from the cafeteria in the mornings and eat a protein bar and fruit like apples and bananas instead.
There is a free period scheduled into every day, which I plan to use wisely and catch up on life. Scott’s currently playing in an ultimate frisbee competition during his, so I better hurry this up and get out there to cheer him on!
The nights are dedicated to worship and late-night activities.
The music is led by teenagers, which has truly impressed me!
The pastor delivering the messages for the first portion of the camp was Pastor David, the Senior Pastor from our church and also the incredible and inspiring man who married us. Being here with him has been nothing less than a treat.
Scott and I just looked at each other in amazement today. We feel so blessed to have been brought here to be a part of something like this and are already talking about how we are going to make it happen again next year. I mean… wouldn’t you want this dorky duo hanging around your summer camp? *Pick me, pick me!*
(Also, the “Satan is a Poo-Poo Head” shirt is one of my favs!)
I’m sure there will be a whole batch of new stories to fill you in on as the week progresses. Rumors have it that the adventures of chasing Waco have just begun, and I’ll be keeping a look out and will share anything interesting.
I hope you are having a great start to you week and I’ll see ya in the morning with a fitness related guest post!