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Girls on Trip, Boys in MAN CAMP.

With all of the girls packed up and ready to leave on their wilderness trips, it's time for MAN CAMP. While we keep the finer details of MAN CAMP for the guys, we can tell you that it's just a fun night filled with build-your-own pizzas, a rowdy game of Outpost, and a big huge bonfire. 

We caught a couple of our girls' cabins packing out - they were having a blast!

Over the weekend, Advance Campers kept busy with big group games like relays, tag, and other fun activities. 

Want to see more pictures of your campers? Check out HoneyRock's photo gallery!


Walk Around Camp

Sometimes, it's just fun to walk around and see what's going on in the different parts of camp. So many little events are all going on at the same time - a camper shooting his first arrow, Service Teamers and Ops working around the new Chapel, a few girls monkeying around before Camper Worship at the tent, a boy's cabin gathered at a fire, Passage leaders preparing gear to lead the Wilderness track...

And that's just a peak at what was going on for an hour this morning! We took some pictures to capture these little moments:

shooting arrows at Archery

landscaping around the Chapel

...and monkeying around!

saying hi!

preparing for the Wilderness Track

Hope your week started off well as it did here at HoneyRock! See you soon at Family Day this Thursday!


What is Zacco?

Earlier this week, we mentioned a thing called "Zacco". It's a funny name, we'll admit, but is a well-loved HoneyRock meal-time tradition.

About twenty minutes before every meal, the big bell on Chrouser's front porch rings. That signals that campers have 10 minutes get to Zacco. After those ten minutes pass, a loud "SUPPPPPP" is heard all around camp. The Unit Leaders are yelling to start the time of song (and a little bit of dance!). Campers reply with the same word, "SUPPPPP!". 

The Unit Leaders lead the crowd in some rowdy songs like "Reece's Pieces", "Rigabamboo", and others. It's just a fun time to come together, sing some songs, and let off some energy before meals.

Other parts of camp are having fun too! Advance Camp men have spent the day rafting at the Wolf River while the Advance Camp women are enjoying their last day out on their wilderness trip. Res boys are all out on trip, which means tonight is Girls Night for the Res Camp girls.

Family Day is in a little less than one week! Have you registered? If not, click here!


Disciplined Reflection: Challenge & Growth

Today we're hearing from Jake Roop, an Elementary Education major who just graduated from Wheaton College. After visiting camp last weekend, we asked him to reflect on his time at HoneyRock - he had a lot to say! We were blessed to have Jake on staff, not only leading campers in 2011 but also counselors in 2012. We're thankful for what God does through our counselors, the lessons they teach and learn in the summer. Read on to hear Jake's reflections:

Hello everyone, today I get to share with you part of my HoneyRock testimony. I have been blessed to spend the last two summers as part of the HoneyRock community. These two summers were by far the best summers of my life. To me, HoneyRock is, and always has been, a place that is conducive to spiritual growth and challenge.

This is the first summer in three years that I have not been part of the HoneyRock summer staff. But like many former staffers, I find it difficult to stay away from HoneyRock for an extended period of time. I have been very intentional about visiting camp this summer so that I can come back and experience the unique atmosphere that only HRC can offer. This summer, I am working in the Wheaton College admissions office giving all of the summer tours of campus. You can bet that I give all of the prospective students an extensive representation of HoneyRock during the tour. But I always want to give them more than just a basic description of HoneyRock, I want them to know about the challenges and growth that occurs there.

My biggest growing experience at camp occurred as a counselor in the summer of 2011 when I was counseling a group of 6th and 7th grade boys. My energy level was minimal and I felt as though none of my efforts were getting through to the boys. But God redeemed so many things within the span of just a few days and it wound up being the best session of the summer. I learned that no matter how empty I may feel, God is still using me according to his good purposes. Even when I felt that my efforts had been wasted, God was still using me to plant seeds in the hearts of those boys.

It can be difficult for counselors because they are only allowed to counsel for one summer, and few are lucky enough to come back and invest in those same campers in the roles of unit leaders, activity staff, or other staff positions. Therefore counselors hardly ever get to see the campers grow up and see their efforts come to fruition. This weekend, I was able to visit HoneyRock for the last time this summer. I was already feeling a little bit emotional because the trip may have been my last visit during a summer to HoneyRock for quite some time, when something unexpected happened.

Jake (sunglasses) with his campers at the Wagon Circle in 2011

I was able to see some of the Advance Camp boys come back from their wilderness trips. In my short time spent with them, I was overcome with emotion. The same goofy and crazy campers that I was able to mentor as a counselor, uncle, and unit leader are now young and polite men who have matured so much in the short span of two years and will be heading into high school. I spent so much time during my two summers planting the seeds and trusting in The Lord that He will bear that fruit.

This weekend, I was blessed to see that fruit. I am overcome with emotion when I think that I had the slightest meaningful impact on those kids' lives. What a wonderful feeling it has been to be rewarded with tangible signs of God's everlasting faithfulness and knowing that He is still perfecting what I did years ago. I hope that this story conveys the absolute joy that The Lord has given me. HoneyRock is a place that changes lives and I am blessed beyond all measure to have been associated with this wonderful place.

Jake (far right) and the 2012 Unit Leader Men


Campers are Coming!

But before we talk about Res campers coming, we want to highlight a tool that will help those campers who have left. Transitioning back home can be tough, especially for those who have spent a longer time at camp, like our 2:22ers who were with us for almost one month. That's why we have put together this post to help navigate that change from a temporary community, camp, to a permanent community, home.

For those of you with campers in Advance Camp, the men made it safely back from their wilderness trip. The women will leave tomorrow after lunch and plan to return this Saturday. Look for updated pictures of Advance Camp in our photo gallery tomorrow!

Today, we welcome our final session of Res campers! This morning, SLS continued preparing for campers while Activity Staff was busy reviewing lifeguarding skills.

If you are the loved one of a Res camper, you're probably wondering what they do on their first day to adjust to camp. Here's a peak at their schedule for the first night!

3:30/4:00 - Arrive
4:15 - Intro Skit by Unit Leaders, introducing the camp theme
4:30 - Girls begin swim test while boys play large group games
5:00 - Boys make their way to the swim test
5:50 - Zacco begins (Wondering what Zacco is? Stay tuned this week!)
6:00 - Dinner
6:45 - Dinner clean-up & head to waterfront for Activity Area Opening Show
7:45 - Cabin introductions at tent
9:00 - Back to cabin, get ready for bed
9:30 - Cabin Reflection
10:00 - Lights Out! 

It's a full first day, but one that works to ensure camper safety and familiarity with faces at camp. We're as excited today as we were on day one to share this experience with them for the next two weeks!

Remember, beginning this Wednesday, we update our photo gallery for Res Camp every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - check in to see what your child is up to! Forgot to sign up for our camper {e}mail option? You still can, click here!


Meet Anna: Arts & Crafts Instructor

Meet Anna, our Arts & Crafts Instructor. Originally from Kalispell, Montana, Anna came to the Midwest to study English Literature at Wheaton, where she will be a junior this Fall. Anna was a part of SLS last summer and was able to help out in the Craft Shop as a counselor. After that experience, she wanted to return to keep the re-vamped Arts & Crafts program going strong. 

While visiting Anna in her Craft Shop, a few Res Camp boys were working on their Earthworks projects. Anna explains the project, saying "Earthworks are art pieces made out of nature and left in nature. They encourage students to start thinking nature as a thing to create in and with, and I love them because they are more or less a selfless piece of art...the artist creates an earthwork hoping that his or her audience will be patient and observant enough to notice it, but the artist does not get to sign it or take it home - it's a gift to leave behind."

We are excited to share with you the work of two campers and the Artist Statements that they wrote to give context to their work.

"This is stick dog. I made it using sticks, wood, and a perfectly shaped rock. I focused on using only items from the Earth because it means I can demonstrate Earthworks. This project reminds me of my dog Champ. My audience is my family and the campers at crafts. I want them to feel happy when they see it." 

Our next artist created a cat. He writes, "This is earthworks. I made it using leaves, pine needles, and sticks (twigs). I focused on animals because it reminds me of all the pets I have and had. This project makes me feel happy. My audience is all the people at crafts. And I want them to think about animals when they interact with it."

Today, our Res Camp girls arrived back to camp safely today after their wilderness trip. Tomorrow, we welcome the families of 2:22 and Res Camp campers to Family Day! Sign-in & One-on-One sign up begins at 1:30 near the barn - to answer any questions, visit our Family Day page.