Back From Camp

In the hurry to get packed for camp (not sure why there was so much hurry because I only took a backpack with a pair of board shorts and three t-shirts) I forgot to grab my laptop and thus, had no ability to connect and post while away. Our first ever 'Beach Camp' was really fun. Here are a few things that stuck out.

- Every student we took was TOTALLY into it. Nobody gave us grief, complained about stuff or otherwise made the trip miserable. We drove here and there for meals, loaded and unloaded tons of beach gear every day and had a super flexible schedule. Every single student had an amazing attitude. It was actually kinda weird!

- Warm water. The water was about 72-73 degrees which is probably the warmest So. Cal water I've ever felt.

- Lots and lots of surfing by everybody. I think every kid at camp stood up on a surf board. We had several adult leaders who spent the vast majority of their time pushing kids into waves, helping them paddle back out, and then pushing them into another wave. Very fun.

- Our guest speaker. We asked Josh Treece, a former intern and current middle school pastor in San Diego, to speak two times. He was really, really good. He walked our students through the first half of Genesis and managed to hold their attention and give them really good insight into God's original plan, the fall etc. We couldn't have asked for a better speaker for our chapel times.

- A really nasty rash. Probably because I only packed board shorts. No need to elaborate.

- Generosity. We had a raffle at the end of the week at which time we gave away a $50 gift certificate to a surf shop and a new soft-top surf board worth about $200 from the same shop. Grace, an 8th grade girl, won the surfboard while an 8th grade boy won the gift certificate. Ahsley comes from a surfer family and has a garage full of boards and fully understands the value of the surfboard she won. However, she decided to see if the boy would want to trade her new board for the gift certificate. It was awesome. She could have returned the board to the shop and received $200 bucks in store credit, but she wanted to give the board away in return for the $50 certificate. Not often do you see a junior high student trade $200 for $50 just so somebody else can benefit. Pretty fun to watch...No wonder her name is Grace.

- The Junior High RV. That's right, somebody donated a 1988 RV to our ministry about a day before the trip so we took it along with us. It made staying in a caravan super easy. "Just stay behind the slow moving, tan and beige RV and you won't get lost....."


Ryan said...


Sounds AWESOME!!!

One quick question. On the girl who won the surfboard, was her name "Grace" or "Ashley" - you mention Grace, then say that Ashley came from a surfer family, and then back to Grace again. I wasn't sure if it was two different girls, or the same one with two names?? :)

Hope you are doing well and hope to see you soon.

Bethany said...

Hey Kurt,
How about doing a surfing retreat for youth pastors? !! Ya'll could teach us non-Californians how to surf! I'm addicted to boogie boarding, so I really want to learn. If it's with you, maybe I can convince my church to pay for it!! :)

muzik316 said...

That's awesome about the surfer girl. I remember once back in the late 90's we where on a youth trip to Nawlins. (I was a youth then... still am if you ask the wife) and my friend Brian was handing out clothes at a mission in the Quarter. A guy pickd up a pair of pants that where way to big. Brian just slipped the belt off his pants and handed to the guy. Amazing what happens when we take ourselves out of the picture.

kurt johnston said...

Ryan...her name is Grace, I have no idea why I typed Ashley!

Deneice said...

Glad it went well. Sounds like a lot fo fun!