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Wednesday, August 6, 2008


This past week  70 pre-teen kids and 20 adults loaded onto 2 buses and a couple of cars and headed off over the rivers and through the mountains to Lake Taupo for a week of school camp.  I was one of the "lucky few" adults elected to ride on the bus with the kids.  The music was loud and the yelling even louder.  My ipod failed to block the noise.  We arrived at "Lake Taupo Christian Camp", unloaded and found our rooms.  My room was a typical camp room with bunks for 10 people.  I let the 9 girls claim their beds and took the remaining bed.  I should have taken a moment to note what the floor looked like as I wouldn't see it again for a week.  How much stuff can 9 girls pack into their suitcases?  We headed to the activity room to watch a video on safety.  Yep, I know where the fire exits are, ok, I can handle getting away from windows and under a doorway or table in the case of an earthquake, but get inside a vehicle or building in case of a volcano???  Where am I?  Oh, that's right, I'm on a fault line with 3 active volcanoes nearby.  
Because we were at a Christian camp the director led us in prayer before our meals.  We did the "we will rock you" prayer - "Thank you for this day and thank you for this food..., we will, we will THANK YOU".  The first time the kids sang this one they screamed "rock you" to which the leader stopped and explained the concept of prayer.  The "superman" prayer, and then there was the "army prayer" done to the army cadence.  "Thank you Jesus for the food.  (repeat)  Cereal, toast and apples too.  (repeat)  We'll have lots of fun today. (repeat) Keep us safe along our way. (repeat)"  By the end of the week the kids were screaming their prayers with all their hearts.  I even heard one girl softly singing it on the way home.
After each night of little sleep I was in no mood at 6:30a.m. for running and exercise to start the day.  Then breakfast duty and make lunches.  A myriad of activities were planned for the week.  The kids learned about volcanoes and the military.  We visited hot pools, geothermal hot spots and waterfalls.  My favorite activity was a day of skiing on Mt. Ruapehu, an active volcano.    The excitement of the kids was contagious.  I missed the powdery snow and lush forests of Michigan to ski through but the kids didn't seem to mind the slush and rainy mist as many of them had never seen snow and this would possibly be their only chance to have a go at skiing.  Moments like this with the kids remind me of how fortunate I am to have experienced all I have in life.
Food had an interesting twist to it.  Each morning spaghetti on toast was most peoples choice.  Then there was a morning tea break around 10:00 with cookies.  Lunch and then afternoon tea at 2:00 with more cookies.  Evening tea (dinner) then supper at 8:00 which is another excuse for more tea and cookies.  The girls in my room also wanted to have a "midnight lollie feast" each night which simply meant breaking open the bags and bags of candy they had brought.
Friday morning we cleaned the room and loaded everything back onto the buses.  Earphones back in as I try to lean my head back and get a little sleep on the ride home.  No use looking our the window, it's still too rainy.  Everyone's tired but the music is still loud.  We pull into the school, unload our stuff.  The kids and I grab our bags and pull them home.  After a week of continual rain, no heat, no sleep and camp food I am happy to return back to the simple routine of Wairoa.
No worries - Kris


  1. Wow the camp sounds like a ton of fun!
    I like your pictures!!

  2. Wow. What an experience. I don't envy you. A nice normal routine will feel good for a week.