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Dan Brooks and Noah Smith navigated travel to Wa, Ghana—the first CampsAbroad trip with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Due to unforeseen delays, the staff training sessions were already underway when they arrived. Thankfully, many of the staff members were returning counselors from the first camp in early 2020. They were eager to learn and for camp to start.

The campers arrived on foot, bikes, vans, and open-bed, three-wheeled trucks called tricycles. The sun was setting as the excitement was rising for these two newly formed teams. They love competition and Bigball volleyball did its job to ignite a passion for the red and blue teams.

Although the vast majority of the 140 campers were regular church attendees, they did not appear that way as the first service started. Most were young and either fell asleep right away or were talking. The services were full of distractions, to say the least! Yet when we had a Bible quiz on Friday night, we were pleasantly surprised how well some had listened. 

The one full day of camp was truly a full day. Our planned teen camp had turned into a junior camp and our games and sermons had to be tweaked. How providential to have Noah Smith along for this trip. Noah is the new Junior Boot Camp Program Director. Though the day’s temperatures soared to around 105 degrees, the energy level soared as well. The ball field was full of a variety of free time games. Volleyball was the favorite! It’ was no wonder that when they sat down in a warm room for a service, sleep won! 

At the conclusion of camp, there were several victories. Some of the counselors caught the vision of serving campers by intentionally interacting with them. Noah‘s message on Philippians 2 focusing on Christ’s finished work on the cross was well-received. Eight young people made professions of faith and there were a handful of other decisions. 

Tired but enthusiastic campers loaded into truck beds and tricycles. As the campers left, we heard the phrase, “Bye, Y’all!” We taught them the southern greeting of “Hey, Y’all!” and a courteous “Goodbye!” 

After the campers were on their way, we had some time to reflect on the few days of camp. It had been profitable in so many ways! Even though only a few older teens attended, the camp schedule worked well, and God’s Word proved to be powerful again.

Next year they will get to host the camp on their own, and we will go back in 2 years, Lord willing. With their love for youth and their passion for camp, they will do great.

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