On Friday, January 13th, Mrs. Froehlich writes:
It's our last day with campers and while yesterday was a tough one, it will be hard to see the campers leave. Inevitably, the counselors end up a teary-eyed mess as we sing our sending song to the campers...I'm pretty sure today will be no different.
Yesterday was a pretty high-stress day for some of the kids as there are two lovely ladies who live in the same group home and bicker CONSTANTLY. The hearts of our LHS students are so big that they were pained by this and felt like they should be doing more, but sometimes you can only do so much. Again in our meeting, talks of patience and thankfulness surfaced, but even more so were the continued prayer requests for the campers who would be returning home, for the caregivers who will be back on duty 24 hours a day, for the families and friends of the campers, and for all those individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the world who aren't even treated like human beings. There was concern for the ability to understand Jesus' grace and sacrifice on the part of our nonverbal campers (and all those who don't have the mental capacity to understand this wonderful gift) and prayers for mercy, prayers for the individuals who live in group homes with caregivers who don't genuinely care or where family never visits or plays a role in the camper's life. The compassion and love of our kids blew me away.
After campers leave today we'll be doing some cleaning and then relaxing. The camp is ours to explore and the outdoors is calling! For some students, nap time is calling, for others relaxing with games or a book sounds good, and others plan to work on their projects for this course. The low key day and the following two days didn't really make a lot of sense to the students who hadn't been to camp before, but after this week, they understand why we take the couple extra days to relax, process our experiences, and bond as a group before heading back into our daily routines.
I am blessed to be able to have worked with each of these students (and two wonderful adult chaperones!). I was in awe throughout the week of their willingness to jump in and serve, of their drive to love on their campers, and of their support and encouragement for one another. They are a fun group and while stressed at times, we have laughed just as often. In another week or two, the only stories they tell will come with smiles and laughs - even those which at the time were intense and frustrating.
As always, thank you for sharing your student with me and with these campers. It was a life experience that is so powerful on both sides and was clearly visible in the connections and interactions among counselors and campers.
Check out pictures of the LHS Students and their campers on the Academic Page under "Winterim" on this website.