On both weekends that I was in Nicaragua, we welcomed approximately 30 kids to Campo Alegria for a weekend of fun, good food, and Bible stories.
The first group of kids came from the village just a mile down the beach from Campo; the Chop Pointers run camp programs for them every year so those kids knew what to expect. The second group, however, was from a village close to Managua, the capital, and they have never been to camp before. For most of them, seeing Lake Nicaragua was the most water they'd ever seen in their lives and they wanted nothing more than to play in the waves all day long.
The camp programs have educational aspects too. The campers spent 2 hours in science, learning about UV rays with special beads that change color in sunlight and learning about wind with homemade windmills.
They also learned basic English, culminating in a loud and rambunctious game to help remember their colors.
There was sports, arts and crafts, play on the beach, and the ever-amazing game of gaga (more on gaga in my next post).
And the zipline - harnesses, carabiners, ladders, a platform, a push and an electrifying ride down the sand dunes! A few kids were too scared to try it, but the majority loved it.
During the camp weekends, I floated from group to group, activity to activity, helping out where needed and taking photos for the camp photo slideshow (on camp's higher quality camera, hence why I don't have many photos from those days). Some mornings I led chapel with a translator and with a crew of Chop Point students as the actors in our little Bible dramas. My favorite was when they all played sheep in the parable of the Ninety-Nine and the One Lost Sheep.
I enjoyed interacting with the Nicaraguan kids, but more than that, I enjoyed watching the Chop Point students, many of whom I've known for 4 or 5 years, make the step from camper to leader. It was great to see them comforting kids when they got hurt, encouraging outsiders to join in, and simply making kids laugh. I was proud of them.