Avery Ryan -- Camp Synopsis

Camp was hosted at Eco Park Resort roughly 45 minutes west of Boa Vista. We had fantastic weather throughout the week with a rain shower each day during lunch that helped to drop the temperature for the second half of daily activities. All of the volunteers and campers had arrived to Eco Park by 3pm on December 26. For the remainder of this day we discussed the planned activities, settled into dorms, fellowshipped and learned the layout of the resort.

From Tuesday to Friday we began each day by meeting outside with the ladies at 7:30am to begin the half mile walk south to the location of where we had meals and the activities every day. For breakfast we had eggs, biscuits, and a variety of fresh fruits, juices and coffee to choose from. After breakfast we would have a 20 minute compass check class pertaining to the theme of camp; Guided by God’s Word (Psalm 119:105).

The next two hours of the day were activities. We had Ga-Ga ball, volleyball, capture the flag, swimming, waterslide and kayaking. On the first couple of days I was in charge of introducing and teaching how to play Ga-Ga ball and capture the flag to each of the dorms. Ga-Ga ball is a version of dodge ball that is played inside an octagon arena that has three foot high walls. Prior to our arrival the Eco Park staff had created an arena for us to play on. However, we had to adapt to what we had because the walls were only 18 inches high and the arena was a circle. But we didn’t allow this to deter us from having fun. You are to protect and prevent the ball from hitting you between the top of the knee and your foot on either leg as others slap and hit the ball about the arena. If the ball hits you anywhere else you remain to play unless if you are the last one to touch the ball as it goes outside of the arena. This game was a success for both the girls and boys dorm as well as the adults that played. There was laughter and smiling going on the entire length of this activity each time we played it.

After the two hours of activities we had crafts and table etiquette class run by Mrs. Kathy de Campos.  Each day there was a new craft they were to make after they received instruction and the etiquette cues. The first day they made candle holders by gluing colored tissue paper onto jars. On day two, placemats were made from gluing cutouts of a plate, cup, napkin and utensils onto a piece of decorated construction paper which we laminated once completed. On Thursday everyone used the placemats and candles at dinner. Then on days three and four we made thank you cards for the Eco Park staff and the donors that made it possible to have this camp.

Following crafts and etiquette we would have lunch which consisted of rice, sauced meats, turkey sandwiches and fresh fruits and vegetables. As we entered the afternoon (the hottest part of the day) we would have Christian living class that lasted roughly 45 minutes given by two of the local brethren. Afterwards we would have another two hours of activities. Followed by dinner where we had fresh fruits and vegetables again, rice, whole cooked fish, bread and a sauced meat.

To wrap up on Tuesday and Wednesday we had an hour set aside from 6:30pm-7:30pm for game night where we could play cards, connect four, checkers, billiards and table tennis. However, on Thursday night we had a dance that lasted for two hours. Mr. Martin, Kayla Weaner and I led the cupid shuffle line dance for others to learn and participate in. Towards the end everyone managed to form a limbo line, which Michelle Roig was the last contestant remaining. Once this time had concluded we would head back towards the dining hall and grab a cup of ice cream before walking back to the dorms where we would shower, unwind and prepare for lights out from an exhausting day of fun activities.

Friday was a half day of activities before the campers headed back home after lunch. Leading up to the Sabbath us volunteers checked the dorms for anything that could have been left behind, cleaned, looked at the livestock and fruit trees and packed our things to move into three chalets close by the dining hall for our final night. Once we settled into the new lodging and prepared for the Sabbath I took a much needed nap before dinner. Mr. and Mrs. de Campos, Mr. Martin, Michelle Macedo, Kayla Weaner, Michelle Roig, Esteban Morales, Dave Middleton and I had a wonderful meal and conversation that evening. Following dinner we practiced the special music we were to perform for church the next day.

Sabbath morning we awoke at 7:30am and had breakfast before we got onto a bus headed for church services two hours away at the brethren’s village in Maloca de Moscou. For special music we sang “God Is Calling Children” with the first and fourth verse in Portuguese, second in English and third in Spanish. After Sabbath services, lunch and fellowship time we headed back to Eco Park and had a final meal together as well as retrieved our belongings before heading to the airport for our flights home. This was an amazing opportunity to be able to serve, fellowship, build a relationship with brethren and learn spiritually as well as physically.