Final summary

How great is our God Sing with me, how great is our God And all will see how great, how great is our God - (Chris Tomlin, "How Great Is Our God") After the campers left on Sunday, the camp staff gathered to talk about what we had seen happening throughout the week, and we got a better perspective of how much this camp means to those who attend. Our review of evaluations from the campers showed us that through this camp, many campers are coming closer to God. A few campers commented on how positive the American volunteers are and how loved they felt at the camp. Others said that the camp made them think about their own faith and what they need in their life. Many campers, even those who seemed disengaged at the beginning of the week, told us that they want to come back next year. Our joy throughout the week was seeing the sense of community that developed among the campers and the earnestness with which they participated. Serving at the camp also had an impact on the vo

Day 6 and "Goodbye"

"Friends are friends forever  If the Lord's the Lord of them.  And a friend will not say never 'Cause the welcome will not end Though it's hard to let you go, in the Father's hands we know That a lifetime is not too long to live as friends . - Michael W. Smith, "Friends" On Saturday we took time to celebrate the week with our Campers. After worship, Bible reading, and a shortened English class, we had a final banquet. The Hotel Kudowa staff outdid themselves as always with serving wonderful food, and the camp leaders presented certificates to the students and gifts to the translators and volunteers. We invited some of the hotel staff to appear so we could cheer for them - they have provided excellent service and made our stay very comfortable. The banquet was also a last chance for each conversation group to enjoy time together and share how much the week meant to them. The banquet was the last "official" camp activity, but many people

Day 5

One of the most exciting and unique aspects of camp this year has been the Escape Room, a place of mystery where teams have to solve multiple puzzles and gather clues in order to leave the room before they run out of time. You can see the promo for our own Escape Room here: . Every conversation group got to try the Escape Room this week. Only four groups were able to finish all the puzzles in under an hour without asking for additional clues. The undisputed winners were the 18-year-old group led by Lauren Robbins, Seth Platt, and KD Henderson, who finished in only 35 minutes! Credit goes to Brent Robbins, Kristen Smith, and Janna Forseth for planning and facilitating such an awesome camp activity. Friday was a day of "lasts" - the last conversation group, the last Escape Room attempts, the last evening message, and the last camp activity. Many conversation groups made the most of the day

Day 4

What does it mean when you're told to create a skit using a trenchcoat, a deerstalker hat, and a magnifying glass as prompts? It means that, most likely, someone gets to play Sherlock Holmes.  On Thursday, all the conversation groups were hard at work preparing for our traditional Skit Night. The performances took place at the end of the day, and we enjoyed many fun and creative stories, from Sherlock losing his own cell phone, to campers in 2118 discovering relics from their 'ancestor' Zbishyk, to a retelling of Titanic (what 'really' happened with Jack and Rose! ) The rest of the day included English classes, a group discussion of 1 John 4, and a surprise rainshower. The evening message was about turning our lives over to Jesus, and a testimony was given by Lauren Robbins. On for Friday: Acts 9, more English, more rain, more great conversations, and a camp talent show!

Day 3

Happy (late) Fourth of July from Poland! Even though we are away from home, we still used the day as a chance to celebrate with our Polish friends.  Wednesday was a day full of activity. Our conversation groups met to discuss the first section of John chapter 1, a passage with simple words but deep truths. The evening message focused on what Jesus lost by coming to Earth for us. Seth Platt gave the evening devotion, and Carroll Miller led an additional Bible study in the evening. This was an optional Bible study for those who wanted to learn more about Jesus - and 14 campers attended! For our evening activity, we  had an  American-style bonfire with s'mores. There's nothing quite as fun as introducing s'mores to someone who has never seen them before, showing them how to assemble one be and seeing their sticky smile of delight. After the bonfire, the young and young-at-heart enjoyed line dancing, featuring favorites like the Macarena, the Chicken Dance, Cotton-Eyed Joe,

Day 2

Like most days, this day got off to an early start for the camp staff, with a 6:45 staff meaning in which we prayed together and heard a short message on encouragement from Jim Mays. Pastor Z, as always, was gracious in supplying coffee and donuts to compensate for the early hour. The whole camp got started with morning worship featuring a new song, The River Is Here, as well as an old favorite,  Open the Eyes of My Heart. This week began with rather cool weather, with highs in the mid 60s. Today, on the other hand, the weather was absolutely perfect, and during the afternoon free time many of us enjoyed walking or playing frisbee outside. One of the best ways to connect with other people at camp is to sit in a outdoor cafe drinking coffee or eating ice cream and talking about life, and many campers and workers could be seen doing this throughout Kudowa-Zdroj today. Contrary to what was said in the last blog post, the evening activity was not a bonfire, but a live version o

"Welcome Campers!" and Day 1

Welcome to the blog for the Family English Camp, located in beautiful Kudowa-Zdroj, Poland! The theme of the camp this year is "Lost & Found," based on Luke 19:10. All the campers arrived on Sunday and we have officially kicked off camp. We are all very jet-lagged and made it through the first day by God's amazing grace. We are reminded of Isaiah 40:29: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." The week began with a round of English placement tests that put our campers into their appropriate English class levels. As campers arrived, we could hear occasional shrieks and sounds of joy as American and Polish friends from previous years reunited with one another. On Sunday evening, conversation groups met for the first time and competed in our first ice breaker team activity, Minute to Win It.  The band and worship team started us off on Monday morning with the traditional, "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes"