Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Group Building Games

In order for camp and service project to run smoothly. It is important that at the beginning of the week, we are put into situations where team work and communication are necessary. The way that we do this on SOUL is through group building games. These are games that make the participants, chaperones, and staff all have to work together to accomplish the task set before them.

One of our games was blanket volleyball, which is a lot of fun, but can be very hard if your team doesn't work together.




Another game that we played involved working as a team to get everyone across a set of cones laid out on the ground. Again, these tasks are meant to get everyone to work together and create a sense of team among the participants.



These games can be frustrating, but Sunday afternoon is always a time of fun and bonding as we get ready for the week.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Ice Breakers

For those of you who have never been in a new place or have never met new, interesting people, I feel sorry for you. You are missing out on a lot. But, I doubt that many of you reading this are one of those people. Everyone, almost everyday, has experiences with people they have never met, or don't know very well. When you come to SOUL, it is more than likely that you are going to meet a lot of people that you don't know. Meeting people can be hard. It can be awkward. That is where ice breakers come in.

Ice breakers are games that the staff have come up with in which the participants are forced into getting to know one another, at least on a surface level. For example, my favorite ice breaker of the summer (and it's pretty high on the list of being my all time favorite ice breaker) is called "Make a Date". To start with, everyone gets a paper plate, which they draw a clock on. Then at every number they have to find someone that you don't know, or don't know well, and put their name down. Once all 12 slots have been filled, the real game begins. Now it's time to go back through the numbers. As the numbers on the clock are called out, you must find the person whose name you wrote down, and that's your "Date". Each number has been assigned a question to serve as a conversation starter.

Now, after having met 12 new people, at least that can serve as a starting place for the week to come. Another bonus from this game is that the questions can be used to get to know the kids that come to Sports Camp also.


Unless a connection is made with the campers, the impact that we are able to have in their lives and on the community is minimal.


A Glimpse of SOUL in Alabama

Throughout the summer, the Yearly Meeting staff made sure to record video and such of the different activities that occurred. This is the video from SOUL in Alabama.

video

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

20 Questions - Evan! . ... wait, who's Evan?

To answer your question: Evan was on the Alabama SOUL Staff. The reason I'm telling you all about him, is because he is an amazing person, who decided after working for six weeks in Alabama to come and help us in Goldsboro voluntarily. (He probably went home and passed out from exhaustion at the end of this.)


Evan graduated from high school last spring, right now his plan is to take some time and figure out what he wants to do before he jumps into college and all of the time and financial commitment that it is. Evan has played several instruments for many years, and is always looking for something musically challenging to pursue. It is his first year on staff, and he is also one of the few... a beaver I mean. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-

1) Were you named after anyone?
No.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
Yes.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
Ability to read minds.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
Both.

5) What do you collect?
Musical instruments.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
Pitch Perfect

7) What are your favorite smells?
Freshly spread cow manure.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Tea all day long.

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Neither, Cheerwine.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
Steak and gravy at my Granny Walden's house on Saturdays for lunch.

11) Mac or PC?
Mac all day long baby.

12) What are you listening to right now?
The fan on this computer running.

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
Body Builder.

14) What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of my 1969 Selmer Paris Mark 6 alto saxophone.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
The noise people make when they chew.

16) Mountains or Beach?
Mountains.

17) Cook or Bake?
Cook.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
Yes because you are not always going to have someone to go with you so you have to go by yourself sometimes to get a feel for what it is going to be like when that happens.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
Jack the Giant Slayer.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?

Don't waste time doing meaningless things that aren't going to help other people out because you will never know when you are going to need help yourself.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet Our Speaker - Goldsboro Edition

The speaker for our last week of SOUL was Rad Jordan. He spoke at Tremors last December, and is also the campus pastor for the Friends Campus Ministries in Raleigh. That includes NC State, Meredith College, William-Peace College, Wake Tech, and basically anyone who wants to come and can find a way there.


Rad is attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, majoring in Christian Studies as well as Pastoral Ministry. Not only does he study, but he also makes sure that he is there for everyone in his family and his friends. While attempting to learn guitar, Rad enjoys photography and most sporting events. This week we were fortunate enough to hear his testimony, which is an amazing story. It's not my story to tell, so I'm not going to tell it here. But, a lot like Zack, Rad was amazingly real and honest with everyone at camp this week. If anyone walked away without learning something, it's their loss.

Starting Our Last Week

Realizing that SOUL finished about a week ago, I have finally been able to relax and reflect on the last week to put my best efforts into writing about it. If you have been following this blog all summer I apologize for the delay. If this is the first you are seeing of my SOUL blog then please, go to the beginning and start from there. I promise it will make more sense that way.

Once again, we had a prep week before camp started in Goldsboro. Which is nice, don't get me wrong. It's great to be able to make sure that everything is lined up to run smoothly, to be able to relax a little bit before more participants come. But, at the same time, after 3 weeks of living with the same people and having little to no time to yourself, things get a little tense. Again, it's not like we were in each other's faces about everything, or even anything, but spending that much time with someone nonstop, little things start to get aggravating.

And maybe that's just me. My beaver personality means that every once in a while I need to step away from everyone, get away from the place I've been cooped up in, and spend some time BY MYSELF. Since our only vehicle was the van, and New Hope is off of the highway, there wasn't really anywhere to go.

Let's just say, I was super excited and ready to hang out with the participants and campers that were coming to Goldsboro. At the same time though, I was ready to begin heading home.

Friday, July 26, 2013

20 Questions - Zach

The guy that you haven't met yet on the NC SOUL staff is the one and only Zachary Kincaid.


This is Zach's third year on SOUL staff, him being a seasoned Alabama and North Carolina staff member. Zach, like many others on staff, is a monkey.  If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-

1) Were you named after anyone?
First name President Zachary Taylor, middle name from my dad.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
Never paid attention.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
Teleportation.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
Depends, am I drinking or filling my glass.

5) What do you collect?
Knives.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
Nothing.

7) What are your favorite smells?
Gasoline, "Into the Wild" from Bath and Body works.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Coffee some days, sweet tea everyday.

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Taste the same to me.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
Grandma's cooking.

11) Mac or PC?
PC

12) What are you listening to right now?
Everyone in the van.

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
Get back to you after I'm reincarnated.

14) What sound or noise do you love?
Bacon cooking, music on low, creek rushing down a mountain.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
Opera.

16) Mountains or Beach?
Mountains.

17) Cook or Bake?
Both.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
Sometimes.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
A Bug's Life.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
It's worth it.

20 Questions - Samie

Okay, we're almost through everyone. I promise. This is Samie. More formally known as Samantha RenĂ©e Covington. Which also means "The Listener Reborn in a Field". 


(She's the one on the right, with the curly mustache.) Samie is also going to be a junior. She will be at Montreat college, playing volleyball at the college level for the third year. Majoring in psychology, Samie is planning to attend grad school to become a physical therapist. If you can't tell from the above picture, Samie is a monkey. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-

1) Were you named after anyone?
Not that I know of. Though my middle name has been passed on for three generations.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
Sometimes. My handwriting changes a lot. Sometimes I think to myself, "It's a good handwriting day."

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
I OWULD LOVE TO FLY! I spend a lot of time on planes, so I would love to not have to spend the money or time on them anymore.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
I would say I am primarily optimistic.

5) What do you collect?
I don't collect anything but junk unintentionally.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
I don't think my friends would be surprised by any movie I like. Mostly, because they all think I'm weird anyway.

7) What are your favorite smells?
The beach. Fresh laundry. Any baked good.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Coffee all the way!

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Though I prefer Sprite if I'm going to drink soda.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
Anything homemade after dining in the caf at school for a few months!

11) Mac or PC?
Mac.

12) What are you listening to right now?
Fellow SOUL staff members playing a hardcore ping pong game!

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
I'm still in the middle of pursuing a career for this lifetime.

14) What sound or noise do you love?
Thunderstorms and the calm sound that follows them. Rushing waves at the beach.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
Really loud crowds.

16) Mountains or Beach?
BEACH!

17) Cook or Bake?
Bake.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
I'd go to  a movie by myself any day. I'm too poor to go out to eat often enough to go by myself.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
I don't have a favorite; I tend to gravitate toward stories of growth and adventure, like Peter Pan.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
Keep on going! It gets better! And, California isn't so bad.

20 Questions - Elliott

What!? There's another guy on staff. That's right, and even one more after Elliott. Anyway, here he is:


Elliott is going into his junior year at Appalachian State, he also hopes to one day soon be a physical therapist. (I'm seeing a trend... we run a Sports Camp, a lot of the staff wants to be a physical therapist or a nurse, or something. Maybe that's just me.) As far as Elliott's personality type goes, he also falls into the Golden Retriever category. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-

1) Were you named after anyone?
Yes I was, I was named after Bill Elliott.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
I like my own handwriting even though everyone else says that it is bad. I think that it is readable.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
My superpower would be the ability to be invisible and also have the strength of Hulk or Thor.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
I think I am a bit of both. But I am more of a pessimist because I just think of all the bad things that could happen.

5) What do you collect?
I have a collection of baseballs, golfballs, and hats/caps.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
My friends would be surprised to know that I like a Walk to Remember.

7) What are your favorite smells?
My favorite smells is the making of coffee in the morning, though I don't drink any.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Neither, but I like the smell of coffee.

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi, more than coke but my favorite drink is Dr. Pepper.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
The best thing I've eaten was any of my Grandmother's cooking.

11) Mac or PC?
PC because it is easier to use than macs.

12) What are you listening to right now?
People doing the Cupid Shuffle.

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
I would probably pursue the career of a farmer.

14) What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of the birds outside, and the sound of people cheering for a football team.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
I hate the sound of small dogs barking, because they are very annoying.

16) Mountains or Beach?
Mountains, I like to hike and see the beauty of the outdoors. I also can't swim or lay on the beach for a long time.

17) Cook or Bake?
Neither, I like for my mother or my sister to make things for me.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
I always have at least one other person go with me to a movie or restaurant. I think it is a little weird going by yourself.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
My favorite childhood story is Jack and the Bean Stalk.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
I would try and tell me that it's okay to not be the popular kid in school, and not get into trouble in school.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

20 Questions - Megan

Megan is another of our girl staff members. If you haven't picked up on it yet, the boys are heavily outnumbered this year.  Here she is:


Megan just graduated from high school, where she was number one on the golf team and was involved in FFA and HOSA. She will be going to school locally, and has plans to become a nurse in the near future. Megan is also in the Golden Retriever category, if you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-

1) Were you named after anyone?
My middle name is Elizabeth, and I'm the 7th Elizabeth in my family.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
No, it's like chicken scratch.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
I would want to be able to teleport.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
I am an Optimist. There is always a good in every situation.

5) What do you collect?
I don't collect anything in general, but I do keep old antiques if they look interesting.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
I think they would be surprised that I like a lot of chick flicks because I act like a tomboy.

7) What are your favorite smells?
I love the smell of cut grass.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Sweet tea.

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Coke.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
Potato salad at my grandma's house.

11) Mac or PC?
Mac.

12) What are you listening to right now?
Classical music.

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
I would be a world traveler.

14) What sound or noise do you love?
I love listening to the ocean.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
I don't like the sound of shoes squeaking.

16) Mountains or Beach?
Mountains.

17) Cook or Bake?
Bake.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
No.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
I loved Beauty and the Beast.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
Time goes by so quick so get out and do as much as you can.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

20 Questions - Paige

This is Paige.


Paige is going to be a sophomore in college this year. She is going to school with dreams of one day soon being a physical therapist. Not only does she want to work with athletes, she is one herself. Paige is on the track and cross country team at her college. Everyday this summer she's run at least 5 miles. I think it's crazy, but she loves it, and it is something that she's passionate about. So, more power to her. When we took our personality quizzes (which are not just for fun, they help us know how to interact with one another) Paige was in the Golden Retriever category. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-

1) Were you named after anyone?
No.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
Yes.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
Invisibility.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
In between.

5) What do you collect?
I have a shoe collection.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
Old timey movies.

7) What are your favorite smells?
Krispy Kreme doughnuts, cilantro, the ocean.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Coffee.

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Coke.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
Lasagna at Bravo Italian restaurant.

11) Mac or PC?
Mac, although I don't actually have one yet...

12) What are you listening to right now?
Heather and Samie playing ping pong.

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
Professional taste tester!!

14) What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of a cat's purr.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
When any joint pops, especially if a person's jaw is popping while they are chewing.

16) Mountains or Beach?
I can't discriminate... Love both places.

17) Cook or Bake?
Cook.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
Heck yes! A girl's gotta eat.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
Beauty and the Beast.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
Don't conform to the ways of the world. Be weird. Make every moment count.

Sports Camp - Yadkin County

The staff arrived at Forbush Friends on Saturday the 13th. That left us about half a week to get ready for our  shorter camp taking place in Yadkin County. The SOUL week in Yadkin was really more of a weekend. The participants arrived on Thursday, which is earlier than normal. On Friday we did all of our get-to-know-you and group building games. Then we spent the afternoon going over stations for the Sports Rally on Saturday.

Because the weekend was shorter than our normal weeks, instead of a camp that was four days long, we had a one day Sports Rally that Saturday. That meant that on Friday we prepped for a the whole afternoon, to get ready for Saturday
, from  9am to 3pm. That's a long day to be out in the sun running around. But we did it.



Saturday morning came and everyone got up bright and early to head out to the community park and set up. We got to the park about 8:00, registration starting at 8:30. It being out first year at this location, we weren't expecting too many kids to come out. But total we had almost 30 come for camp. Not including the participants running the stations.


The group of participants that we had at Forbush was very different than the group that we had at Up River. Mostly because our Up River group was a group of high school-ers and the group we had at Forbush was middle schoolers. I'm going to be completely honest and tell you that we were a little worried that the participants wouldn't be able to handle leading the stations if we had any older kids come to camp. But, in the end that wasn't a problem. All of our campers were, for the most part, younger than our participants. As you can see, some of the pictures are of kids painting sun catchers. That, ironically enough, is because a large storm came looming over us about lunch time. Once the lightning started, it was time to pull out the rainy day supplies and do other activities.

At the end of the day we all headed back to Forbush to shower and re-energize before our amazing speaker came back that night. Nick Poindexter was our speaker on Friday night as well as Saturday night. I don't want to give away too much of our theme (just wait, since next week is our last week I can let you in on absolutely everything). BUT! Nick did an amazing job of connecting the words to the middle schoolers. Since I was sitting in the back I got to see how into it they were, reacting to his stories, reflecting on themselves. It was amazing. He even pulled from 2 Kings (which is in the Old Testament) and connected it to Jesus and the rest of our theme. I love when people make it clear how the whole Bible is one long story.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

20 Questions - Charles

Charles was another of our great assistant staffers. He was also with us in Up River and Yadkin County. Here he is!


Charles graduated from high school this year and is continuing his education locally, he's planning to transfer to Western Carolina in the near future. He plays in a band with some friends and family and lead worship for us while he was with us on staff. Charles did get to take our personality quiz, and he is in the Golden Retriever category. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-

1) Were you named after anyone?
I was named after my uncle Charles who unfortunately died this year.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
No because most of the time I can't read my own handwriting.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
Either super speed or to be able to read minds.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
It depends on the situation that I'm in. At times I'm like glass half full, but at other times I'm glass half empty.

5) What do you collect?
I collect anything to do with the bands Skillet and Journey like CDs, DVDs, Books, Concert tickets, merchandise, and any other miscellaneous things.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
Anything with Morgan Freeman especially March of the Penguins.

7) What are your favorite smells?
The smell of a freshly fried chicken at my Grandma's house along with the smell of freshly baked cornbread.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Coffee.

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Coke, lifelong I, only drink Pepsi when I absolutely have to.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
The first time I ever ate a hotdog from Zach's which is a hotdog place in Burlington, NC.

11) Mac or PC?
Mac. Steve Jobs is my hero, Bill Gates has too much money, and Mac is way more user friendly.

12) What are you listening to right now?
A playlist that consists of the new Skillet album Rise, Journey Greatest Hits, and the first Glee album.

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
Classical concert pianist or to be the next Morgan Freeman.

14) What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of a big storm while I'm sleeping.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
The band Florida - Georgia Line which in my opinion isn't real music.

16) Mountains or Beach?
Neither. Cleveland or Nashville so any big city with music at its center.

17) Cook or Bake?
I can cook better than I can bake. I will bake stuff occasionally but it's much better when I cook stuff.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
When I actually have money, so almost never.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
The three little pigs or the Disney movie The Fox and The Hound.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
Do better in school, start learning guitar and bass, and make the most of high school and just enjoy life.

Monday, July 22, 2013

20 Questions - Tanna

For our next installment of getting to know the staff, I'm going to tell you about Tanna. She was one of our amazing assistant staff, and was with us during our camps at Up River and in Yadkin County.


Tanna is going into her senior year of high school, with dreams of being a high school home-economics teacher. Her passion for service and for kids is amazing! We do not know what animal category she falls into, but I'm willing to bet that she's a monkey as well. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <- 

1) Were you named after anyone?
Not my first name, but my middle name is the same as my grandma's, great-grandma's, and great-great-grandma's.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
Only with certain letters and when I write on white boards.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
Turning inanimate objects into chairs, that way I can always be lazy.

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
I don't see the glass half empty or half full, I see it as something to drink when I'm thirsty.

5) What do you collect?
Books, I love them all.

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
My friends just expect me to like weird things...

7) What are your favorite smells?
Versace cologne, old books, ice cream, most men's cologne, the Mahogany stuff from Bath and Body Works, and libraries.

8) Coffee or Tea?
Sweet tea or McDonald's mocha frappe.

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke or regular Pepsi.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
Bamboo Garden's egg rolls!!

11) Mac or PC?
No electronics, they don't like me.

12) What are you listening to right now?
Zach's commentary on what I'm typing, the van wheels, and Heather's loud mouth <3

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
Missionary works.

14) What sound or noise do you love?
Little kids playing and British accents.

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
Smacking of lips.

16) Mountains or Beach?
Mountains, but not hiking!

17) Cook or Bake?
Eat.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
I'm never alone, I have Jesus and a good book.

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
The Little Mermaid.

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
Don't worry about boys, have fun and everything will work out in the end!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The End of Our First Camp

I guess come of you probably want to know more about our Sports Camp in Hertford. Well, see, the thing is, I was assigned to be a 7/8-year-old group leader. Which I absolutely loved. Those kids stole my heart. It was so hard to leave at the end of camp. Anyway, because I was a group leader, I kind-of stopped taking pictures...  I know, I know. It wouldn't have been that hard to take pictures and make sure that the kids were behaving. But I got carried away. Luckily on the first day I got someone to record this gem of a video:

video

Tell me those kids aren't adorable. Can you see how I got caught up in hanging out and loving on them? So, I'm sorry there aren't any more pictures of camp, but we have two more camps, so I guess you'll just have to wait.

Other than camp, our week was filled with more service projects. We mulched around the church at Up River. We put together homeless kits. One of our other projects fell through because of bad weather, but the week was full of fun and service.

This group of participants was so full of love for each other, for the communities that we were impacting, and most importantly, for God, it was amazing. I sincerely believe that hearts were touched that week. I hope that the changes that took place were permanent, and that people see how much of an impact they can have, if they just get out there.


**I'm not in this picture either Mom, sorry. This one happened before we were really set up for pictures.

20 Questions - Director Heather

I want you all to get to know the whole staff a little better. In order to do that, we found a list of questions that everyone is going to answer, and I am going to share them with you. Not everyone has answered the questions yet, and I don't want to overwhelm you, so I'm just going to do one person at a time. To start with, who better than our fearless leader and director: Heather Harris.


The first thing that you need to know is that Heather is very much a monkey. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out my blog on our personality types -> click HERE <-  She is a fifth grade teacher, and loves the kids in her classes. She's always looking for ways to improve her classroom experience and keep the kids interested.

1) Were you named after anyone?
Nope! Well, my middle name or my first name? My first name I am pretty sure my mother just made up out of thin air. My middle name is the same as my dad's.

2) Do you like your own handwriting?
I write like a teacher.

3) What would your superpower be if you had one?
To be invisible! Then I could sneak on planes and travel the world for free. Or should it just be flying?

4) Are you and Optimist or a Pessimist?
Optimist.

5) What do you collect?
Memories! And pictures!!! Lots and lots of pictures!!!!

6) What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
Tyler Perry's serious movies.

7) What are your favorite smells?
Clean Linen!

8) Coffee or Tea?
SWEET TEA!!!

9) Coke or Pepsi?
Neither.

10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?)
My favorite meal is cheeseburger just ketchup with cheese fries and a sweet tea from Chris'. It is sooo good!! I would want it as my last meal on earth! It is very fattening so I do not get to eat it a lot.

11) Mac or PC?
MAC!!

12) What are you listening to right now?
Samie saying "what?" Along with the ping pong game of Megan and Elliot.

13) What career would you pursue in another life?
Photographer that would travel the world! I would take pictures of people in different cultures. I want to find the beauty of every culture through making relationships with the people!

14) What sound or noise do you love?
The sounds of a baseball games and laughter!

15) What sound or noise do you hate?
The constant sound of ping pong balls being hit back and forth right now.

16) Mountains or Beach?
Both! I love to travel!!

17) Cook or Bake?
Neither. I would rather be doing anything else.

18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
Sure! Why not! But I would much rather be able to talk. Of course I could just make new friends!

19) What is your favorite childhood Fairytale or childhood story?
Disney's Aladdin! I love the music and one day going on a magic carpet ride!

20) What would you tell the 13-year-old you?
Everyday is an adventure! Get LOST! Find the beauty EVERYWHERE!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sports Camp Begins! .. and potato adventures

Last Monday was our first day of Sports Camp. Since it was held at the Perquimans County Rec Center and not Up River Friends, we had to get up pretty early in order to eat breakfast, have morning devotion, and make it to the Rec Center with time to set up. Set up includes getting the registration table up and running as well as putting up the tent in the middle of the field, and filling coolers. On a hot day we probably go through about 6 coolers of water and/or Gatorade.

Then the kids arrive! As the children arrive for sports camp, we play with them on the playground, and we get to know everyone's names and help them get to know each other.

Camp starts with a silly song and some stretches. Then group leaders are lead out and groups are called based on age. Camp is offered up through high school age, but typically the kids are elementary and middle school age. The highschoolers that come usually have a lot of fun, even though they may not want to admit it.



As I said before, Monday was football day, so each station had different drills relating to the sport. One was agility; there was a defense station, and an offense station. A devotion with the kids is also a station. That way we get to spend time with them and talk about Jesus, not just rush it at the end. Camp lasts until about 12, then parents begin coming back to pick up the kids. Sometimes on the first day the kids are ready to go, but usually they want to stay and hang out and play games with everyone some more.

After camp, and after everything had been cleaned up, the staff and the volunteers (who we call participants) leave to go eat lunch at Up River.

Most afternoons we, as a group, do at least one service project. Monday afternoon all of us loaded up into vans and headed out to pick up potatoes at a local farm. This Potato Ministry is something that was started in the area not long ago. Local farmers have decided that either they will grow potatoes especially for the cause or they will let volunteers comb their fields after they have harvested their potatoes. Either way, volunteers go out into the fields and glean potatoes, which are then donated to local charities and other ministries.



At the end of the hour we had in the fields, our participants, and the staff, had gathered 601 pounds of potatoes. How awesome is that?!

Later that night we had our second worship session with Zack as our speakers. The title of his message was "1st Ministry and 2nd Ministry." First ministry is loving God. Second ministry is loving people. What he was talking about is something that is extremely important on SOUL, and the staff had been trying to make sure that we are fullay able to take care of ourselves (with Time Alone with God and a bible study every night) so that we can pour into others. In order to successfully complete second ministry, or outreach, the relationship that we have with our Father must be constant, it must be stable. It is nearly impossible for someone to share the love of Jesus if they don't know him or if their relationship is weak. In order to love others effectively, the love of Christ must be so full in us that it flows out of us onto others.

Something that I have written in my notes that night which I think is thought provoking, "If I don't choose to act and to walk in faith, then God will do nothing. It is my job to act on faith." When I say that I am not saying that God cannot act without us. He is the creator, the destroyer, the beginning and the end. He does not need us to do anything. However, because he loves us, God has given us the chance to follow him, he won't force us to do so.

I'm going to leave you with that.

Have a wonderful day.

Morgan

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meet Our Speaker - Belvidere Edition

So, I want to preface this by saying that Zack speaking this past week was definitely a God thing. Until about two weeks before we headed out, we had no idea who was going to be speaking for us. Then on a visit to Up River for planning we heard about this guy named Zack Lane from the pastor. We did some texting, then that Sunday he came down to Up River from Virginia to meet us and check out what we were doing. As soon as we met I knew he was going to be a great speaker.

Now, after that build up, here he is. Ladies and gentlemen, Zachary Lane. . . Yes, that is a mohawk.


Zack is going to be a sophomore at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida, majoring in Biblical Studies. He plays guitar, and doesn't think he can sing (but he's fooling himself). In short, this guy is fully focused on trying to follow the path that the Lord has for him. All of the participants, and the kids from sports camp, even the staff, everyone learned something from him this week. He'll be the first one to tell you that he's had troubles and struggles in the past, and that all he wants to do is share the amazing love of Christ with as many people as possible.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our First Group

For those of you who have never been to SOUL, participants arriving is kind of a big deal. When the group got to Up River last Saturday, the entire staff ran out to greet them and to haul their bags into their rooms for the week.


After everyone got settled in, we played some get-to-know-you games and had a short devotion. Even though we have a small group this week, and most of them know each other, the get-to-know-you games were a lot of fun. For the sake of not ruining any surprises for any participants coming to Yadkin County or Goldsboro I'm not going to tell what the games were, just know that they were pretty great.

Sunday morning we split up and a group went to Piney Woods and another one stayed at Up River. Both of the churches were kind enough to host a luncheon for us afterwards, so we got to spend time getting to know some of the people in the community. And, of course, the homemade food was absolutely amazing.

That afternoon we played some more games - group-building games this time. Then it was time to go over our drills for Monday. Monday was football day.


As we prepped for drills, some of the participants volunteered to lead stations, and others volunteered to lead devotions and to be group leaders. I was supposed to be helping with the Defense station.

Later that night we had our first worship session with out speaker Zack Lane. Up River Friends lead worship with their praise band, then the staff did a skit, finally Zack started speaking. I forgot my journal Sunday night, so I don’t want to paraphrase or misquote anything, so I won’t say much about the session Sunday night. After the session we split up into “family groups”. Family groups are small groups that are meant to keep the conversation going after the session, and let people fully soak it in.


Since Sports Camp was starting early in the morning, we sent the kids to bed at about 10:30. Once they were in their rooms we had our staff meeting and devotion. Instead of a regular devotion, the staff this year has decided that we should have more of a bible study. As our first book, we picked the book of James to go through. Finally we got to bed, I think I speak for everyone when I say we were all a bit excited, but also nervous/curious about what camp was going to bring the next day.