First Day of Camp!

Tuesday greetings to all our devoted readers!  Thank you so much for coming to this blog and reading, praying, and commenting on our adventures.  We are so grateful, and the kids have already looked forward to the comments that we read at the campfire before we go to bed each night.

Yesterday, we welcomed the week’s first group of local kids to Eaglecrest camp.  In past years, there have been anywhere between 2-9 kids that participate in the camp.  Monday’s group was an astounding SEVENTEEN!  For past GO Team Alaska members, we will pause a moment while you scoop your chin off the floor 🙂 This is a HUGE testament to the power of God working through the Smith family, who run the camp.  The good Word is spreading!

After a delicious breakfast and devotionals, the campers arrived and we played Gaga ball and 9-square with them, and got to know (and in a few cases, reacquaint ourselves with) these incredible kids:

Our activities leaders invited the kids to choose what they’d like to do: there was a “spa” option, with cucumbers and warm towels for facials, and nail polish for manis and pedis! Anthony, Craig, and one of the Smith family, Lucas, even got haircuts!

After the activities, we enjoyed lunch and then headed over to a butte to hike to the top.  Some of us found this much easier than others, but we ALL made it!  The view was astounding.  Here’s our entire group, including the campers, the Smith family, and Blackhawk’s team:

That’s a glacier behind us!

Needless to say, getting to sleep last night was easy for everyone.  We are refreshed and ready for a new day and more fun with the campers.  Today includes wood burning and cupcake decorating, and fun at the local school with human foosball and ultimate frisbee.  More to come!

21 thoughts on “First Day of Camp!

  1. Praise God! What a fantastic kick off to your week with all of those campers joining you.

    May God shine through each of your interactions. God’s plan is always best. I can’t wait to see what His plan brings for the rest of the week.

    Audrey – we can’t wait to have you home. We are so proud of you!

  2. What is a word for greater than “awesome”? Extraordinary? Unbelievable? With God all things are possible and how amazing to have 17 kids! God is SO good and I know each of you blessed each of those kids as much as they have made an impact on your lives. Soak it all in. The sights, sounds, the beauty, the love. Keep up your faith and fill those kids with the abundance of love God has lavished on you! Keeping you all in prayer.

  3. Oh my goodness guys – 17 kids at camp! That is so stinking encouraging and I love that you are able to celebrate that gift. I love the creative new skills clubs you’ve planned -they sound awesome!

    To all my cross country buds (Audrey, Bennet, and Bailey), I hope all those hikes and games are getting your energy out! I definitely miss our early morning AK running adventures, but I know you’re in good hands.

    Emily – Brian, Brianna, and I are missing you in our “old people” MadMish team leader crew, but so glad that you are back at eaglecrest again!

    Ok. I’ll quit rambling for now. Gotta leave some thoughts for tomorrow 😉 Praying for you all!

  4. Wahoo for you all to be blessed with a crew of campers for you to do what you do best with-LOVE on them! Pray that continues through the week. Put down your walls, let yourself step aside and be there for the campers and the others on your team and work to build these new connections as God desires. Each of you has an amazing gift to share. Let your lights shine. In that non existent Alaskan night-time it may be hard to see your lights but they are their shining bright. Look forward to your next update. Love you Peanut!!!

  5. What an amazing day, and so many prayers answered! I can understand why you all slept so well :). Know that I’m praying for you all, that the strong start and new relationships being formed would grow so much more in the coming days.

    *Abby Lin – I’m sure you’ll love the cupcake dedicating :). Love you so much!

  6. Breathtaking! God is sooo good! God is sooo faithful! God is working in and through each one of you! How encouraging! Rest well!

    Abby – Love you girl! Miss you tons! ❤️

  7. SEVEN—TEEN?! Good gravy is God good or what?! I am amazed and can’t wait to hear the stories about all these new kiddos!

    The hike on the butte must have been challenging but it is beautiful to see all of you at the top…and not a bad backdrop! So happy to see such a big group!

    Craig and Noah… it is quiet around here without you. Luke has been working a lot, then spending time in his suite (of course!) and hanging out with friends. So it is pretty much me and Mac. Gma and Gpa stopped by here today on their way home from Perrysburg and wrangling Mac with a leash and crutches was a challenge to say the least. He spent all of his time while they were here out in the rain. LOL!

    We miss you both! I am praying that you are using those big hearts to love others so well and that God is meeting you and showing you some things about Himself and yourselves!

    Love to all!

  8. 17!!!! Holy cats!!! What an incredible kick off!!!! God’s gifts and love pouring out through each of you will leave lifetime, lasting impressions!! He is growing his garden in such a delightful way!! How fun it all sounds!!
    AND, way to rock the BUTTE!! I have heard all about the difficulty! Zoie wrote a paper or 2 on it for school even!!
    All of your faces are glowing in the pic!! Absolutely stunning view!!
    Last but not least, Fun animal fact #2 for y’all… Moose are higher up on the dangerous scale than bear in Alaska. Bears bother humans 1 time for every 6 times a moose cops an attitude!!
    Hope you are eating plenty of marshmallows!!
    God Bless you all and sweet dreams!!
    I miss you Zo. Lily was looking at your bed today, trying to figure out where you are!! Kiki and Tito cleaned. Without me asking….Your presence here is surely missed. I love you kiddo!! Night.

  9. Breathtaking! God is soooo good! God is soooo faithful! God is working in mighty ways in and through each one of you! Covering you with prayer!

    Abby – love and miss you tons! You are amazing! ❤️

  10. Wow! Sorry, I’m a little late to the party!!! Looks like you are having an AMAZING adventure – appreciating the wonder and glory of God, not only in the landscape but how He is working in the lives of the people attending camp and in your own lives! 17 students on your first day – wow. While you may be standing on the shoulders of those who have come before you, it is clear that God is working through you to continue to spread his love. (Quick truth: I am secretly totally jealous about the spa day, and could really use a haircut, myself.)

    Oh, and can someone please ask Nicholas how that hat is working out for him?

  11. Tears came to my eyes when I read 17. That is SO exciting and encouraging!! I love you all and I’m praying for continued safety, deep connection time for everyone and overall LOADS o’ FUN! Totally wishing I could be there for Human Foosball! LOL. Keep the updates coming!

  12. I’m so excited the camp has grown to 17 and that the value and impact of this great group is growing! So jealous of the spa day!!! And I love the nature pictures and the breathtaking images and above all, the big smiles!

  13. What a great turnout for day one of camp!! So excited to hear how the rest of the week goes. Praying for continued good sleep and great weather this week! We’ve gotten lots of rain lately so no ultimate frisbee for us here.

  14. Addie –

    I think it’s so awesome that you are up there serving and sharing what you’ve received. I couldn’t be more proud of you! Have fun, be safe, and be the light that you are.

    Uncle DJ

  15. That is truly amazing that there are now 17 kids to learn more about what God has in plan for them. I am very proud of you Zoie for what you do not only for your family but your community as well. It is such a great honor to have you part of our family. I can not wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for you all

    Heather G

  16. Hope you had a great day today, Audrey. Like we were talking before you left, you can make the world a better place with a lot of little things done again and again. A smile, a kind word, a thank you, a compliment, a little praise, a new friend, lifting each other up. It’s really cool to know that’s what you and the rest of the team are doing. High five. Love, Dad.

  17. Hi guys!! Just saw a blurb about the northern lights being at peak viewing for Alaskans tonight (Wednesday). Hope you get a chance to see them!!!
    I hope today’s campers had tons of fun and went home overflowing with God’s love and gifts from the heart from all of you!!
    How awesome are each and every special talent, gift, and kindness you are giving and receiving. Remember it is just as important to give love as it is to openly accept it. In a world so tough to navigate, you are each a shining light and example of God’s bigger plans for all humankind.
    Zoie – I hope you have been enjoying your nightly envelopes!! We all love you. I miss you tons, but am so proud of who you are and the light you shine in other’s lives!! Sweet dreams kiddo!!

  18. What an great turn out!! (17) With great energy I’m sure!! Miss you tons Bailey! So proud of you!!😘

    Love Melissa ( B’s mom)

  19. Hello to Natalie Ahn and to everyone else in Eaglecrest! I am glad to hear about your safe travels as you embark on this exciting journey. I just wanted to share with you that I’ve been praying and thinking a ton about this trip, and I am so excited that this group of youth has the opportunity to experience the presence of God as they explore their faith and provide aid and service to this Alaskan community. Please let the group know that I will be thinking and praying for everyone throughout the week, and I cannot wait to hear about the experience and the different God moments you have all encountered when you get back. Have a fantastic trip, and be sure to make lots of memories and touch the people of Eaglecrest in God’s name.

    Cousin Megan <3

  20. Hey Alaska Team- Susan from Impact Ministry at Blackhawk. We continue to pray for our team and our partner Eaglecrest as your time in Alaska continues. Praying that as you meet Alaska students and families, you will learn from them, their stories, faith and culture. We are looking forward to hearing God stories of mutual change, unexpected moments and cool connections!

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