The last day was a blast of fun and water! In the morning we made shields and barriers out of an array of cardboard and duct tape. It was a super creative process in preparation for the afternoon “battles”.
In the afternoon we used fortifications and shields in a big water war game. It started with Eaglecrest Staff in their truck with water blasters and a pool of ice cold water and 900 water balloons in the middle of the field. No one held back, there were balloons flying, water being dumped and streams blasting. Lots of laughter too. Best was that we were blessed with the warmth of the sun.
In the evening we enjoyed a cookout potluck style with people of all ages from around the Sutton area. This is a gathering Eaglecrest hosts weekly. It was honestly the coolest thing to see a group gather like this- teens hanging out with their friends and of course competing in nine square, little kids running around being silly, friends connecting, musicians sharing their acoustic gospel tunes, and everyone just learning a little more about one another. Leader Ed always wanted to wrestle a bear, so he got his chance with a local boy named Bear! And who doesn’t love a good potluck- someone brought a platter of smoked salmon, a treat fresh from the Alaskan waters!
In the evening we shed some tears reflecting on this experience. We came to serve the Sutton community, but more importantly we came to be relational. So many students and leaders connected in ways we didn’t expect. One little 7-year-old with Cystic Fibrosis found a friend in one of the MSM girls, hanging out together for most of the camp. Their connection was not only fun, but was a really big deal to that 7-year-old.
Many of the MSM students made a strong friendship connection with another student their age from the Palmer area. It’s cool to think especially with cell phones they will likely continue to grow their relationship from miles away. Maureen enjoyed learning to make cross paracords with staff member Quint, who is from Madison and attended this trip as an MSM student and now comes as staff for part of the summer. The best part was the realization that they both served on the Family Fusion ministry years ago.
We all had engagements that were meaningful; just by being teamed up with someone we didn’t know, we got a chance to learn a little more about how we do life the same and differently. And most importantly we shared a lot of laughter as we built relationships with the community.