Today is the summer solstice. Although I write this before I leave for Florida, I am pretty sure I’m still there while WordPress.com nicely posts this entry for me on the pre-determined date I arranged.
Boot Camp is winding down for me and my team. Early Boot Camp (the one I’m in) has been joined by Super Boot Camp (more than twice as many more people added to our numbers!). I believe we’ll be starting Missions Conference right about now. it will last all weekend. Missions Conference is really cool. Gobs of different colleges, mission organizations, and other ministries send reps down to Boot Camp to meet with the kids (and the leaders, too). Everyone gets choices of which organizations they want to go and meet with. And there are generally awesome speakers during the morning meetings and nighttime rallies. The Early Boot Camp teams have survived two weeks of training and are able to exhale and relax a little. Sure, we’re looking pretty grubby and smelling a little bit, well, earthy, if you will. But the shell-shocked looks that are still on the new arrivals faces have all but disappeared from our own. Pack-out and commissioning are right around the corner! Can I hear an AMEN, and a WOOOOO HOOOOOO??!!!! 🙂
Boot Camp days are long. And they are hard. Often they are soggy. And always they are swarming with skeeters. (Bob Bland, the founder and main guy of Teen Missions, has a saying….”There are two kinds of mosquitos at Boot Camp. There are the ones that are small enough to fly right through the screens on your tent…and there are the ones that are big enough to unzip your tent and go right in!”)
Two weeks ago none of us knew each other. By now my team will have forged a bond as we’ve all made it through this horrible and wonderful thing that is Boot Camp. We have team cheers, we have inside jokes, there are new nicknames, and we are a family. Our blisters have healed and we’re used to the smell of sulfur and bug spray and sweat. We’ve learned dramas and how to do puppet shows. We know how to dig correctly, how to hammer efficiently, and how to mix concrete and to lay cinder blocks. We can identify everyone else’s Bible and flashlight. We can assemble with a single call to order and can move from location to location in a tight formation. And we know how to kill bugs in our tents after lights out without screaming and giggling. We have run the obstacle course for the last time. And we are all getting verrrry excited about being commissioned and loading up on a bus and heading for the airport. Just a few more days, and we’ll be off!
Watch www.teenmissions.org. The team updates will be starting soon! And the days will be getting shorter! I’m sure I’m looking forward to having THIS longest day behind me.
(posted in absentia)