Romanian Camp Flexibility

Andrew and Grace (and Luke’s two cents) here. Since it’s been a day or two, there’s a lot to catch y’all up on. After waking up earlier than we’d normally desire yesterday morning, we loaded up the big bus and several mini-buses and started the long journey to camp. Almost immediately, the campers started sharing their vast number of icebreaking games with us; pretend everybody is ice, and break them. Don’t worry, it’s not quite as ominous as it sounds – no one gets injured in the process. Many of you that have been here before are familiar with the “Who Slapped My Hand?” game, but rest assured there are evidently many other less than imaginative ways to get the entire back of the bus (and beyond) playfully slapping each other. Meanwhile, Luke figured out how to solve a Pyraminx (a Rubik’s cube that isn’t a cube but a pyramid)! We took a rest stop at a park and consumed those famous cheese and salami sandwiches (delicious) while getting to know the campers better. As returners, it was refreshing to have the campers that we’d already created bonds with enthusiastically introduce us to their new friends and make every attempt to involve us. Many new friendships started developing and somehow we got even more excited for camp.

After a relatively slap-free second half of the bus ride (Daniel came back and made sure our new friends & us found more productive ways to connect) we “arrived” at camp and learned that the journey was not quite over… we had to lug our many baggages partway up the mountain (and we are definitely in the mountains!) since the big bus was unable to make it the entire way. The evening was a bit chaotic as we struggled to adjust to the new facilities and catch up with the camp schedule. Many of us had our first dose of “Romanian camp flexibility” as our first evening session responsibilities began right as we arrived and we had to adapt to the ever changing needs of the moment.

In the end, we got done what needed to get done and so began the last part of the evening: small groups. While every small group was different, some members of our team began to feel the full impact of the language barrier as the deeper the conversation got, the translation into English became more sparse. As Americans, one of the hardest transitions on this trip is to learn how to sit back, observe, and pray rather than just sharing our thoughts and opinions. Please pray for us and the campers as the conversations continue to develop throughout the week.

After a little less uninterrupted sleep than some of us had hoped (the guys slept four to a bunk – *double bunk – head to toe!), we awoke to some of the most beautiful fog hugging the tree filled slopes (#mistymountainscold). Our morning was filled with arts and crafts during breakout time (formerly known as English class) where we picked out pictures of things we liked and glued them to the covers of journals. While the rest of the campers headed down to the fields to play more get-to-know-you games, we (Grace and Andrew) hung back to cheer on our small groups as they attempted the obstacle course suspended in the trees. We are about to head out for more large group sports/games right now, but first, some shout-outs:

To Grandma and Grandpa Babler: We are in the mountains at camp in romania, and I bet that it is way prettier than your view! I miss you tons and cant wait to see you soon <3

To Movie Soulmate: Morning babe. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen like a ginger while you’re in San Fran. This morning we sang the Misty Mountains song and I thought about our pool reenactments and that time we went to see Desolation and thought it “wasn’t that bad.” Please inform Nickolas that the Neymar memes have been put to good use. Miss you bae.

To Jo: Hey it’s your birthday! I wish I could be at home with you to celebrate, but don’t worry, I got two bags of Joe this time.

To Ali Mongoose: This is not a shoutout, thanks for the deetz.

To Adeline: You type goodly for a baby.

To America (from David): HELLO DAVID, THIS IS AMERICA.

To Athen-a: there was a dog on the ground eating ice cubes. It was cute and it distracted everyone during team time. THEY DON’T HAVE SPICY CHICKEN.

To David K: We are still waiting for your comments…

To Culvers for having cheese-curds.

~Father Grace and Son Andrew

13 thoughts on “Romanian Camp Flexibility

  1. I’m glad to hear that the Middle Earth vibes are strong in Romania.

    We walked along the Golden Gate Bridge which was fun. Charles is scared of heights which is even more fun.

    This morning we went to the exploratorium. There were a lot of concave mirrors.

    Noah: I got some ice cream in a cone and successfully consumed it like a competent adult.

    Grace: I’ve been applying SPF everyday. San Fran doesn’t have any mosquitoes, it’s great. Also, Ian F met Dan Reynolds in Kansas.

    Ian: Charles says hi and stay in school.

  2. I’m amazed by how I can taste those sandwiches from the bus ride. I’m so beyond upset I’m not with y’all. Still sending all of my love and prayers.

    Kira, can you pull an Ali the mosquito and bite Noah? He’s annoying me from across the world 😉

  3. Ok! Mr. Essay! I say “Prepare to be written!”
    I’m doing it! I’m doing it! Yeaa! Yeea! Yeeaa!
    and some of these…..
    and some of these…..
    Almost there and DONE! (wipe sweat from brow)
    Now lets see how it looks so far?

    Don’t be like Spongebob and get those comments in early! 🤓

    Thanks so much for all the updates and photos!
    Love all the stories and sharing special moments!
    It is very hard sometimes to sit back, observe and pray.
    Hope everyone is healthy and is able to fully be present during this unique experience.
    We will continue praying for all of you!

    Meow out to Abby from Snowbell!
    Shoutout to Andrew – I am expecting everyone to know how to do a Rubic’s cube (tell him I spelled it with a ‘C’ not a ‘K’) when you get back.

    LOVE you guys! XOXOX

  4. To Rachel M. — so happy to read that your team is working well with everyone and praying that you’ll continue to share God’s love in the days ahead. Love you!!

  5. Romanian word of the day: “Instagram.” Many of us stateside have LOVED following Jimmy’s story posts on the @blackhawkhsm account. Shout out to all the Mythbusters crew and your awesome “mustăți.” (That’s your second Romanian word of the day; free of charge.)

  6. Hi team!! I can only imagine the mountain views you guys have right now and the fun games and good conversations you’ve experienced so far at camp. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers as you wake up early, build friendships over bracelets and jokes and incredible games of charades, and share the gospel through your words and your love. Grace, I hope you packed your bro dictionary! Noah, has Toni asked about your brother yet? Say hi to all those familiar faces for me, eat lots of finetti, and make sure to pack water for the hike because it’s definitely longer than an hour. And whatever you do, don’t drink from Abby’s waterbottle. 🤗🤓😜🙄😴🤩 (that’s for you, Mel 😉)

  7. Man I wish I had something funny to say, but i’ll save my awkward dad jokes for when you are all back. Thinking and praying for a great camp experience.

    Jealous of my daughter’s commenting skills.

  8. Four to a bunk! Woah! I’m sure that it’s difficult to not be able to communicate with people as easily as normal. It can be good to just sit back, observe, and pray sometimes. The games sounds fun! I’m continuing to pray for all of the beautiful relationships being built. Luke, Noah gave me permission to make something up for him to say to you because as you know, words are hard. He loves you and is impressed by your impeccable Pyraminx skills. He hopes you’re having tons of fun and staying safe in Romania. Keep on growing in your relationships, laughing often, trusting God, eating good food, making friends, and loving others.
    P.S. Pastor Chris did a great job on Sunday. He preached on something involving spiritual gifts, belonging to the other members of God’s family, and him not being Matt Damon. We all have spiritual gifts from the Lord and I’m certain all of you are using yours in Romania! This specific team was put together for a reason.

  9. Friends!!
    It is so good hearing what you guys are up to at camp, and seeing the joy and love in the feed on Instagram knowing from experience how powerful that joy and love can be: both from Romanians to Americans and Americans to Romanians! Love those lab coats, and I’m only a little jealous of Matt’s mustache. Looks like you guys are at an awesome camp, and I know you guys have (and are) awesome people, and that you serve an awesome God.

    Love your new (and old) friends a little extra just for me! Praying for energy and strength through the Spirit for you guys. Make sure to live every moment to its fullest and keep proclaiming Jesus with your words and actions, because camp goes by way to quickly.

    I love you all,

    P.S. Make sure Mel is following all the rules through the obstacle course… better keep an eye on her 🦖🦖🦖

    And someone make sure to give Noah and Andrew some Beni winks throughout camp from me… Noah gives good demonstrations😉🙂😉🙂😉

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