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      Campers are Coming!

      There's a different feel around camp today - breakfast was a little louder, Devo circle announcements took a little longer, and last minute preparations continue. Some returning staff loosely compare today to Christmas morning - so much preparation and training and waiting and anticipation for this day. Most of the staff has been up here for the past month: exploring the Northwoods on wilderness trips, learning about preparing and giving cabin impacts (among other things!), and serving one another day in and day out. With that training month in the books, we can confidently say that we're ready for campers. 

      Abby & Hannah welcoming campers, 2013When the busses pull up this afternoon, rest assured that your camper is excitedly welcomed and guided to their cabin. They play icebreaker games and name games. The swim test is given, and directly following they eat a hearty dinner with fresh HoneyRock bread. After dinner, campers are introduced to the different parts of camp with various skits led by the Unit Leaders and Activity Staff. Finally, at 9:00 or so, the campers start to wind down the day with Cabin Reflection. It's a busy first day, but ensures that campers are safe and know their way around camp. Want to know more about the first day schedule? See this post.

      We'll post updates of the busses here and to our Facebook page. Stay tuned this week as we continue to share Intro & Advance Camp, as well as Service Team's journey!

      8:50am: Bus has left Shaumburg, on its way to Rockford.
      1:15pm: Bus is traveling north of stop HoneyRock! 
      3:50pm: Bus passing through Rhinelander. 
      4:45pm: Here safe & sound! 


      Packing Tips!

      Welcoming Advance Campers, 2013We don't know about you, but for us the countdown is on for Intro & Advance Camp, as well as Service Team! If you've been to HoneyRock, do you remember that first drive down Highway X and into camp? This Monday, campers (many for the first time!) will drive past the Rock, under the HoneyRock sign, and straight to the playing field where their counselors can hardly wait to meet them.

      For those of you who have a first-time camper, we've put together a quick list of tips you!

      • Pack in layers - Sweatshirt in the morning, t-shirt by noon, and back to a light jacket in the evening is the routine many days this time of year. Make sure to bring those layers!
      • Dryer Sheets - Don't want to open up a suitcase and be greeted by some of those campy smells? A couple dryer sheets tucked away in the bottom of the suitcase can go a long way.
      • Headlamp - So you may look a little silly wearing a light on your forehead, but for those walks from the campfire pit to the cabin or in a dark tent, they're pretty handy!
      • Sheets! - Our mattresses are great, but having bedsheet on it makes it even better.
      • Pack small - Packing at the end of camp is so much easier if you don't have too much to pack in the first place.
      • Mark it up - Put your name on everything. See that sock? Mark it up. Beach towel? Yes. The toothbrush? Yep. Cool headlamp? Definitely. We like seeing the gear our campers bring, but we want to see it go home, too!
      • Send Mail - Whether it's snail mail or our email option, campers love getting mail. If you're going the snail mail route, start writing. It takes a couple days to get to the northwoods. Need our address? 
        Camper Name, Program / 8660 HoneyRock Road / Three Lakes, WI 54562 
      • Pre-Stamped Mail - Letters from camp are awesome. Prep your kids by handing them a couple envelopes pre-addressed & pre-stamped. We've even heard of some parents pre-writing letters. For example:

        Dear ____________, 
        Today, we went _______________. Then, we did ______________. For lunch, we ate ______________. My favorite part about camp is ________________ and I can't wait to tell you more about _________________________________!

      Want to see the full packing list? Click here.

      While these tips may help, we believe the most important part of preparing for camp are the dicussions you and your camper have before (and after!) camp. Packing can allow great time for talking through fears or worries as well as what they're excited about. 

      We're praying for you and your campers as the countdown continues!


      Encountering God

      Every weekday morning, the HoneyRock community gathers at 7:45, sharp. You see, we start our days together with a time of devotion: listening to the Word, hearing testimonies, and praying for the day. Lately, "encountering God" has been our theme - and we've heard some incredible stories. 

      Muhia shared one of his encounters on Sunday, at church. While in Nigeria earlier this spring, he woke up very early and walked to a beach on the Indian Ocean. Though behind him dark clouds threatened rain, the sunrise before him was as if God had "sent him a kiss" from above.

      Mariel, one of our Res Camp Unit Leaders, spoke to her experience encountering God through her community at Wheaton College. Though her year was tough, she was able to repeatedly see God through the women on her floor as they gathered to celebrate the good.

      Ashley, our Advance Camp Coordinator, began Wednesday's devotion shouting the questions, "Have you not heard, do you not know?" She continued preaching the good news of the Gospel, and how in the past, the present, and the future, it is our constant. Even through times of change, we have the Gospel. 

      SLS, AMP and STP counselors continue to prepare for campers (Intro Camp, Advance Camp & Service Team come this Monday!). Today is a staff favorite, Water Safety Day! A couple weeks ago, staffers visited Antigo's pool for training and today is test day. At 1:00, they began a written test which then transitions to the Waterfront, where they are tested on all of their skills. Wondering what other kind of training our staff goes through? Click here!

      We're so excited to witness the ways God encounters us at HoneyRock this summer - through experiencing creation, serving others, engaging with the community, preparing Bible Studies or answering camper questions, and so many other ways. God is in this place!


      Welcome Back!

      It's been a busy start to the summer here at HoneyRock! Last night, our Assistant Counselors arrived - all excited to be back up at camp for the next eight weeks. Our Assistant Counselor program is the final step of the camper progression - the ACs are ready to cap their HoneyRock camper experience with an incredible summer of service. We'll keep you posted with their stories!

      While our oldest campers just arrived, in one week we will welcome our youngest: Intro Campers. We thought you parents might want some information that may help the packing experience and transition to camp. If you're wondering what to pack, check out our packing list. Since it gets chilly at night, make sure to bring all your layers, and don't forget the bugspray!

      While packing with your camper is one way to prepare them for camp, check out our other tips to help ease the transition away from home.

      Have you figured out how your child is getting to camp? If questions arise, all of our transportation information can be found here. Instead of having your child ride back down to Wisconsin or Illinois on a bus after camp, come and visit us on Family Day! We love meeting our campers' loved ones and they love showing you around their new digs - just be sure to register!

      Remember: It takes a few days for mail to get to HoneyRock. If you want to send a letter to your camper in Intro Camp, start writing! We love getting those letters a little early so they're ready for your little one. Those handwritten words are so comforting during their time here! We also provide the opportunity for parents to email their campers throughout their session - here's a step by step process of how to send your messages.

      Also, to our Intro Camp parents: watch your inbox for a special video from the media team up here at camp! We've made an extra-special video this summer to introduce you to a few of the programs. Intro Campers, make sure to watch the Res Camp section - those are your counselors...they can't wait to meet you and share their favorite things at camp!


      Girls on Trip, Boys in MAN CAMP.

      With all of the girls packed up and ready to leave on their wilderness trips, it's time for MAN CAMP. While we keep the finer details of MAN CAMP for the guys, we can tell you that it's just a fun night filled with build-your-own pizzas, a rowdy game of Outpost, and a big huge bonfire. 

      We caught a couple of our girls' cabins packing out - they were having a blast!

      Over the weekend, Advance Campers kept busy with big group games like relays, tag, and other fun activities. 

      Want to see more pictures of your campers? Check out HoneyRock's photo gallery!


      Walk Around Camp

      Sometimes, it's just fun to walk around and see what's going on in the different parts of camp. So many little events are all going on at the same time - a camper shooting his first arrow, Service Teamers and Ops working around the new Chapel, a few girls monkeying around before Camper Worship at the tent, a boy's cabin gathered at a fire, Passage leaders preparing gear to lead the Wilderness track...

      And that's just a peak at what was going on for an hour this morning! We took some pictures to capture these little moments:

      shooting arrows at Archery

      landscaping around the Chapel

      ...and monkeying around!

      saying hi!

      preparing for the Wilderness Track

      Hope your week started off well as it did here at HoneyRock! See you soon at Family Day this Thursday!