Subscribe to HoneyRock Posts!
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Photo Gallery
    This form does not yet contain any fields.

      What is Zacco?

      Earlier this week, we mentioned a thing called "Zacco". It's a funny name, we'll admit, but is a well-loved HoneyRock meal-time tradition.

      About twenty minutes before every meal, the big bell on Chrouser's front porch rings. That signals that campers have 10 minutes get to Zacco. After those ten minutes pass, a loud "SUPPPPPP" is heard all around camp. The Unit Leaders are yelling to start the time of song (and a little bit of dance!). Campers reply with the same word, "SUPPPPP!". 

      The Unit Leaders lead the crowd in some rowdy songs like "Reece's Pieces", "Rigabamboo", and others. It's just a fun time to come together, sing some songs, and let off some energy before meals.

      Other parts of camp are having fun too! Advance Camp men have spent the day rafting at the Wolf River while the Advance Camp women are enjoying their last day out on their wilderness trip. Res boys are all out on trip, which means tonight is Girls Night for the Res Camp girls.

      Family Day is in a little less than one week! Have you registered? If not, click here!


      Disciplined Reflection: Challenge & Growth

      Today we're hearing from Jake Roop, an Elementary Education major who just graduated from Wheaton College. After visiting camp last weekend, we asked him to reflect on his time at HoneyRock - he had a lot to say! We were blessed to have Jake on staff, not only leading campers in 2011 but also counselors in 2012. We're thankful for what God does through our counselors, the lessons they teach and learn in the summer. Read on to hear Jake's reflections:

      Hello everyone, today I get to share with you part of my HoneyRock testimony. I have been blessed to spend the last two summers as part of the HoneyRock community. These two summers were by far the best summers of my life. To me, HoneyRock is, and always has been, a place that is conducive to spiritual growth and challenge.

      This is the first summer in three years that I have not been part of the HoneyRock summer staff. But like many former staffers, I find it difficult to stay away from HoneyRock for an extended period of time. I have been very intentional about visiting camp this summer so that I can come back and experience the unique atmosphere that only HRC can offer. This summer, I am working in the Wheaton College admissions office giving all of the summer tours of campus. You can bet that I give all of the prospective students an extensive representation of HoneyRock during the tour. But I always want to give them more than just a basic description of HoneyRock, I want them to know about the challenges and growth that occurs there.

      My biggest growing experience at camp occurred as a counselor in the summer of 2011 when I was counseling a group of 6th and 7th grade boys. My energy level was minimal and I felt as though none of my efforts were getting through to the boys. But God redeemed so many things within the span of just a few days and it wound up being the best session of the summer. I learned that no matter how empty I may feel, God is still using me according to his good purposes. Even when I felt that my efforts had been wasted, God was still using me to plant seeds in the hearts of those boys.

      It can be difficult for counselors because they are only allowed to counsel for one summer, and few are lucky enough to come back and invest in those same campers in the roles of unit leaders, activity staff, or other staff positions. Therefore counselors hardly ever get to see the campers grow up and see their efforts come to fruition. This weekend, I was able to visit HoneyRock for the last time this summer. I was already feeling a little bit emotional because the trip may have been my last visit during a summer to HoneyRock for quite some time, when something unexpected happened.

      Jake (sunglasses) with his campers at the Wagon Circle in 2011

      I was able to see some of the Advance Camp boys come back from their wilderness trips. In my short time spent with them, I was overcome with emotion. The same goofy and crazy campers that I was able to mentor as a counselor, uncle, and unit leader are now young and polite men who have matured so much in the short span of two years and will be heading into high school. I spent so much time during my two summers planting the seeds and trusting in The Lord that He will bear that fruit.

      This weekend, I was blessed to see that fruit. I am overcome with emotion when I think that I had the slightest meaningful impact on those kids' lives. What a wonderful feeling it has been to be rewarded with tangible signs of God's everlasting faithfulness and knowing that He is still perfecting what I did years ago. I hope that this story conveys the absolute joy that The Lord has given me. HoneyRock is a place that changes lives and I am blessed beyond all measure to have been associated with this wonderful place.

      Jake (far right) and the 2012 Unit Leader Men


      Campers are Coming!

      But before we talk about Res campers coming, we want to highlight a tool that will help those campers who have left. Transitioning back home can be tough, especially for those who have spent a longer time at camp, like our 2:22ers who were with us for almost one month. That's why we have put together this post to help navigate that change from a temporary community, camp, to a permanent community, home.

      For those of you with campers in Advance Camp, the men made it safely back from their wilderness trip. The women will leave tomorrow after lunch and plan to return this Saturday. Look for updated pictures of Advance Camp in our photo gallery tomorrow!

      Today, we welcome our final session of Res campers! This morning, SLS continued preparing for campers while Activity Staff was busy reviewing lifeguarding skills.

      If you are the loved one of a Res camper, you're probably wondering what they do on their first day to adjust to camp. Here's a peak at their schedule for the first night!

      3:30/4:00 - Arrive
      4:15 - Intro Skit by Unit Leaders, introducing the camp theme
      4:30 - Girls begin swim test while boys play large group games
      5:00 - Boys make their way to the swim test
      5:50 - Zacco begins (Wondering what Zacco is? Stay tuned this week!)
      6:00 - Dinner
      6:45 - Dinner clean-up & head to waterfront for Activity Area Opening Show
      7:45 - Cabin introductions at tent
      9:00 - Back to cabin, get ready for bed
      9:30 - Cabin Reflection
      10:00 - Lights Out! 

      It's a full first day, but one that works to ensure camper safety and familiarity with faces at camp. We're as excited today as we were on day one to share this experience with them for the next two weeks!

      Remember, beginning this Wednesday, we update our photo gallery for Res Camp every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - check in to see what your child is up to! Forgot to sign up for our camper {e}mail option? You still can, click here!


      Meet Anna: Arts & Crafts Instructor

      Meet Anna, our Arts & Crafts Instructor. Originally from Kalispell, Montana, Anna came to the Midwest to study English Literature at Wheaton, where she will be a junior this Fall. Anna was a part of SLS last summer and was able to help out in the Craft Shop as a counselor. After that experience, she wanted to return to keep the re-vamped Arts & Crafts program going strong. 

      While visiting Anna in her Craft Shop, a few Res Camp boys were working on their Earthworks projects. Anna explains the project, saying "Earthworks are art pieces made out of nature and left in nature. They encourage students to start thinking nature as a thing to create in and with, and I love them because they are more or less a selfless piece of art...the artist creates an earthwork hoping that his or her audience will be patient and observant enough to notice it, but the artist does not get to sign it or take it home - it's a gift to leave behind."

      We are excited to share with you the work of two campers and the Artist Statements that they wrote to give context to their work.

      "This is stick dog. I made it using sticks, wood, and a perfectly shaped rock. I focused on using only items from the Earth because it means I can demonstrate Earthworks. This project reminds me of my dog Champ. My audience is my family and the campers at crafts. I want them to feel happy when they see it." 

      Our next artist created a cat. He writes, "This is earthworks. I made it using leaves, pine needles, and sticks (twigs). I focused on animals because it reminds me of all the pets I have and had. This project makes me feel happy. My audience is all the people at crafts. And I want them to think about animals when they interact with it."

      Today, our Res Camp girls arrived back to camp safely today after their wilderness trip. Tomorrow, we welcome the families of 2:22 and Res Camp campers to Family Day! Sign-in & One-on-One sign up begins at 1:30 near the barn - to answer any questions, visit our Family Day page.  


      Res Girls Pack Out, Advance Camp Arrives

      Our Res Camp girls are about to experience an essential part of HoneyRock Camp: the wilderness trip. We're excited to provide them with an opportunity to experience God through nature. Challenges will come along with the trip - from paddling a couple miles against the wind to hiking to wet-wood fire making. These purposeful challenges bring the group together, creating transformational outdoor experiences that campers grow from and apply to life back in their permanent communities. It's amazing to see the sometimes-anxious faces before they leave to the confident smiles upon return.

      This morning, after Camper Worship, the girls took their activity period to pack up all of the necessaries: tents, sleeping bags, Doug the shovel, billy cans, and s'mores. It was so fun watching them pack up and get excited about their time out in the wilderness!

      In Advance Camp news, our second session arrived safely today at 3:00! We're excited to see how God works through their counselors, activities, wilderness trips, "hot topic" discussion nights, and more.


      Advance Campers, Get Pumped!

      This Monday we will welcome nearly 60 Advance campers to HoneyRock! We're excited to have these high school freshmen on camp, living and learning in community. Our Advance Camp program exists to build meaningful relationships and provide challenging experiences that ultimatlely encourage students as they "advance" to make Christ the foundation of their lives.

      We thought that today we could introduce you to five of our Advance Camp counseling staff, giving you a little idea of where they're from and why they're here. But, before you take a couple minutes to meet Korey, Tana, Nate, Emily, & Kathryn, visit this page to read about preparing for camp, packing list included.

      To start off the introductions, say hi to Korey Gregornick! He's originally from Lake Geneva, but is now pursuing music and youth ministry at Wheaton College. While not in class, Korey loves longboarding, drumming, and sports. He participated in Passage before his freshman year and was ready to return for a full summer. We asked Korey about his favorite part of working at HoneyRock, and he replied, "The community and wilderness. Everywhere you go there are people to love and beautiful things to see...I love the outdoors and chillin with bros and doing adventurous things."

      Tana Schendel, from Shoreview, Minnesota, shares Korey's love for adventures. When asked about her favorite part of HoneyRock, Tana answered, "incredible food and going on adventures!" She's excited to "hang out with high schoolers and grow in relationships with each other and Christ." Tana will return to Wheaton this Fall to study Psychology and Christian Ed.

      Nate Mulder comes to us from Grand Rapids, Michigan where we lived and worked at a camp for nine years before coming to HoneyRock. He has really apprecaited HoneyRock as a place to "help others discover God's love for them through time out of their comfort zones and in his creation." Nate is an Education major who loves frisbee, juggling, and tall-bike riding.

      Emily Korzeniewski, like Nate, sees HoneyRock as a place grow closer to God. Emily studies music composition at Wheaton and in her free time, loves creating. This includes crafting, sewing, and knitting, not to mention music. Emily has been up at HoneyRock for Wilderness Passage as well as her SLS winter retreat. She loves HoneyRock, saying, "The community here is so srong and it's a beautiful place to see God in people and nature." She is really excited to work with students going into high school and thinks HoneyRock is a great place to grow closer to God.

      Finally, let us introduce you to Kathryn Brightly from Clinton, New Jersey. She's been up to HoneyRock a few times, first for Passage, then a work/play weekend, and finally the SLS winter retreat. Emily is a English/Secondary Education major who loves playing piano, reading, & writing. When asked about her favorite part of HoneyRock, Kathryn answered, "I love the community. We can be absolutely crazy together, but also vulnerable and open about our lives..." she continued "I wanted to challenge myself in my relationship with others and God as well as have an AMAZING time with incredible high schoolers! Get pumped!"