We were in camp July 16 through 21. Here is a quick breakdown of each days highlights.
We started camp without too many problems. Most all of the campers arrived that afternoon/evening. Because the camp was near the big town of Tampico, many people came into the city and we provided rides for them out to the camp. This meant that everyone with vehicles piled in as many as they could. There were 50 of us in 5 vehicles. I had the largest with a Suburban and then we went down to 2 small Nissan pick-up trucks. But we made it.
The biggest excitement of the day was when the evening service was over and my wife went to get our daughter out of the children’s class, but she was not there. No one even knew she was gone until my wife started asking about where she was. Apparently she had slipped off about 10 minutes before the class was over. Panic ensued. There is a swimming pool and a lake with a sloped bank just outside of the children’s class and before you get to the dorms. My wife found our daughter in the dorm room by herself.
One of our speakers was not able to make it until Tuesday afternoon. His wife was to teach the “low verbal” class. This class is for those who do not know signs well. Some would be because of retardation while others just simply have not learned signs and therefore would not understand well in the main service.
That was the first full day of camp. I found out that the service I had scheduled myself to speak in which was to be 1 hour long was not long enough. We had a full song service with a choir special and a biblical drama. That cut my teaching time to about 25 minutes. I worked the rest of the week to shorten the pre-teaching activities but was never able to free up more than 35 minutes for myself. I had planned to teach for the vast majority of the hour.
We also got to go horse back riding that day. Like the swimming, I chose to sit that activity out. Not that I dislike horses or swimming, I just had so many other things to be working on as director.
This was the day I learned one of the privileges of being me. I had been waiting at the meal times until all the campers had gone through the food line before I went and stood in line. This was not out of kindness, but laziness. I would rather sit at the table and talk with my wife than stand in line. The cooks noticed this and started bringing me food while the ladies were still in line waiting for theirs.
Director’s position has privileges along with the responsibilities.
By this time we had gotten used to our daughter slipping off to the dorm room. Only one person passed out due to heat exhaustion. I slept through lunch to be able to get a longer nap in that day since I knew that getting people to bed on the last night of camp would be more of a challenge.
During the evening service I was in another class teaching the “low verbals” and I missed the preaching of the main service. The preacher is a pastor from Colima (near Guadalajara). I do not know him well and was really looking forward to seeing him preach. By the time I got out of my class, they were already into the invitation for the main service. Apparently God used Alex and touched hearts in a great way. It was the largest response from the campers.
There were only slight problems getting everyone to bed. I finally went to sleep about 30 minutes after “lights out.” I didn’t think that was too bad.
We got an early breakfast and started cleaning the camp. Because of my years of experience as the final inspector on Saturday clean up crews at the other camp where I worked, I have learned to be heartless in getting people to clean. But trying to rally a bunch of Deaf to do a general task is not as easy as with the hearing. When everyone is ready to go, you have to get in people’s faces as individuals to tell them what work needs to be done.
I was satisfied after a while and then we had to call the camp manager over to do an inspection. While she worked with my wife to put the final polish on the dorms, I was finishing up the final details to get everyone on the road.
We had 93 campers. We are not sure if the number of salvations was 3 or 4. I should know when I get back in Mexican cell phone range and I can text message one of the pastors. No fist fights. As far as I know there were no “stupid Jr. problems.” That is what I call petty arguments that people get involved in when they act like 8-12 year olds.
It was a wonderful week from my perspective.