"Did you guys put gasoline on the fire?"
...Without fail, there is always at least one camper who asks this every week.
A north Georgia hey-hey to you! Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Luke Baggett - kitchen and lifeguard staff, and I'm coming 'Catcha live from good 'ol NGCC. This is my third year working on staff, but between my staff years and summers spent growing up here as a camper it's probably the twelfth summer I've spent at this camp. This year, alongside my usual duties, I'm also running the camp's social media sites, AND I'M STARTING THIS BLOG. So, if you haven't already, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and then remember to check in regularly with this blog for a sneak-peak in on what camp life is like through the eyes of a summer staff!
Now, even though our camp season has just started (FINALLY!), I was thinking I'd start out this blog by taking a look at campfire. Campfire is considered by many to be their favorite part of camp. As someone who grew up going to camp, I completely agree. There’s just something about standing around a fire and singing to Jesus that simply can’t be replicated outside of camp. If you think I'm exaggerating, I encourage you to take a break from reading this right now, grab a guitar and a couple of friends, start a fire in your backyard, and sing - no, YELL - Romans 16:19 at the absolute top of your lungs.
Campfire has continued to be my favorite part even as a staff member, although some nights getting the fire lit is more of a challenge than it should be. Setting up the wood and trying to get the fire going could probably be a blog post all in itself! Between wet wood and never enough kindling, fires can sometimes be pretty frustrating to get started, and then just when you think it's lit well enough, and as soon as the speaker starts speaking... it goes out. In which case we usually do end up having to add some diesel to get it started. But, the awesome thing is that regardless of how well we do building the fire, regardless of how long the fire actually burns bright enough to see the person speaking or the person playing the guitar, or regardless of how damp the campfire benches are, it doesn't affect how loud the campers sing and how far their voices carry. It's remarkable that no matter where you are at camp if there is a group of campers at campfire singing, you can hear it. Being on staff and getting a chance to listen to each week of campers sing their voices out every single night is in unforgettable experience that will never get old.
A new season of camp has begun this week with the arrival of the 4th-6th grade Middlers and campfire is going as strong as ever! Tonight, worship was led by two of our new permanent cabin staff - Olivia Yates and Olivia Wright. And for those that maybe haven't heard yet, the camp started something new this year by hiring 8 college students as permanent staff to stay in the cabins and be counselors all summer long! The speaker tonight was Jordan Weldon, a former NGCC staff member who worked the same job I have about 15 years ago! He likely struggled back then building the same campfires we do today, though after hearing him talk a little bit about some of the huge fires he told me they used to build, I'm not sure how much they actually struggled... But nonetheless, we’re so excited to see what the rest of the week and the rest of the campfires have in store for our Middler 1 crew!