Friday, July 29, 2011

Future Leaders

Today things are winding down at all of the Kamps as we prepare to say "goodbye" to Kampers tomorrow and "hello" to new faces! There are many things that have to be done before we can let our current Kampers leave though! Addresses must be exchanged, pictures must be taken and trunks must at least be attempted to be packed before parents arrive. Its a busy day as everyone soaks in their list of lasts until next summer.

As I was passing by the basketball court at K-West this morning I came across another important part of the end of a term; selecting next year's chief and princesses to lead the tribes! The boys from the Choctaw tribe had gathered on the court to nominate their cabin mates to be chiefs.

Becoming a chief or a princess is a really big deal because you are the leader of the tribe. Not only are you a chief, but you are someone everyone looks up to. You have additional responsibilities and duties. Being a chief or princess is an awesome opportunity because you get to learn how to be a leader in such an encouraging environment.

We are so proud of our chiefs and princesses as well as all of our Kampers and their ability to be great leaders here at Kamp and back home!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Merry Christmas in July!!

"Have a holly jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year..." Wait, its not Christmas? Well we sure are celebrating Christmas in July here at Kanakuk! Over the past week as I have traveled around the Kamps I have heard Christmas music, seen Santa hats and smelled chocolate chip cookies being baked... its been a delight!

Every summer around this time different Kamps like to change things up a bit by surprising Kampers with Christmas in July! It's such a fun time for Kampers to wear green and red all day while listening to Christmas music across Kamp. There's nothing like blobbing, swimming or hanging out on treetops when it feels a little bit like Christmas! You might even see a snowball or two hand-crafted from the snow cone machines... we go all out around here!

Can you imagine if we had Kamp year-round? Now that would be a Christmas present of gigantic proportion!

Merry Christmas in July!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Kanakuk-isms Monday "FOB"

Kamp has been around for over 85 years. In that time a ton of traditions have been built. A majority of those traditions are still around today for Kampers to enjoy the same way their parents and grandparents may have.

One tradition was set into place to help Kampers rest during their day, but it has changed a little bit over the years. "FOB" stands for flat on bunk and is a time right after lunch when Kampers go back to their bunks to rest. Although it was originally designed for Kampers to do exactly what it says; be flat on bunks to rest, this rarely happens.

As a Kamper, my counselors were a little more lenient on the rules of "FOB." It became a great time to write letters, play games, make bracelets or just talk to the other girls in your cabin. Many in the cabin would still take naps because lets be honest, Kamp is exhausting. FOB was always a highlight of the day for me because we got to slow down as a group from the business of the day and just enjoy each other.

Have you had an FOB today? If not, you should take a moment to slow down and enjoy the day God has given you!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

A day to be who God made you to be!

Many of our Kamps have at least one day during each term designated as "Man/Girl" day. This day may have different activities, but at the heart of the day is the opportunity for boys to just be boys and girls to just be girls. From painting their faces for war and going through an entire day of competition for the boys to painting their nails and putting on pageants for the girls these days are a blast to be at Kamp for because kids love them!

Typically, these days are more relaxed too. Kids get to sleep in a little, they get extra freetime, and the day is often ended with a message from a men's or women's director about the importance of being a man/woman of God. Yesterday was man/girl day at K-Seven and K-West and I had so much fun getting to be a part of it all. The days events consisted of teepee competitions and eating with your hands for the boys and tons of fun stuff for the girls including a counselor pageant where the girls were in charge of hair, makeup, wardrobe and talent.

It's good to be a man and a girl here at Kanakuk!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

POD day @KanakukK2

A new favorite at K-2 this summer is POD day. Every Wednesday Kampers get the opportunity to spend their morning and afternoon in a class they wouldn't otherwise get to do. These classes can be sports like basketball or tennis, or extreme sports like BMX or wake-boarding. Some Kampers even choose to take field trips to Dogwood Canyon where they get to go hiking and caving.

PODs are quickly becoming a favorite day at Kamp and it's clear why. Kampers get to experience things that push them. Events they would never be able to do back home are offered to them in an environment where they are set up to succeed. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

If you are coming to the last term at K-2 this summer then get excited for PODs!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overcoming BIG Challenges

At Kanakuk we love giving Kampers an opportunity to push themselves beyond what they normally believe they could do. Whether it is conquering a fear of heights on the climbing wall/treetops or learning how to work as a team at the challenge course; it is our desire for them to grow through being stretched.

Not only is it a place to learn and grow, it is a place to learn to encourage others when they are going through challenges in their life. There's a reason so many people come back here year after year and I believe it has something to do with they things the Lord teaches and they way you are constantly encouraged.

We are studying James at Kamp this summer. A great book to study for anyone going through challenges in life. Join us in our study knowing that the challenges in life only makes you stronger in Christ!

- Living the dream at the happiest place on earth! - Ashley

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Staying Cool while things are Heating up

For those of you not from the Southwest Missouri area we are in the midst of a terrific heat-wave. It only makes sense because we are over half-way through the summer, but this year it seems steamier than normal. Now if you’re from Texas I’m sure 100-degree temperatures are just another day in the park for you, but here in Missouri it is HOT.

Heat is not something we fear here at Kamp though. With slip-in-slides, blobs, jet skis and pools at each Kamp it’s never too difficult to find a place to cool down.

How are you staying cool this summer?

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Kanakuk Family Worship Service

Yesterday was a fantastic day of family and fellowship here in Branson! Many families stayed here for the weekend, after picking up their kids at Kamp, so they could attend our Kanakuk Family Worship Service at the Hilton. With over 250 people in attendance it felt like one big family reunion.

Emcees for the morning Kyler and Diana Wright had us laughing from the beginning. Brady Toops, Renee Crane and Nasa brought amazing music and Joe brought the Word. The message was on honoring each other in the family and it was a powerful way to end the time many of the kids in the audience have spent here over the past 1-4 weeks.

We are so thankful for our family and for the opportunity to get together with them in the summertime. If you are going to be in the Branson area on July 31 please come join us for the service! We would love to have you!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Say "goodbye" to say "hello!"

It's Friday, which means tonight is parents night at Kanakuk. Parents are on their way as we speak to come pick up their kiddos who have been away from them for 7-28 days. In Kamp world we call this "changeover" as it marks a huge change in the Kamp environment when so many Kampers go home and many new Kampers arrive!

This weekend we refer to it as a BIG changeover. Today every Kamp saying "goodbye" to the Kampers they have had and "hello" to new Kampers tomorrow. On top of that, many Kamps are also getting new staff to finish off the summer with.

All this to say, there will be a lot of smiles, laughter and tears over the next 24 hours as reunions and departures are happening all around us.

So thankful to call this place home.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kanakuk Favorites: Danna's BBQ

On our way back from Lampe Kamps today the media team and I stopped at a Kamp hotspot. So of course I thought y'all needed to know about it too!

When it comes to Barbeque in Branson, Kanakuk staff love to stop by Danna's! With three locations from Branson West to Kirbyville our staff will drive any great distance to get this BBQ. It also serves as a great escape during 2-4's (24 hour periods our staff get off from Kamp).

When you go all you need to know is that EVERYTHING on the menu is good! If we had a pick though, our staff would probably recommend a loaded baked potato, the quesadillas or the nachos! You literally cannot go wrong with any of these options.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Family, Fun and Fireworks

Family, fun, and fireworks. All of these are key ingredients to a successful 4th of July. As I spent the greater part of the day at K-Seven it was evident just how important each of these factors are at Kamp. Walking down the road towards the Chancey’s house I ran into many former leadership people in town for a special “family reunion” at K-Seven. Every year on the 4th you can find a group of friends or really family collected on the porch of the Chancey’s reminiscing on all the powerful things God has done at this Kamp over the past few decades.

Not only do we have reunions on the 4th, but we have parades too! Check out the pictures of our annual Lampe parade!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Honoring Heros in our Family

On the day we are celebrating freedom and the birth of our nation you can’t help but take a moment to think about all the people who have fought and are fighting for us overseas. Our very own Patty McDonnell got to recognize military personnel in a very special way when she accompanied her father, Leon Briggs, on the Missouri Honor Flight on June 14.

The trip was less than 24 hours and took Patty, her father and others to Washington D.C. to see the new WWII Memorial and then back to Springfield. What made this day even more special was that it took place on the 236th anniversary of the army (the branch her father was in) and 2 days after Patty’s father's 89th birthday.

Patty said the entire day was about celebrating her father as a hero. The day was completed with a band greeting them when they landed back in Springfield. While walking to their car at the end of the day Patty’s father turned to her and said “… but I was just a foot soldier, nothing special,” to which Patty responded telling him he was a hero and that day hundreds of people confirmed that!

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Kanakuk - Newest BMX Track in Missouri

The beginning of the summer brought another new extreme sport to K-2. A BMX (bicycle motorcross) track has been put in. Now Kampers are given the opportunity to ride just like the original BMXer’s in California.

Putting in a BMX track at Kamp was no small task, our chief resident builder and creator of all things fun and exciting, Richard Parton has done an incredible job!

Kanakuk - Newest BMX Track in Missouri from Joe White on Vimeo.

Richard has been building and creating the exciting events at Kamp since the late 80’s. He’s the man who digs the holes, moves the dirt, builds the slip-n-slides and keeps Kamp running and beautiful all year round.

When I stopped by the BMX track at K-2 the other day I had so much fun watching Kampers. Guys were tearing up the track (I think that’s proper BMX lingo). Thanks Richard for creating another fun and exciting event for our Kampers!

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