7/12/18: Day 4
The final day of Camp Blast—what a week it has been! In the morning, the gym was divided into two epic games of “9 Square in the Air” and knockout, both favorites of leaders and campers. Today, everyone had to dress as a video game villain. Most chose Pacman ghosts, but there were also some members of Team Rocket, Warios, and Waluigis.
The final team leader competition was “Clap Ball,” one of my favorite games. Players have to clap before catching the ball, and if they forget to clap, drop the ball, or make a bad throw, they’re out. Usually, there are a few steps before elimination (kneeling and lying down), but we played the sudden death version. It came down to a battle between Anthony and Marissa, and after Anthony forgot to clap, Marissa’s team celebrated her victory.
The campers played musical chairs in two groups, one for guys and one for girls. It was probably the largest game of musical chairs I’ve seen—the guys had over forty people playing. Afterwards, the teams played “Islands,” where groups have to fit as many of their members on as few chairs possible.
Jeremy’s final message was about “The Boss.” In Super Mario Bros, you have to face Bowser when you reach the end of a world. He’s big, mean, and scary, but you have to find a way around him in order to save Princess Peach in the end.
Jeremy used to believe that God was someone who loved him but didn’t really like him. He was “the boss” of everyone on Earth, but that didn’t mean he would ever want to hang out with him, laugh with him, or even be his friend. This wasn’t the truth, and Jeremy discovered that God wasn’t like the bosses in video games. Though he is big, God isn’t the strict, commanding being that some people think he is. He is a loving God, and he made us with the intention of loving us as his own children.
God is our boss, but he’s not a Bowser. We don’t need to try to sneak by him because we’re afraid. We are able to put our trust in him not out of fear, but out of love. The relationship he wants to build with us is not like what Jeremy used to think—God does want to be our friend, to share the joyful moments in our lives, to love us like a father. His love for us is greater than anything, and because of that, we should never be fearful.
After Jeremy finished, the campers went to their final clinics. Everyone had a positive experience this year, and I’m proud of our instructors for being so great!
The campers ate lunch, played some dodgeball during free time in the gym, and then went off to huddle time. Afterwards, battle time began, and I returned from class in time to help out! I took pictures, but I also hopped into a game of knock-out in hopes to help team Ms. Pacman pull out the win over Frogger. Sadly, Ben got me out by draining it on his first shot. I was pretty bummed, but stuff happens!
When battle time ended, the campers were treated to ice cream and popsicles while they listened to Pastor Ron. He spoke about how Jesus is King and that we must make him King in our own lives, putting him first above anything else.
The kids finished up their snacks, and then it was time for the final event of the week: the water balloon fight. The campers lined up on opposite sides, each armed with a water balloon. When the whistle blew, they charged, and immediately balloons were popping everywhere. I don’t think there was anyone not smiling, even when Jordan got a whole tub of water dumped on her and when Anthony was attacked with a cooler of ice cold water.
During the evening, the campers came with their parents to Trinity UMC, where the closing ceremony was held. The band played some of their favorite songs, including the traditional performance of “Pharaoh Pharaoh” by the whole camp. Jeremy gave a recap for all the parents on his messages for the week, allowing the kids to help describe what he spoke about. The video making clinic showed the project they’ve been working on, and there was also a slideshow with tons of pictures from the week played (thanks to Ray Rollins for making that!)
Finally, Lauren revealed the final team scores for the week. The top three teams were all within five points of each other, but the way it turned out, Sonic was the winner, followed closely by Mario and Princess Peach.
Thanks to everyone who has kept up with the blog for this week! I’m glad I could give you a little insight about what goes on at Camp Blast. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did, and I’m already looking forward to next year :) hope to see all of you there!
For more pictures from Day 4, click below.
7/11/18: Day 3
Welcome to day three of Camp Blast! We are officially over halfway through our time here, which is crazy. I don’t want it to end. I’m excited for the fun that we’ll have as we finish the week off!
While campers were checking in, we had a giant game of Knock-out going in the gym. And by giant, I mean like thirty people. After you shot, you had to wait at least five minutes before getting to the front of the line again.
All the campers were dressed like video game characters, and there was a wide variety of costumes. I saw a handful of Pacman ghosts, a bunch of Marios and Luigis, and even a Pokémon trainer! The creativity of the kids always impresses me.
We started off the day with a game of leader ninja. It was intense, but, like every year, Rob came out victorious. The dude just doesn’t lose ninja. Ever.
All the campers played a few group games: “Wagon Wheel,” “Toe Tap” (I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called, but I’m going with it), and “Make the Shape.” The band led the campers with two songs this morning, “Happy Day” and “Every Move I Make.” Afterwards, Jeremy led a game where the campers had to sit in a line with their teams and draw a picture on the back of the person in front of them, passing it down the line like a combination of Pictionary and Telephone.
Jeremy’s message today was about “Pressing Pause” in our lives. He showed the kids a video that he and his friends made in college, a satirical PSA announcement about the dangers of texting and walking. In this society, we are all so focused on our screens that we tend to miss what’s happening around us. For example, you’re reading this right now, probably off of a phone, or maybe a computer or tablet. Around you, there is a room, maybe with people and maybe without.
Society encourages us to always be on the move. We worry about what will happen next instead of what’s happening in the moment, or we ignore the present completely by turning on our phones or televisions.
Jeremy encouraged the campers to try to spend at least two minutes today just sitting and talking to God. Sometimes, we need to “press pause” on our lives, take a break, and simply be with God. Praying is such an important part of building a relationship with him, but our busy lives often prevent us from taking a few minutes to be still.
Jeremy had the kids spread out and sit for a few minutes, praying quietly. After the two minutes had passed, he asked them how it went. Most of them said it was relaxing, or even easy. They enjoyed doing it.
I think we can all use a pause. There’s so many things in life that can stress us out, but that can’t stop us from hitting pause and talking to God for just a few minutes. Try it right now. Close your eyes, and just relax. Listen to what he’s telling you. Tell him things that have been weighing you down. It may surprise you how refreshing just two minutes of prayer can be.
The kids went to their clinics after Jeremy finished his message. Since I was here all day, I got to circle around and take pictures of all the stations. Everyone seemed to be loving the activities. Shoutout to all the instructors for making it so fun for the campers!
After eating lunch, the teams broke off into huddle time, where they reflected about Jeremy’s talk today (this is where I currently am in time: I’ve been sitting and writing this during lunch since I have work right after today, so I have to get ahead of the game in order to finish writing).
An hour and a half later, the teams just finished playing games during battle time. Today, they faced off in “9 Square in the Air,” water kickball, laser tag, and dodgeball. Both laser tag and water kickball are fan favorites, so it was fun to watch them play.
During snack time, Pastor Ron came in again to talk about priests what Simon Peter said about their job. They are not only supposed to talk to God for the people, but talk to the people about God.
The last game of the day was a huge game of Pacman. All the PAs were dressed as Pacman ghosts, and they rolled around on scooters, tagging kids as they tried to collect as many balls as they could in their basket. Sonic ended up winning (again), and with some miracle, Princess Peach and Zelda both tied for second with 151 balls!
The day was awesome! I’m so glad I could be there the whole time, and I’m looking forward to another great day tomorrow :)
For more pictures from Day 3, click below.
7/10/18: Day 2
Day two of Camp Blast began with the same amount of energy that we left off with. The gym was alive—campers ran around, playing ninja as basketballs flew through the air. Everyone was dressed up like their team’s character, which filled the room with bright splashes of pink, green, blue, and yellow. Everyone looked so great!
Unfortunately, I had to miss the majority of the day due to my class, but I had others fill me in on what happened while I was gone.
In the morning, the leaders had another competition, but this time, it was an intense game of musical chairs. Andrew prevailed, scoring Frogger a win. Afterwards, the campers played some more classic group games: “Chicken in the Henhouse,” which was adapted to fit this year’s video game theme, “Body Parts,” and “Biggest Fan,” which is a huge game of rock paper scissors (or, as Mike likes to call it, Rock Scissors Paper).
After that, the band played “My Lighthouse,” a new addition this year to the Camp Blast set list, and a few other songs. Jeremy then surprised the leaders with a game that is usually played on the last day of camp. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it encourages the campers to work together…to pry apart a circle of leaders desperately clinging onto each other. Eventually, the kids dragged all of the leaders in separate directions, giving them the victory. It’s always slightly scary being a counselor in that situation, but the kids have fun with it, so it’s worth it!
Jeremy’s message today was labeled “Player Two.” He used the verse Mark 6:7 as a backbone: “Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.” In many video games, there is an option for multiple people to play at the same time. Having a teammate not only makes things more fun, but it also makes things easier. None of us are the same, which means that we each have a different set of skills. When facing a challenge, having a variety of skills makes a team stronger.
Jesus always sent his disciples in pairs. A single person does have strength, but when you are with a teammate, any problem becomes much smaller. We were put in this world to walk with each other, not alone. God’s intention was to have his people build communities through relationships, and in doing this, face challenges together instead of alone. Being a good brother, sister, or friend is like being player two in a video game (thanks Rob for telling me what Jeremy talked about today!)
This message makes me think of playing video games with my brother. When we were younger, there was an old arcade game in my Great Uncle’s basement, and we would always play “Balloon Fight” together. It’s not a very well-known game, but it quickly became one of my favorites. There was an option to use only one player, but we always played together. As a team, we had to pop balloons that kept these evil bird-dudes afloat. Once they were down, we had to knock them out before they could inflate their balloons again. If they popped our own balloons, then we would run out of lives and leave our teammate alone to face the flying villains.
Ben and I made a pretty good team in that game. In pretty much any video game we played together—Super Mario Bros, Super Smash Bros Brawl, even this random Nickelodeon game for PS2 where you ran around as Danny Phantom and Spongebob—we kicked butt. Playing alone was always so much worse. If Ben wanted to play, then I was all for it. But as soon as he needed a break, I was out, too. He was my teammate, and I didn’t want to play without him. I was always player two, anyway, so it just didn’t feel right to see “P1” floating above my character’s head.
Having a player two (or in my case, being one) in life is what we are made for. I rely on Ben not only as video game support, but as my brother. I’m so lucky God gave me him as a life teammate, and this week makes me appreciate being a player two more than I ever have before.
Anyways, back to the day. Got a little sappy and sidetracked there—this is not uncommon for me when I get lost in my words.
Clinic time followed Jeremy’s talk, and after that, lunchtime, huddle time, and team battle time. I got back to camp at around 1:00, which was near the beginning of the team games. I was able to circle around and get some pictures of the campers playing “Steal the Bacon,” soccer, gaga ball, and nerf wars. Everyone was having a ton of fun!
The kids ate their snacks afterwards, and then it was time for the team competition. First, the teams dueled in an epic battle of blow-up jousting. Kids were on their feet cheering on their teammates, and everyone was smiling.
The last event of the day was a human version of Mario Kart, which was so much fun! The campers had to push each other around a circular track while avoiding dodgeballs thrown by PAs. The energy level in the room was through the roof as the campers circled around the track, and I couldn’t help but laugh as they went sliding across the floor. After the campers finished, the leaders took a turn on the scooters, resulting in some awesome pictures.
I’m glad I got to be there for part of the day, and thankfully I’ll be able to be there all day tomorrow!! (Don’t worry, I get two free skips of class—it breaks my heart to miss so much time at Camp Blast, so I’m using one tomorrow :) )
Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to another AMAZING time tomorrow!
To view all the latest pictures from Camp Blast 2018, click below.
7/9/18 Day 1
Our day started off early—after meeting at the church at 7:30 to move some equipment, all hands were on deck as we began to transform the cafeteria into Camp Blast’s main area. The anticipation of the arriving campers hung in the air as we worked, our excitement growing by the minute. At 8:30, the campers and their parents began to line up for registration. After checking in, the campers flooded into the gym, where the chaos of basketball, corn hole, ladder ball, and giant Jenga was slowly building.
After all the kids at checked in, we began with our first leader competition: knock-out. The leader who wins the morning leader competition earns points for their team. Campers screamed and cheered for their leaders when they made baskets, and everyone was smiling and laughing. Eventually, it came down to Rob and Anthony, and Rob drained his first shot—a win for team Sonic.
Everyone joined together in the cafeteria to play some classic group circle games, including “Never Have I Ever,” “Bucket Head,” and, my personal favorite, “AHHHHHHH.”
Now that the campers were warmed up for the day, the Camp Blast Band led the group in some songs, including two camp favorites: “Every Move I Make” and “Pharaoh Pharaoh.” Rob and Jordan sang, accompanied by Julie on guitar, Henry on drums, and Mike on Bass. Both songs get the campers up and dancing, which always fills the room with energy.
After the songs, Jeremy, our WONDERFUL speaker for the week, played a few games with the campers before giving his message. Split into two groups, one camper from each tried to guess what the rest of their team was acting out, like reverse Charades.
Jeremy settled the campers down and began his message by asking a few questions (the starbursts he gives as a reward always helps to keep their attention).
Since this year’s camp is called “Game On,” Jeremy sculpted his messages around the theme of video games and how it relates to being a Christ follower.
Beginning your adventure with Jesus is a lot like level one of a video game. When you press start, you enter a new adventure, and whether danger lies on the road ahead, the beginning is always filled with excitement and adrenaline. In Super Mario Bros, for example, level one pretty much just teaches you how to jump, avoid Goombas, and grow using mushrooms. The purpose of level one isn’t to scare you, it’s to prepare you, to get you excited for the challenges you will face in the future.
Similarly, beginning your journey as a follower of Jesus starts off as a time of pure, worriless joy. Jeremy recalled the time in his life when he was first discovering the love of God. After attending VBS, he was overflowing with joy, filling him with dreams of becoming a pastor. He “pressed start,” entering the adventure of a believer.
Though the beginning was peaceful, opposition soon arose. One day in 4th grade, Jeremy was in the library at his school, reading a book about the Bible. A girl in his school approached him, mocking him with her friends for what he was reading.
Though there are challenges to being a follower of Christ, we cannot give up on the journey. We chose to “press start” and enter a new world. We must be willing to face the roadblocks, because the prize that awaits us is greater than anything we could ever dream of.
Following God won’t always be as easy as the beginning, but as we rise through the levels, we must always remember that we are not alone in our journey. Keep your eyes turned to him, because the challenges he provides shape us into who we are meant to be.
After Jeremy’s talk, the campers went to their clinics, which went great according to the instructors for each group. After clinic time, everyone met up for lunch in the cafeteria (I wrote the first half of the blog during those two events, so I can’t really tell you if anything exciting happened haha).
After lunch, the teams went to their huddle time, where they reflected on Jeremy’s message and took turns reading Bible verses. During that, the PA’s and I set up the games for competition time, including dodgeball, pillow polo, Gaga ball (this took a lot of effort, as the tables were stowed far underneath the stage), and volleyball (this also took a while, because the stakes wouldn’t go into the dry ground until we pounded on them with a broken mallet).
The competition time went awesome! The campers not only had fun playing the games, but they were courteous and encouraging towards their opponents. Neil Ewan, the main photographer for the camp, wandered around with me as they played, taking pictures of the action. He’s a far better photographer than I am, and I was lucky enough to gets some tips from him about what settings to use. It was fun comparing pictures with each other (or taking them of each other).
After the games, the campers got to eat some snacks and enjoy a short message about Simon Peter, given by Pastor Ron.
The last event of the day was a human version of “Frogger.” Honestly, we came up with the rules a few hours before the game was played, and even then, we had to improvise as we went. The kids liked it, though, and they cheered on their teammates enthusiastically as they attempted to cross the cafeteria floor. The PA’s were all on scooters, being pushed to act like the cars that try to stop Frogger from crossing the road.
The day ended with Princess Peach’s team in the lead, followed closely by Sonic and Mario. Overall, the campers had a great first day, and I had an awesome time, too! All the counselors were impressed by their kids’ participation, especially during huddle time. Today definitely set the atmosphere for a great rest of the week :) I’m looking forward to all that is to come!
To view all the photos from day 1, click below
7/8/18: Training Day
Hello everyone! My name is Rachael Kelley, and I’ve served on the Camp Blast Staff since Mike’s second year (Totally Rad). I attended Camp Blast for one year before that, but when I was old enough, I became a Program Assistant. After that, I have been positioned as either an Assistant Team Leader, Co-leader, or Team Leader.
This year, I’ll be the assistant to the assistant director, otherwise known as the Dwight Schrute. I have a summer class that prevents me from staying all day, so I couldn’t be a counselor, but I still wanted to be involved in any way I could. I’ll definitely miss getting my own group of campers to bond with, but I’m excited for this new position and whatever things Mike comes up with for me to do—like this blog, for example!
Every day, I’ll be posting about what went on at Camp Blast, including photos and short interviews from some of the participants and staff members. Keep up with my posts to follow our week!
Today, Team Leaders, Assistants, and PA’s met for an orientation session. Mike Ralph, our director, had the group do some icebreakers (though it was mostly Rob and Anthony leading us). Lauren Douie, assistant director, helped to keep us on task as we went over the schedule and expectations for the week.
Team leaders met to discuss Bible study plans for each day as well as brainstorm games to play with the campers. The instructors for the clinics, which include soccer, basketball, flag football, archery, arts and crafts, and film-making, also met and planned.
We took a break for lunch, but we soon got back to work by packing the van full of equipment (pillow polo sticks, basketballs, arrows, and tons more).
We have a lot of exciting things in store, and I’m excited to run some of the behind the scenes action this year :) Don’t forget to check in to read about the fun we had each day! Looking forward to a great week!
What is Camp Blast?
Camp Blast is a Christ-centered day camp program for youth ages 8-14 (completed grades 3-7). Camp Blast offers: themed activities, group games, sports & arts electives, worship music, a dynamic youth speaker, small group Bible studies, and cooperative team activities..
Why Camp Blast?
For Kids: Camp Blast offers opportunities to make new friends, play wacky games, make lots of memories, learn new skills, and have a blast!
For Parents: Camp Blast is an affordable and highly organized program that offers opportunities for character building and is staffed with positive role models for the campers to follow.
We offer daily electives led by our high school team leaders and adult leaders. Electives are for 2 days. Campers will choose 2 electives. On Wednesday they will switch to their 2nd elective. Space is limited for all electives. Register early to ensure first choice for your elective.
Team Sports – Learn new skills or improve your game in a fun environment. Sports offered this year are: basketball, flag football, and soccer.
Archery - learn how to use a bow and arrow on a target or practice your archery skills. Space is very limited. Archery elective is for all 4 days.
Arts & Crafts - Create themed crafts. Crafts will be displayed at end of camp.
Video Production - Interested in acting or video production?Join us as we make our own short film. Space is very limited. Video elective is for all 4 days.
What to bring
water bottle, bag Lunch, sneakers, and sunblock
What not to bring
cell phones, inappropriate clothing, electronic devices, jewelry, or flip-flops
DATES AND TIMES
Camp Blast 2018 runs Monday, July 9, through Thursday, July 12. Daily camper drop-off is from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. with pick-up at 3:00 p.m. On Thursday, July 12, all campers and families are invited to Trinity United Methodist Church for our closing session with a meal and a program from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
We are excited to have Jeremy back as our guest speaker. Jeremy is an experienced camp leader and speaker. He is the program director of a youth center in West Chester, PA. He is a big fan of Philly sports & loves tacos.
Camp Blast flier
Download our Camp Blast flier below and remember to share with your neighbors and friends and local businesses.
Camp Blast 2018 Brochure
Download our 2018 Camp Blast Brochure by clicking below and help us share.
We also offer paid and volunteer camp staff positions for high school and college students. Our Camp Blast hiring committee is looking for spiritually mature students with high moral character who are team leaders, have proven leadership experience (especially with children) and are actively involved in their youth or campus ministries. The deadline for completed applications for those interested in serving on our staff is May 20. Click below to download an application for our 2018 camp staff.
Register between May 6–20 and receive our early bird rate at only $90 per camper. Register between May 21–June 3 and rate is only $110 per camper. Register between June 4–July 1 and rate is $130 per camper. Families with multiple children will receive a $20 discount for each additional child registered. Registration is not complete until online payment is received.
Camp Blast t-shirt, Bible, and snack each day are included in cost. Camp size and space for electives is limited, so register early to ensure a spot and elective of your choice.
How do i register?
Click link to registration form and payment below. All payments must be made by credit card online by registration deadlines or a $20 late fee will be charged. Any cancellations to registration will be charged a $30 fee per camper. Release forms and other info will be sent by email the week prior to start of camp.
Camp Registration has ended. If you have registration questions, please contact us at:
Camp Blast Blog
Check back here each day after camp for blog updates and pictures.
To view pictures from Camp Blast 2017, click here.