This was my fourth year on faculty at The Salvation Army's Indiana Music Camp. Once again, I led the junior choir and had a blast with the kids and other faculty members. Due to the upcoming Boundless Congress being held in London, England to celebrate the Army's 150th year, our music camp was shortened from eight days to six. Even though it was shorter, we had so much fun this year!
One of the new elements was a time of music and dancing on the patio each evening (after the evening program and before Call to the Cross time), hosted by Captain Alex Norton (shown below in the funky Mohawk hat). He set up a light display which corresponded to the music and played songs (both Christian and secular) the kids recognized (I can't say I recognized all of them, but the kids were singing along faithfully). They did the Cupid Shuffle and the Cha Cha Slide. He DJ-ed from the balcony of the dining hall, overlooking the patio, and threw down candy and glow sticks to the kids some of the nights.
Our special guest was Captain Peter Mount. He did a fabulous job of presenting a solid theme and reinforcing the lesson of our theme verse, Philippians 4:13 ("I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.") He played intense games of Simon Says with the kids. Plus, he snagged their attention fully with his illustration of the goldfish in the blender (to teach about choices we make - he promised the staff ahead of time that no harm would come to the goldfish - the cord wasn't plugged in).
He also led the faculty in a few faculty band pieces and a number for the faculty choir (difficult music, but he was so gracious when we made mistakes - some of us only pick up our horns a few times a year, whereas the division he is from has solid banding year-round). We played a fun version of "Happy" and another piece paired with guitar called "Here Comes the Sun."
The evening programs were fun. One night we played a game of Heroes and Villains (a glorified version of hide and seek) where we faculty members had to hide as citizens and be captured by the villains (campers) and rescued by the heroes (played by camp staff young adults). I hid behind the archery targets and was captured twice (once by a group of boys who exclaimed, "We found the old lady citizen." - hmph!).
Another night, they held a lip-sync battle. Each of the cabins prepared a number. The winning cabin dressed half of their boys as girls and sang Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" to the other half of the boys from their cabin. It was absolutely hilarious! We were rolling on the floor laughing.
For Thursday night's program, my own corps officer and I put together a Musical Minute-to-Win-It program. I made a giant set of foam board music dominoes, a terminology matching game, and a bean bag toss rhythm matching game. We had other stations like boom-whacker music playing, sculpting rests out of play-dough, Name That Tune, and a musical version of the telephone game. I think the kids enjoyed it. I know the rotations went quickly and before I knew it, it was time to clean up and head to the patio.
Because of the shortened week, we eliminated several things. The only faculty-led electives were drama, praise team, and the camp newsletter. There just wasn't time to present an elective performance program. We only heard the solo contest winners during their whole camp level of competition (instead of hearing the winners perform again during the final concert). But, I felt like the streamlining of things made the camp less stressful and more fun.
The faculty continued the annual tradition of our trip to Steak-n-Shake after the Thursday evening activities. We laughed so hard I almost couldn't breathe. I hope the other customers weren't offended by the boisterous, good time we were having. It is always one of my favorite parts of the camp week.
My junior choir did a fine job in their final performance at the Saturday concert. They sang one fast and catchy song, "Seventy-Times-Seven," and one slower, worshipful piece, "Heavenly Father, I Appreciate You." I think we all had fun learning the music and absorbing the daily lessons.