Called To Serve
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
The Gilgal Gazette is published by Camp Gilgal campers for Camp Gilgal campers and their families and friends!
||Mekerah P., Taliah S., Dinah N., Haneen R., Emmalee S., LaTanya H., Zion M., Mia C., Abbey M., Lindsay M., Skye R., Amanda R., Vika S., Leia B., Julia K., Samuel F., Daniel P., Isaac H., Rain M., Andrew A., Reuven R., Elias B., Logan G., Elliot K., Emmanuel R., Nathan P., Jacob S., Jeremiah H., David S., Benjamin R., Emeth P.
||Acorn, Bazooka, Pocahontas, Sprout, Gilligan, Geronimo, Professor, Rocky, Husky
|Out of Cabin Staff:
||Moose, Streetlight, Speedy, Pi, Heinz
This year at camp a new Gilgal family member joined and I had the pleasure of being his camper. His name is Rocky and he was born in Denver, Colorado. He was raised in a believing home. He has two brothers and three sisters and they are all very close. He has very supportive parents who raised him with good Christian values and educated him in Christian schools. After high school, he went to Concordia University located in Wisconsin. He majored in Spanish and pre-seminary studies. Other than education, Rocky enjoys a wide variety of activities including all kinds of sports and outdoor activities, hiking the mountains of his home state, photography and playing the piano.
He is married to Bazooka, another tribe leader who he met while attending college in Wisconsin. Through Bazooka, Rocky met Moose and others, leading him to become a tribe leader at teen camp. Rocky said that he absolutely loves being at camp, spending time with all the staff and campers, learning from them, and teaching them as well.
This is Zion reporting for the Gilgal Gazette and today I interviewed Bazooka. When I asked her what her real name is she responded, “Excellent question.” She responded the same when I asked her age. So my guess of her name and age is 33 years old and that her real name is Abigail.
Here are some fun facts about Bazooka: her favorite color is sea foam. Her favorite animal is the red panda. Her favorite food is pad thai and she was born in San Francisco. Her most favorite thing to do is go to camp. Acorn and Snapple are her best friends. When asked whether she prefers Coke or Pepsi, she said Coke. Her favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9. It’s been nice getting to know Bazooka. Peace out.
Speedy has been a Camp Gilgal tribe leader for 12 years. Speedy’s favorite part of camp is seeing people grow spiritually, mentally and physically. He has been married for 21 years to another tribe leader named Sloth. His favorite Bible verses are 2 Peter 1:5-8. He is about 5’ 6” when he is wearing shoes.
His favorite camp activity is going on field trips. On these trips he has been to baseball games, white water rafting, sailing and much more. He was born in Berkeley, California, and lived there for 18 years. He has one older brother and two younger brothers. He went to two colleges, one is called Brooklyn College in New York, and the other is in Portland, Oregon. Speedy is a nice tribe leader who helps campers in need and I hope I seem him next year.
I decided to interview Sprout. I just met Sprout this week and so far I really enjoy being around her. She is really interesting, funny, and kind. First I asked, “How old were you when you first came to camp?” Sprout replied, “I was 15 at Camp Gilgal WWW (Wonderful Winter Weekend) South.” I then asked if she enjoyed being a camper or tribe leader more. Sprout said she enjoys different things from both positions. “What is your favorite camp experience?” I asked. “My favorite camp experience was worshiping on the houseboat during the sunset,” Sprout answered. I asked if anyone from camp had influenced her life and she replied, “Yes, Galaxy. She is an awesome, godly girl.”
I then asked what she looked forward to most at camp. Sprout said, “I look forward to worship and being in fellowship with other believers.” Lastly, I asked if she had any funny camp stories. Sprout answered, “At adventure camp we were about to get off the very top of the boat and to get down we had to jump. It would take me ten minutes to finally jump because it was so high.” I am very glad I got to know Sprout this week.
On an average day, our cabin wakes up around seven o’clock and get ready for breakfast. At breakfast we usually sit with the same people that are in our cabin. After breakfast we go to Tabernacle. In Tabernacle we worship God by singing. Also we learn the memory verse: Philippians 2:5-11. Sometimes there is a staff member that goes and tells us their story and how they got to know God. After Tabernacle we go either to the giant swing or the ropes course depending on the day. I didn’t go on the giant swing but I did go on the ropes course. The ropes course was fun.
In our cabin there was Andrew, Logan, Geronimo, Sam, Daniel, Isaac, Elias, Professor, Reuven, and (myself) Rain. My favorite part about our cabin is that there are a lot of friendships going on. At lunch, we pray and chant the liturgy then eat. After that we have free time, then more activities, and then dinner. After dinner we have more activities and then sleep. One of my favorite things about our cabin is that we have good staff and campers.
Pocahontas. Not your stereotypical Disney princess. Despite her internal love for giraffes, her kind and caring love for others does in fact exceed her love for animals. Pocahontas’ favorite book of the Bible is James. She describes it as “very practical. It covers so many different things.” Pocahontas is the ideal traveling partner on all occasions. Having visited 14 different countries, she decided she favored Italy most. “I love the food and I really admire the colorful, vibrant cities,” she explained.
Out of the countries she’s lived in, she has liked living in Israel the most. Here’s what Pocahontas has got to say: “In Israel, I feel at home. Everybody accepts you. There, people are very open and honest and you can just be yourself.” Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, baking and blogging. She favors music that has sort of an indie, alternative feel. Pocahontas particularly likes Foster the People and Mumford and Sons. Her favorite color is mint, or a really light blue. She enjoys shopping in smaller stores and boutiques with different vintage selections. Hands down, Pocahontas absolutely looooves coconut ice cream with chocolate Belgian ice cream (they have to be together!). Her favorite books are from the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.
Pocahontas considers Mother Theresa a great example of a servant and a hero she often looks up to. She admires her because “she gave her whole life to serve without expecting anything in return.” She defines a servant as “someone who’s constantly humble without expecting praise or anything in return, and is always willing to give.” With that in mind, I can faithfully say that Pocahontas lives as a true servant of God. This teen camp, she and her husband, Husky, have devoted their time to learn from the staff at camp so that they can travel back to Israel and help a camp similar to ours for Jewish believers in Jesus.
This year I had the pleasure of having Geronimo as a tribe leader in my cabin. So for my Gazette article I interviewed him. I found out that he likes authentic Mexican food but his favorite meal at camp was eggs and sausage. Geronimo is from Napa Valley, but is now living in San Francisco.
One of Geronimo’s favorite things at camp was Capture the Degel. He said it made him feel like he was in war, planning what to do and when to do it. But, he said his favorite thing was worshiping and praising the Lord during devotionals and at the not-so-campfire campfires.
Geronimo’s favorite Bible verse is John 6:28-29. He says that it helped him realize that no matter how much he messes up God will be there for him. I feel blessed that I was able to spend a week with Geronimo. Camp would not be the same without him.
One of the people who make camp happen every year is Streetlight. Streetlight is super fun and always in a good mood! Although Streetlight is great at what she does, she would never have thought she would have this job ten years ago. Streetlight loves camp so much that she even has countdowns when camp is almost 100 days away. Streetlight says she thinks she was made for camp.
You may think you know all there is to know about snazzy Streetlight but I have managed to uncover some fun facts such as her least favorite camp food, which are powdered eggs. Her current favorite music genre is creative folk, not super folky though. If Streetlight could be any animal she would be a blue whale because they are big and float in the water. Streetlight’s favorite verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9. Streetlight enjoys this verse because it reminds her God’s grace is sufficient and He is always in control. Streetlight says that if she was stranded on an island and it flipped over it would be bow tie pasta with olive oil and pesto sauce with grilled chicken. Streetlight is really fun to talk to and I enjoy getting to know her more each year.
Husky grew up in Belarus and grew up believing in God. Once Husky finished high school, he served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Husky served and stayed in Israel during his service. After he served in the army, he was baptized to show a further example of his dedication to God. His favorite books of the Bible are Ecclesiastes and Job. Husky specifically enjoys the book of Job because it tells of how important it is to have non-doubtful faith in God.
Husky’s favorite hobby is working out, and his favorite food is any chicken dish. This is Husky’s first year at Camp Gilgal. He has had a load of fun with all the activities. His favorite of all the adventures was jet skiing on Bass Lake.
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, two humans met each other and eventually had a child, whom they named Pi. The parents had a special fondness for perfect circles, especially pies of that shape. Pi, being instrumental in finding the circumference and other measurements, was thus the name of their newborn child. Contrary to what might happen in modern society, those who knew Pi did not find his name unusual; rather, they found great joy in his name.
His name turned out to be prophetic, for his interest in math escalated to unprecedented levels. Children and adults alike would approach the Tent of Pi, where Pi could be found sitting on a dinosaur hide, teaching about algebra, calculus (time machine from Newton), and statistics. Amidst all these equations, the one closest to his heart was that of .
But most importantly, he loved the Bible, particularly 2 Corinthians 4:13. Today in 2014, Pi has also expressed great excitement when playing Wells Fargo.
Among the hundreds (or even thousands) of American national parks, Yosemite proved to be one of the most beautiful of God’s creations. As a camp, we hiked up to Vernal Fall. Before our 2.5 mile trek there, it began pouring rain, which was cool and within a few minutes we were all soaked and our group was divided into the “raindancers” and the wet “rain-o-phobics.” The rain then devolved into a sprinkle as we continued on our journey. As we walked, small scurrying creatures caught our eyes. Tiny squirrels ran around to the “awwwws” of the group. They were followed by much…less tiny squirrels that obviously hoarded enough food to fill a hot air balloon.
Besides the cute animals, there were clear streams rushing past rocks and massive mountains. From a distance, Vernal Fall was visible as white foaming water gushed over the cliff and joined the water below, letting out bursts of moisture and steam. The walk began to get tiring as the humidity and sweat kicked in, but the group was entertained by the beauty around us and by Professor’s life stories and nature quizzes. Along the way, people were asking about our Cam p Gilgal shirts and we gladly shared information about our faith with them. It was nice to be given the opportunity to tell people about Jesus, whether they were believers or not. All in all, this hike introduced us to incredible portions of God’s creation, adorable and amiable animals, and to the task of spreading Jesus’ name to people.
Haneen R.Age 13
I chose to write on this topic because it takes a lot of strength, courage and prayer to be able to walk a little wire 25 feet in the air. But, it ends up being so much fun in the long run and you feel really accomplished and satisfied when you’re done.
When I first started climbing the rope it was really easy and then when I reached the top and looked down I realized how much I was shaking. After that I attached myself to the wire above and that was when I started to really get afraid because the first step is always the hardest in most situations. Once I took the first step I just started breathing deeply and concentrating on the tree ahead of me.
Once I finished the first wire it was easy from then on and it was really fun to end it with the relaxing zip line. Praying the entire time helped a lot and I am definitely going to do it next year!
Lindsay M., Age 15
After lunch, we all go down to our cabins and get changed for swimming at the pool. We grab sunscreen and towels. At the pool there is a water slide, diving board, and a little nice grassy shady spot. A lot of campers and staff go off the diving board and do crazy flips and dives. At the other side of the pool the boys and some of the girls play water polo and splash, scream and get water on everyone who doesn’t want to get wet. It’s quite entertaining. I personally love being in the water with my friends.
Next is free time. There are many things to do during free time. There’s boating, the pool, and usually the flume is open. You can hang out with fellow campers and go to the café and get ice cream, milkshakes, or coffee. You can also play basketball, volleyball and Frisbee. Free time and the pool are great.
Everyone shifts in their seats, getting as comfortable as possible. A nervous shiver runs through the campers as a sharp jerk singles their start. The boat is slow at first; a simple speed everyone is comfortable with. But then they pass the tall buoy that marks that the shoreline is near, and caution flies away with the wind. Screams are snatched away from their owner’s mouths as the wind picks up with the speed of the ski boat. The rudder jerks left, leading the boat right. Far behind, the screams are abruptly cut off as every camper tumbles off the banana and into Bass Lake.
Other than the thrilling adventure of riding the banana, Bass Lake also held exciting rides on jet skis, swimming in the refreshing water, and hanging out at the snack shop. Those strong of heart tipped their banana again and again, and screamed for higher and higher speeds on the wave-runner. However, those wishing for smoother fun had a great time jumping from the docks and swimming in the cool lake water. And, of course, there were those who simply relaxed and ate french fries and ice cream at the snack shop. Bass Lake was full of fun.
The giant swing is probably the best thing ever. It’s 25 feet in the air and you have to jump off. The climb is easy at first, but when you see how high you are, it gets scary and you start shaking. When you get to the top, they harness you in and then you jump. You feel so free with a spark of fear. As you swing back and forth you can do different poses like going upside down or sideways. “It was so scary and I was shaking so hard, but it was worth it,” says LaTanya, a fellow camper. “It was terrifying yet exciting,” says Elias.
My experience was really fun. When you are on top, you look down and the people look so small. The lady helping me get strapped in offered to pray for me. I think her praying for me gave me the courage to slide off the platform. As I look back, I’m really glad that I conquered my fear and I can’t wait until next year to do it again!
Once upon a time, a knight saved a damsel in distress, but we will not get into that right now. We will partake in the experience of Capture the Degel. This is a game of strategy, adventure, and pure awesomeness.
This game involves strategy because you must plan before you act. For example, Geronimo had to find a suitable area to place his degel. He eventually put it in a place where there is road that no one goes down. There were also many trees. I needed strategy because I needed to plan how to get to the degel and avoid the girls. So I ended up going around near the flume. It required running and thinking on the spot. This is a very strategic game.
Adventure is another part of this game. Isaac, for example, heard Moose howling. Isaac believed it was a real wolf. This shows that even defense players can have adventures. For me, I was snooping around and hiding behind trees. This was partly because of a fear of jail. This is a very adventurous game.
This game had a few pure awesome moments. One of my awesome moments was when Andrew and I were hiding and we sneaked passed a bunch of girls. We were both as silent as possible. We passed them with no trace. Professor’s awesome moment was blocking Elias from the jail break. Professor was blocking a flying camper. He sacrificed his schnoz to protect the jail. There were a few awesome moments. This strategic, awe-inspiring, adventurous game was amazing. This was an awesome game.
Dyeing shirts was fun and an exciting experience. Before dyeing we had to tie a bunch of rubber bands around bundles of the shirt in order to make a pattern for the dye. To get the dye on the shirt we had to squirt it onto the shirt (from a bottle) and squeeze/rub it in. Once all of our shirts were done, there was a large abundance of different patterns all over the shirts and it looked like a bunch of hippies had come and sneezed all over countless amounts of white shirts. After I saw the outcome of them I thought, “Wow, that’s cool.” Dyeing shirts was really fun!
At Camp Gilgal, there is a staple game that must be played to complete the camp experience. We always have to play Wells Fargo. The basis of the game is stealing bags of gold from the tribe leaders, who are the faithful and loyal Wells Fargo agents. Each bag is hidden by an agent and defended by them. We campers have to run up and steal the bags without getting tagged. If you get tagged, you must return to the hideout for the campers, who are nicknamed “outlaws,” for 100 seconds. When the whistle blows, you run out and search for the bags. The second time the whistle blows, you return to the outlaw hideout to count the stolen gold bags. If the outlaws have more bags, they win. The amount of rounds we play depends on how late we start the game.
This year at teen camp, we played two rounds of Wells Fargo in the woods. The staff took advantage of the dark woods and prepared some jump-scares. I sadly fell for them a couple of times, but overall, it was still an enjoyable game.
Wells Fargo is a great time for running and awesomeness. I can’t wait for next year to steal those bags of gold!
My name is Taliah and I am in the cabin of Sprout and Bazooka. Tribe time and devotions are a couple of the most important things at camp; everybody at camp always says that once you come to camp you are a member of the camp family. This time is what really makes that true. I have been going to camp since before I was born, but this my first year of teen camp. So far I am loving it!
I think that at teen camp, tribe time is more important because we have less time together. During my tribe’s devotion time we always start with looking in the tin. The tin is a huge coffee can that the people in my cabin can put questions or subjects in. When we have devotions, we try to answer the questions or just talk about the subject that was put in the tin. One night we got to talk a lot about one of the questions that was put in the tin before doing our devotion. We all added to the subject and talked about God’s perspective on the subject. I really think that this conversation helped the person who asked the question. In all, tribe time and devotions are the most fun and most significant time that a tribe at camp will share together.
Due to dry conditions we have fireless campfires. Fireless campfires have a special place in my heart. I love the worship and the testimonies from the Camp Gilgal staff. Professor said, “It makes me sad that there is no smoke in my eyes while we are worshiping. It also saddens me because I miss the smell and warmth of the fire on my body. I also miss the sweet taste of marshmallows.” Elias explains, “I love the campfires. They remind me of camp!”
One of the testimonies that stood out to me was Speedy’s. Speedy’s testimony was about how he was alone for a portion of his life, then he met God and his loneliness went away. To me, that is amazing that as soon as he met Jesus, he wasn’t lonely anymore. That is why I love going to fireless campfires.
During and after we eat we have certain traditions here at camp. One of them is “benching.” We do benching after lunch. Benching is where we slam our palms and say a Hebrew prayer. At dinner, we usually have dessert (yum!) and then there is “Mail Callllllll!” Mail Call is when we get packages and letters from our parents, grandparents etc. Most of the time it’s letters, and sometimes it’s a care package (usually full of candy) and a small note. I have yet to receive one! We also have cabin inspection, where our cabins are checked for disorder, trash, or an environmental attack!
During lunch we can sit with other cabins. All in all, eating is important but it can be fun with other people, especially at camp. Camp isn’t just about campfires and bug spray; it’s about the camp food.
During teen camp one afternoon all the campers participated in an activity called, “the panel.” The panel is a group of staff consisting of Speedy, Bazooka, Rocky, Moose and several others. During the time designated for the panel, campers wrote down many different questions. When everyone was done writing their questions, Moose collected them and gave them to the panel to answer.
The first question was about heaven. The panel answered it to the best of their ability and then were handed another question on the same topic. While the panel was answering these questions, multiple campers started asking new questions about heaven. After a little while, the discussion ended, but there is always next time!
The first night of camp is always exciting, from moving into your cabins, to meeting new people, and talking with camp friends. This year after dinner we were all instructed to go get closed toed shoes, bug spray, and water. This made us question what we would be doing next. When the whistles blew we were all led to the field. That was when Heinz announced that we would be playing many fun games. First, we started with a game by the name of Cat and Mouse. However, this game did not in fact include any real mice or cats. The way the game is played is everyone but two people gets into groups of two by linking arms. The two who did not get paired up were the cat and mouse. The assigned cat must chase the mouse and if the mouse is caught, the roles are reversed. However, the mouse can run and link arms in one of the groups of two but the person on the end must now take the mouse’s place. We played this for a while, and we even added in two extra cats and mice.
Once this game was over we played the great game of Boston, Baltimore, or Buffalo. This game involves the use of three sections of the field. Each section goes by the name of Boston, Baltimore, or Buffalo. When Heinz called out one of the three, we must run to the correct section and not be the last one or else you’re out. But everyone had to be careful because if Heinz yelled out “subway,” everyone must hit the deck. After we boiled down to the last campers, Skye was eventually the winner.
Next, Speedy sat us all down and talked a little about the World Cup. He came up with a challenge for us in which both the men’s and the ladies’ side chose three representatives for a flopping contest. Now, what is a flop you ask? A flop is when a person pretends to be very injured after making it seem as if they were tripped or pushed. A panel of judges was formed and we would be given points for how well the flop was executed with possible extra points for using foreign languages. In the end, the men won the flopping contest for their extreme flops. Following this we tried to say “goal” for as long as we could and eventually had two campers face off.
Lastly, we played a round of steal the kosher bacon, which was actually more like steal the shoe. People were put in a line on each end of the field and numbered off. In the middle was a shoe and then someone would call out a number and that number from each side would tried to bring the show back by “whatever means necessary.” Sometimes even multiple numbers would be called out. This is the way our first game night went and everyone had lots of fun.