Lord, Help My Unbelief
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
The Gilgal Gazette is published by Camp Gilgal campers for Camp Gilgal campers and their families and friends!
Tribe of Judah: Naomi W., Rachel M., Rebekah C., Reva G., Simona B., Ruski, Nature Valley
Tribe of Ephraim: Alyssa C., Eden A., Gita G., Liora S., Mariya A., Anonymous, Eureka
Tribe of Simeon: Alex J., Asher W., Elliot A., Isaiah H., Keane R., Trent F., Hiccup, Google
Out-of-Cabin Staff: Baby Carrots (health director), Beardo, Scooter, Strings, RedSox
Trent F., Age 14
Tribe of Simeon
Our health director Baby Carrots is a very passionate, outgoing person. Because she has been a believer since she was very young, she looked forward to being an assistant tribe leader (ATL) since she was a camper. When she had the opportunity to be an ATL she jumped at it. Her valuable experience led her to be a tribe leader and then out-of-cabin staff. Now she serves as the health director. She told me she thinks God gave her the ability and passion to be in the medical field because it’s not for everyone. She currently is an EMT going to school to become a Physician’s Assistant as well as specializing in critical care. When she can use her medical skills in such a wonderful atmosphere she feels fulfilled. At night she helps me with my meds but she doesn’t rush me so she can go to sleep. She’s a patient person who plays a very important role in the Gilgal staff.
Elliot A., Age 13
Tribe of Simeon
Google was born in Jacksonville, FL. He was a tribe leader for junior and teen camp on the East Coast this year. He has been attending Camp Gilgal West Coast for many years but came to Camp Gilgal East this year because he attends college in Pennsylvania. His favorite Bible verse changes quite often, but is currently either Isaiah 11:9 or Galatians 2:20. He has played many instruments, starting with the clarinet. He truly let Jesus into his life at adventure camp on the West Coast in 2013. His overall favorite camp shirt is the one from 2010, and it’s my personal favorite as well. This is his first year as staff. His favorite color is the rainbow and his favorite tribe to be at camp is Simeon. He LOVES french toast at camp and his favorite all-camp activity is Mission Impossible. Google loves movies that make him cry. His favorite one is a romance called Listen to Your Heart. If he had to tell someone a favorite joke on the spot it would be this: “A man was praying to God. He asked God how long 1,000,000 years was to him. God replied, ‘A second.’ He then asked how much a million dollars was to God to which He replied, ‘A penny.’ The man then asked God if he could have a million dollars and God said, ‘Wait a second.’ I have greatly enjoyed having Google as my tribe leader this year and hope that one day you can have him as yours too. I can’t wait until I can be staff! I hope you get to experience the fun with staff here at camp.
Rachel M., Age 13
Tribe of Judah
At Camp Gilgal we do something called staff testimonies. After every lunch a couple of staff members come up to share their life stories. I honestly love hearing how God changed people’s lives and brought them closer to Him. As a camper, I think that it brings us all together as a family. Some of us go through similar struggles as the staff and it personally helps me get through it. For me, at least, camp is my second home. You get welcomed warmly.
There is a tribe leader and her name is Ruski. Ruski’s testimony was very relatable. Growing up through high school Ruski had many great friends that helped her stay accountable to her faith. They were there to support her and encourage her. This personally gives me an example of what group of friends I should associate myself with.
Overall I love camp and they treat every single one of us like family. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
Liora S., Age 15
Tribe of Ephraim
A loud thud echoes through the cabin, windows rattling. A startled flock of birds takes flight, jabbering in surprise and fright. Upon first thought, it may seem that the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park have come to life and started roaming Camp Gilgal, but… The wooden door swings open and a girl steps out. Dark hair frames her face, cascading down to just below her shoulders. Her brown eyes sparkle mischievously. This is no dinosaur, this is Gita.
Known for her wonky and rather… unsavory food combinations, her loud and exciting presence, and energetic personality, Gita is one fine specimen of a first-year camper. Always jumping headfirst into awkward situations and de-awkwardizing them is her specialty. Gita fears no one. She is forever in sync with her identical twin Reva, and they dually astonished, amazed, and excited the audience during talent night. Gita is up for anything, and once you get to know her she is a chatterbox that is always willing to discuss life with anyone and everyone.
Thundering down from her bunk every morning after spending the night watching her cabin-mates sleep, Gita greets everyone in the morning with a loud thump as she leaps from her bunk bed. Sharing a cabin with Gita is an ongoing endeavor that requires much patience and a sense of humor. Gita makes camp exciting, and is a rechargeable battery of wackiness and energy. Gita helps make camp fun. I’m glad she’s part of the Camp Gilgal Family.
Asher W., Age 14
Tribe of Simeon
(The Italicized portion of this article is a dramatization of our day on the paint ball course and my time hanging out with Hiccup.)
With his Go-Pro slapped to his chest, Hiccup crept behind yet another victim. He leveled his gun and glared through the sight, his tie-dye shirt flapping in the wind.
“How long do we stay like this?” I asked.
“’Till we’ve created maximum awesomeness.”
Hiccup pulled the trigger and a stream of paintballs rocketed out of his gun. Paint exploded over our prey. “AAAAARRRGGG!” Elliot, now covered in a coat of neon yellow pigment, glared at us and marched out of the range.
Gun fire jetted out of a bunker as Nature Valley yelled an agonizing war cry. Hiccup and I dove behind some plywood and returned fire. Nature Valley was proclaimed hit and she tromped out of the arena. Two down, two to go.
Hiccup is a hilarious, fairly obnoxious serial killer (but only in paintball). He was born in a town at the bottom of upstate New York, but currently lives in central Florida. He loves talking like a traumatized Indian at a Chinese restaurant or like Sara (S-A-R-A with no H ‘cause H’s are EWW!) from Jimmy Fallon.
His favorite Bible story is when Jesus cast some demons into a herd of pigs. It shows that God works in weird and mysterious ways for His glory. His favorite memory verse is Romans 8:28 because it reminds me that no matter what happens God will work it out for good, even if we don’t see it.
Hiccup enjoys being crazy awkward and doing the crab dance. Hiccup is awesome, energetic, and optimistic. He gives us time to relax, have fun, an altogether have a great time. Hiccup is an amazing tribe leader and is one of my favorites.
Eden A., Age 14
Tribe of Ephraim
This year at teen camp my counselor Anonymous and I were selected to be put in the tribe of Ephraim along with a few other girls. I decided to interview her and discovered a few key facts you should know about her. First off, she is really into music and a way she expresses her love for God is through worship. She has a strong connection with God that seems to strengthen every year. Her favorite verse in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11, which talks about God and the future He has planned ahead. At camp her favorite all camp activity is an outdoors game called Gaga, which involves a lot of screaming, running, and hitting people with rubber balls. Her favorite year as a camper was the junior camp year when she was ten. Her favorite sport outside of camp is softball and her favorite sport to watch is football. I think she is definitely one of my favorite tribe leaders and these are just a few facts about her. Anonymous is awesome and I hope you’ll get to know her too.
Simona B., Age 13
Tribe of Judah
Every year at teen camp we go on a camping trip followed by white water rafting. After lunch, all of us 16 campers jumped in the car to make our journey to the campsite. After a very long hour and a half drive, we arrived at the site. While the staff cooked us dinner, the campers played Nukem, swam, played on the playground and more. We had a very tasty dinner after activities followed by a campfire talk and s’mores. When we were all tired, we went in our tents and fell fast asleep. Early the next morning we were woken up for the main activity of the trip – white water rafting! We went over so many rapids but all managed to stay safe. The guides were so skilled and funny. After a long day in the sun and on the water we were served a yummy dinner. Then we went to the gift shop and people bought souvenirs. Sadly, it was time to go home. It was the best field trip ever, and it lasted two days! My personal favorite part was the fastest rapid. There was a huge rock that we went down and I almost fell out! Our guide told us exactly what to do so we were safe. The fast rapids were definitely the most fun. I’m looking forward to next year already!
Alex J., Age 14
Tribe of Simeon
This year at Camp Gilgal my tribe/group and I did a low ropes course involving high levels of intense team building and strategy as well as trust. Personally, I have a fear of falling, and at the ropes course I had the opportunity to do a trust fall. And after a while, I just did it. I believed in my friends and they caught me. But getting more on a spiritual note I learned a lot through this amazing experience about trusting not only in my friends but in God. On the walk to the site I saw beautiful trees. I took in every breath and knew that God was with me. Therefore, when these experiences arise I have to trust in God and give it all to Him like everything else. Another obstacle we did was when all of our tribe stood on a log all in order. Then we needed to get everyone to switch sides, and every time someone fell off we had to start over. The last major obstacle we did was a tight rope. Another tribe member and I had to achieve getting to the other side. If you were a spotter you had to be behind the people on the rope and cup your hands and when you’re the person that has to go across you have to evenly push against your partner 50/50 to achieve getting to the other side. And all in all you should send your child to Camp Gilgal.
Keane R., Age 15
Tribe of Simeon
This year at Camp Gilgal there was an activity known as “Zombie Survival.” I was the only camper to participate so this is some top-secret information. First, we discussed what five things we would have in the case of the apocalypse. I said food, water, a pistol with a muffler, a machete, and shelter. Then we made an ideal, completely ridiculous, survival shelter. It was comprised of genetically engineered redwood trees – they would be extremely high, fireproof, very wide, and could bear fruit. Storage and normal civilization would be closest to the tops of the trees, along with solar panels and a botanical garden because the tops of the trees would be flat. The houses would be sort of set up like Ewok houses with bridges connecting the tops and surrounding the trees like rings. The differences are the houses are inside the trees and are used for different things. Lastly, there would be a lower floor with a huge drop ladder that is for the army to live in so they can shoot down zombies and invaders. This is what Zombie Survival was like. I love teen camp activities because they require creativity and imagination, and I can’t wait for next year!
Alyssa C., Age 14
Tribe of Ephraim
Oh paintball… Where do I even begin? It was traumatizing. And awesome, but traumatizing. I am writing this right now, covered in welts and mosquito bites, and frankly I can’t tell which are which.
This was my first paintball experience so I didn’t know what to expect, except that it was going to hurt. So, we get to the paintball place, which is located at the camp in the woods. We were split up into two teams. From this point on, it gets kinda surprising. We learned how to use the paintball gun, and put on our helmets. The two teams had to stand across from each other and shoot each other to get used to it. Everyone was shocked to be shooting their friend right across from them. The first time I got hit it felt like what I’d imagine a bullet is like. It was right on my thigh and I wanted to cry. It was surprising, but went away after a few seconds.
Well, after that happened, we played mini six-minute games. I was about to give up but realized it really wasn’t that bad and fought through the pain. I was happy that I shot a few people, but my aim was still pretty bad. After it was done we all talked about our experiences and then Elliot ate a paintball for a dollar (after making sure it was non-toxic). I’m not gonna talk about that. It was weird and kinda gross (obviously).
I realized that even though it was scary I’m glad I experienced it with all of my friends and that paintball isn’t just for some people. I would definitely do paintball again next year because turns out it was really fun and exciting. I encourage everyone to try paintball at least once in their lives because it’s an awesome experience once you get going.
Rebekah C., Age 14
Tribe of Judah
On the way to rafting I had a fun time on the bus with my friends. When we were rafting it was so exciting because it is fun and you get to see the beautiful scenery. We went into big waves and got splashed a lot. On the raft we had a contest of how many horseflies we could whack. We killed around 43 flies. Our guide was really funny and outgoing, and we gave him the name ‘Viking’. The rafting felt more intense this year and exciting. We also went “surfing” – it’s when we all go to the front of the boat and glide on a wave. After rafting, we went back to the Wild Waters rafting area. Then we had a really great dinner there. They also had a shop with a lot of really neat souvenirs. We all had a really great time on our rafting trip. This was my second time and I love it! I can’t wait ‘till next year.
Reva G., Age 14
Tribe of Judah
One of my favorite activities was fort building. We had to go in the cabins and get all the mattresses that weren’t being used. We had to carry all the mattresses to the tree knoll. Strings, Hiccup, Keane, Simona, and I had to find out how to keep the mattresses from falling, what we wanted in our fort, and how we wanted it to look. By using the mattresses, we formed a big rectangle. Inside it was a tanning area, a shade area, and a tunnel. We used seven mattresses alone for the tunnel. After we finished making the fort, we talked about how cool it was. As a group we decided that the rules were no shoes and you had to go through the doorway. Everybody in the group worked as a team which was good because we got the job done. Out of the whole thing the hardest part was bringing the mattresses to the tree knoll and putting the mattresses away. Overall, we had a lot of fun because we got to work together and then relax together. This is my first year at Camp Gilgal. I didn’t expect activities like this, but I really liked it and I hope you can do it next year!
Gita G., Age 14
Tribe of Ephraim
The first day I came we had the swimming test. Without hesitating I jumped in the water as soon as my tribe was called. We had to swim to one side on your stomach and back on your back. Then we had to float on our back for a minute. We then swam to the deep end and had to keep our head above water for a minute. It was really easy and fun. After everyone finished taking the test we got to jump in and swim around. The water was the perfect temperature. The pool is an awesome fun way to have fun.
The rest of the days I didn’t want to go swimming. I decided not to swim anymore during the week. I spent the day playing ping pong, card games, and air hockey. Those games were a lot of fun, even though I am terrible at them. Mau is a really fun card game but it makes no sense at all – we don’t talk about the rules!
The best part of all is that you can just sit and relax in the game. You can even memorize the week’s verse. The game room satisfies pretty much anyone. You could have a fun and relaxing time in the pool or a crazy time in the game room. Having down time at camp is a nice break. This is my first year at camp and I’m so glad I came!
Isaiah H., Age 13
Tribe of Simeon
For an all-camp activity we play an amazing game called Screamo. Screamo is a game where you roll a dice and flip the tile of that specific number, and once all of your tiles are flipped then you win. In this game you have to choose a partner. My partner was Elliot. Also, he’s my fake twin brother. During the game, Elliot and I were winning every game until… the twins. (These twins are my tribe leader’s sisters.) They were the first people we lost to. Elliot and I were sad because we lost. While we were competing against them everyone was yelling because the game is so, so, so, so intense. Sweat was dripping down our faces as we were flipping over the pieces and rolling the dice, and then all of a sudden the twins yelled “SCREAMO!!!” Once they yelled that, Elliot and I were so upset but they didn’t see their other card, so Elliot and I won and were so happy. We can’t wait to play this amazing game again next year.
Naomi W., Age 13
Tribe of Judah
Archery is a fun activity you can do at teen camp. I like archery because I like to try to shoot the bullseye and just have fun and challenge myself. After you shoot all your arrows, you have to retrieve them and sometimes have to look in the woods to find them. Every year I get better because I get good tips from the camp staff and my friends. Sometimes we do a shooting challenge where either we see who shoots the most arrows on the target or who can shoot the most balloons. We have to make sure we don’t accidentally hurt each other with the arrows because they’re sharp and can cause injuries, but luckily we haven’t hurt anyone or shot anyone. Learning how to shoot a bow and arrow can be a little scary but it’s a great experience and you get more into it the more you shoot and get closer to the bullseye. It’s also a fun way to play with your friends and challenge each other. Teen camp is a lot of fun and you should come here, too.
Mariya A., Age 14
Tribe of Ephraim
Excitement, frustration, enjoyment, terror, and elation! These are the feelings I get when I play Nukem. It’s just so awesome!!! If you like to move around and catch a ball, Nukem is for you! You get to see the members of the other team (as well as your own team) get out. In order to get back in the game, one of your team members has to catch the ball with one hand and it can’t touch their body. Before I go on, the way you get out of the game is by not catching the ball when you are the closest to it. This happens to me a lot when I play Nukem at camp. When I get out of the game, I get so frustrated but then I get excited at the same time because I know that people in my team will catch the ball one-handed and I will be able to go in. My favorite part of Nukem is throwing and catching the ball. This is because I have this jumping technique that I do due to my height. It’s so fun throwing the ball in a certain way so that the members of the other team can’t catch it. I enjoy the looks of pained frustration on their faces as they slowly realize they’re out of the game. Nukem is a truly campy experience that I have to wait all year to enjoy. This is why Camp Gilgal is really AWESOME!