Rainy Skies Can’t Dampen Campers’ Spirits


Students fell asleep late Friday night on September 7 to the soothing sound of a soft rain gently beating against their tents. Warmly snuggled into their sleeping bags – some of the boys packed together like sardines – the campers dozed off during the first night of SA campout at Muskegon state park. Little did they know they were in for a long night.

Waking up, several students felt a sense of discomfort. Their feet were extremely cold and wet and the bottoms of the once cozy sleeping bags were soaked. Scrambling around to find a flashlight to survey the scene, many wet campers came to the same conclusion: Their tents had flooded.

Rain was the theme this year on SA campout, giving the students a new view on camping that they probably won’t soon forget. Surprisingly, a cheerful attitude was abundant around the campsite.

“Even throughout the rain and wet tent,” said senior Serena Wineland, “we still had a ton of fun laughing and hanging out with friends.”

The 60 AA students that attended the campout enjoyed various activities such as  swimming at the beach, making s’mores, constructing fires to roast them on, and hanging out with old friends while making new ones.

Hamblin and Mutz wait patiently for food.

The group gathered in the pavilion for worship, meals, and games.

Sabbath afternoon the group canoed down a nearby river. Some of the boys who thought that they didn’t have to listen to the instructor’s advice about paddling and handling the canoe found themselves barely keeping up with the pack, while other groups paddled swiftly down the river, arriving at the pickup point early enough to overturn canoes that arrived later.

Every night Dr. Kuhn, father of senior class president Gielle Kuhn, gave words of encouragement to the students. He captured the students’ imagination with many stories about how God had miraculously protected him in different situations. His overall message was that God has been there for him, and that He will be there for students now and for eternity.

Saturday night all 60 students climbed the nearby dune to play a traditional game of Capture-the-Flag on the beach. The beach air was filled with laughter and screams. A group of students did their best spy-impersonation while sneaking among the beach grass. After the second game, a storm appeared on the horizon, sending the group scrambling back over the dune to camp.

Luckily the cooks for the weekend, Ms. Metzger and Ms. Gracie, had bought a pinata to go along with their Spanish themed food they had prepared. Students showed their ability to see the silver lining of a bad situation again, and a game of “Smack the Pinata” began. Every time the wooden club collided with the pinata the crowd would go wild.

A game of “Chubby Bunny” followed the pinata party, requiring contestants to see how many marshmallows they could fit into their mouths while reciting the phrase “Chubby Bunny” after each new marshmallow. Andrew Simpson wowed the crowd as he enunciated the phrase with 15 marshmallows jam-packed into his mouth.

Throughout the weekend students were able to make light of the rainy conditions. Even though it rained every night, spirits were not dampened. Many memories were made, and students devised creative ways to keep their tents and gear dry.  For the students who attended, SA campout will be a memorable experience.


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