Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs . . .

New trail signs went up this past week:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marching forward.

Back on Tuesday of this past week we had our first "official" Camp MACOBA committee meeting. Present were Chris Wilson (Chair), Rob Peavy, Sam Kelly, Andy Dobbs and myself. It lasted a couple of hours and we covered several issues. The main goal of this meeting was to set up priorities for the work day coming up on Saturday May 1st. Also several questions were addressed that have come from over a period of several months of people asking. We made some decisions on a few of them and others were tabled until the full committee is able to come together. It was a productive meeting which accomplished the main goal, with everyone making substantial contributions. It is going to be such a blessing working with such a great group of men with a heart for the Camp.

On Thursday progress was made on clearing out the main road coming into the camp. Three large trailer loads were hauled to the burn pile as the road was cleared out all the way up to the gate. Speaking of the gate, we are currently trying to raise enough money to replace the current gate with a more secure and user-friendly one. Preparations were made for the group from Whitesburg that was scheduled to come in on Friday afternoon but the weather caused a cancellation.

Providentially the campground avoided being hit by any of the severe weather that came through the county on Saturday, though there were some limbs that had to be cleared off of the roads. Wayne Miller and his group from Disaster Relief came in on Saturday morning to cut down three dead trees. These guys really knew what they were doing and made quick work of this project. Bobby Smith and Bob Gordan, who are from Southside Baptist, were also there as part of the Disaster Relief Team with Wayne. The crew finished up at about 9:45 and no sooner had they loaded up then the rain began to fall.

Sunday a group came in for a Sunday service and fellowship. The Pastor's name is Paul Little and the information sheet he filled out says the group is called Faith Community Fellowship. We had already left for church when they arrived, but they were still there when we returned so some time was spent talking with Pastor Paul and a few others who were still present. They reported there were 55 present for worship; they had a beautiful morning to hold outside services.

This week will be spent (among other things) preparing for the workday on Saturday. We are hoping for a good turnout and lunch will be provided....plans are to even cook up some fish to go along with the hamburger and hot dogs!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Campers everywhere!

Whitesburg brought a group to the camp this past weekend led by Tim Lawrence. I believe it was the 7th - 12th grade boys group part of Royal Ambassadors, called the "Challengers". At around 5:00 I came out of the RV and there was a van in the campground and I could hear a couple of guys down the hill in the vicinity of the old wooden bridge. They were the first to arrive with the rest showing up about a half hour later or so. This group knew what they were doing and quickly went about setting things up.

Now some of the sleeping quarters were a little different than previous groups as we had some tree sleepers.

It seems that this was a simple set-up with a hammock tied between two trees and a tarp as covering.
Some of the guys were walking down the trails and a few were throwing a football around in the upper field. I met Richard Silar who was the contact person for the group and a leader as well. He is a great guy and we had several conversations throughout the evening. I asked Tim how long he had been involved with this ministry and he said 18 years. Like many of us, he began when his kids were involved and has continued because of his love for young folks and being involved in their lives. We need more men like Tim and Richard.
Tim had said that this was not really a structured event but was more of a reward for all the hard work these guys had put in. He did say that after dinner there would be a time for devotion but other than that it was pretty much free time. I was in and out and trying to meet everyone as the evening progressed.
On the dinner agenda was "Hobo's" with everyone responsible for their own plate. Tim said a prayer, followed by directions on putting the hobo together and then the guys went to work.

Let's see I met of course Tim Lawrence and Richard Silar, then there was David Tritt, Rick James, Eddie Richardson, Kyle Ellison and George O'Boyle. They couldn't have picked a better evening for this outing. The winds were calm and the temps were in the upper 70's right here before dark. A clear night was ahead, but not too cold. As I wandered around talking to folks I noticed Tim was working on something kind of off to the side. After doing some inquiring he let me in on the surprise desert for the evening...peach cobbler.
The dutch oven was heating up by the fire while he was getting the old family recipe mixed up just right. The pot was smoking when the batter was poured over in the pot and then strategically placed into the coals. He then heaped a few of the coals on top of the lid. Like I said earlier these guys knew what they were doing.

Certainly there is an art to this type of cooking as he checked it two or three times to make sure it was coming along nicely. I went away for awhile to take care of some things and returned close to 9:00. Just so happens there were a few bites of the cobbler left and when offered I did have a little. Personally I love cobbler, well most desserts for that matter, and I will have to say it was pretty good. They were all gathered around the campfire as I retired for the evening.
When I left for work the next morning, just before 6:00 a.m., there was no activity to be found around the campground. Later I came to find out that it had been a late night for all and breakfast did not come early.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another busy weekend.

I was privileged to be a part of the MBA Leadership Team that went to Shocco this past Thursday & Friday.

Upon returning home I rushed out to the camp to prepare for a group coming over from Mable Hill Baptist. It was another father/son event and I was looking forward to spending some time with these guys. Wednesday I had met Chris Hester at the church, as we took care of the necessary business part of this outing.

Chris's brother, Shane, and his son were the first to arrive shortly after 4:30, and went right to work setting up their tent.

Chris says there is nothing slack about Shane, he gets on with it. Chris and the others began arriving a few minutes later. I believe when it was all said and done, there were sixteen total in the group. Heath Quick came up for a while, but returned to his home for sleeping accommodations. Heath is a good guy and we have known each other for a long time now. I used to go to church with him at Flint River. Actually his brother, Mitch, was also one of the ones camping out.

Let's see I also met Chris Lindsey, Mark Clark, and Jo Jo Clark. It seemed the boys had a good time fishing, riding around the camp and having an air rifle competition. Shoot, Chris's son had one of those high dollar air rifles that looked like a 30/30 with scope and all. Heath's son Bryce told me he caught a bass weighing about a pound and a half and most all the kids caught some bluegill. One of them was having such a good time I heard him say he was never leaving the camp!

Chris is my kind of guy.... one that loves the Lord and an avid outdoorsman. There was food to be had and a bunch of chicken cooked on the grill on Thursday night. They talked into the night around the campfire which is really good therapy sometimes. There were no planned events just a time of rest and relaxation. Mitch might have set a record on how fast a tent can be set up and taken down but another one of the guys had everyone beat on tent size. I heard several comments about a palace and the Taj Mahal.

I went out and spent some time with the last two guys as they packed everything up. By lunch time all were gone and as they were pulling out I heard some chatter about meeting up later to go fishing.