Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Archers and Storms

This past weekend the Mable Hill Youth and the Christian Southern Archers both had events scheduled up at the camp. Everything was worked out and ready to go when the weather decided to intervene. It rained most of the day on Friday, so Mable Hill decided to reschedule for a day in the fall. The Archery Shoot was not supposed to take place until Saturday morning, so the rain was of no concern for them.

Earlier in the week CSA came out and set their targets up in the lower field and just off the nature trail. Our grandson Sawyer spent the night with us on Friday and he loves to go for a ride in "Easy" so Denise took him around the camp. A couple of targets really caught his attention and he was okay from a distance but the closer she got to the animals, the more concerned he got and would even growl under his breath.
On Saturday morning my dad came up for a visit and we hung out around the pond for awhile until it got hot. I saw a few friends of mine who were participating in the shoot. Heath Quick and Greg Able were here along with their boys Drew and Bryce. Carla Brown came up to hang out with her daughter, Rachel, as well.

The event organizer, Chris, said the shoot went well and I believe there were close to 40 folks involved. The shoot was scheduled to be over at 2:00 but sometime around 1:00 a quick storm came through with some extremely strong winds that brought down some huge trees. Already the High Ridge Trail is completely blocked off and now the Nature Trail is as well. It also brought down a very large tree that snapped the top of the utility pole and put the main lines down on the ground. We were without power from about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday until about 8:00 on Sunday night. The utility guy told me that when he came into work on Saturday morning they had 145 tickets still to go from that quick little storm.

Plans are to have the Disaster Relief Team up here this week--if they are able--thanks to Harold Sellers and Wayne Miller. There is one section of the pier that needs spindles put on the handrail and it will be finished. If the weather cooperates I will finish that up today. We now have a working stove up at the pavilion which is a big asset for those SS Fellowships and Church Picnics. As a matter of fact Kay Howard and Company from Winchester Road Baptist were glad to have it yesterday as they began their yearly Hispanic VBS! We have recently acquired an ice machine and hope to have it up and running next week. Willowbrook is scheduled to have a camp-out this coming weekend and we're looking forward to having them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Challengers Overnight

Tim Lawrence and his guys brought out the Challengers from Whitesburg Baptist last weekend for an overnight stay.  The group was rather small this time; Tim said they had several cancellations.  I was going to get some pictures but by the time I went back over there it was already dark and with the fire ban in effect, there was no campfire going.  I heard one of the boys suggest turning off the lantern to see how dark it would be, whereupon one of the men replied, oh don't worry darkness is coming a little later. 

I don't see many churches who have AWANA and RA's and especially the older RA boys, called Challengers.  By the time the boys reach this age most churches have them in the youth group.  While I think AWANA is a great program, it does not seem to be as focused on missions as the RA/GA Program. 

Tim and some of the guys were sitting around the table after dinner talking about how big the groups used to be and how they have dwindled in the last few years. I can remember growing up how we were pretty much outside until dark every night playing football, baseball or something.  Kids now-a-days don't seem to find the same pleasure in outdoor activities.  Whitesburg generally uses the camp a couple of times a year and for that we are very thankful and always look forward to their outings. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Watts Family Fishing Outing

It's was a sultry, hot day, yesterday . . . too hot to do much of anything, which made it the perfect day for fishing! And that's just what the Watts family came to Camp MACOBA to do. Todd & I have known Brother Randy & Miranda Watts for a long time and count them as dear friends. And they are not only friends, but Brother Randy is also the pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church, our sending church! So we were very pleased to have them up here, enjoy a picnic lunch together, and spend a lazy afternoon down at Serenity Pond.

It was the new dock's first official outing, too. It made it very nice to put out the chairs and sit over the water! Peter, the youngest of the Watts clan, was working the water, anxious for a bite.

He got one, too!

A turtle! Yikes! This was a decent sized snapping turtle, but Miranda saw one swim by later on that she claimed was probably two or even THREE times this guy's size. I'd heard of fishing tales, but turtles tales . . . ?

After spending some time feeding bread to the little fish under the dock, Miranda felt like it was time to get serious and bait the hook!

Jonathan, following his dad's advice, headed down to Silty Bottom pond, and caught himself a nice big bass! A little later he changed up his bait and hooked another nice one up at Serenity, but as we were watching it freed itself when he tried to pull it in. Ah well, every fishing outing has to have a story about the one that got away!

Brother Randy spent a lot of his time getting rods ready, untangling lines and supervising, but he did finally manage to throw his line in the water, too. He caught a nice little bass down at Silty Bottom, too -- but the fishing was tougher up at Serenity!

After Miranda had fished for a bit, and while the guys valiantly continued to cast their lines, she and I headed off on Easy (dubbed by Miranda as our "all-terrain golf cart") for a thorough tour of the camp. I took her down Beech Bottom Trail to the Secret Creek, and then we headed down the Nature Trail to play around in Crawdad Creek. Finally, we swung around to the upper meadow and then into the main campground. It was nice playing tour guide for the afternoon! It also afforded us plenty of "girl talk" time!

Right about the time we were finishing up our tour, the guys said they were ready for watermelon. So we grabbed the lovely, seedless melon that the Watts had brought, and headed back down to the pond.

Brother Randy did the honors, and we stood around for a bit, munching watermelon. It was the perfect way to cap off a nice afternoon. We hope the Watts family will come back soon!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trying to Catch-Up!

So much has been going on with conferences, projects, storms and just life that I have gotten behind on the blog. There is no way I can remember everything so this will be a summary of what has taken place concerning the camp since about April??? Well starting with most recently in the last week or so I cut grass for 8 hours one day and six another. We had storms that came through the camp the same day as the tornadoes and took out about 13 trees. Every single trail was blocked and one of the roads. A friend of mine from Southern Exteriors came up and we took care of the situation in about half a day.

The storm that came through last week, sometime shortly after midnight that only lasted 30 -40 seconds, took out at least twice as many trees than the first storm.

There were and are trees down, others that have the tops ripped out of them and many more that have been uprooted but have not come all the way down.

One very large tree came down and missed the RV by about 10 feet. This time I got out the chainsaw again and spent another 8 hours clearing a completely blocked road and some from around the RV.

The new iron electronic gate is up, looks good and is working great. Just recently we added an electronic eye for safety purposes.

The Pier project is one day from being finished. The actual pier is finished but the handrail has yet to be built. With all the storm damage all across the county this project (rightly) took a back seat for awhile. I hope to have that completed this coming week.

We are one step closer to having the new bathroom in the main campground area complete. It appears one more good day of work there will finish it up.

Sam Kelly and a group from Willowbrook are working on two new signs for the camp and from what I have seen so far they look great.

At an upcoming committee meeting in June we will be discussing various plans, projects, and other things concerning the camp.

I know of at least three times Brother Charles Miller from Owens Cross Roads Baptist has been out to do a little fishing and I think two of those times Brother Glen Bobo has been with him. The last time they came Brother Glen brought his dad with him.

A husband and wife from New Market Baptist came out and spent a night just to get away from hectic life for awhile. Another day a family came out and spent a day fishing. Met a fine gentleman from Cornerstone Baptist in Park City who came up and I gave him the $100.00 tour of the place. He was impressed enough that he has scheduled a Kid’s Camp here for a week in July.

Brother Wayne Cooper brought a group of RA’s from Hillwood Baptist and they spent a night.

If I remember correctly they had a little storm that came in the wee hours of the morning. No damage done but a few leaky tents were discovered.

Brother Jeff Whitehead was also part of this group and led their devotional time. I was able to spend a little time with Jeff and like so many folks in the ministry he is one busy guy! We think alike on many things and it is always a pleasure to come across quality people like him.

We've had a number of cancellations and reschedules because of the weather. Ignite City Church, a new church start out of the Madison Baptist Association, held a Sunday afternoon fellowship and prayer meeting up at the camp and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Early in April, Ray Romine brought a group of RA’s from Whitesburg up for an overnight outing. They had a good time and have been regulars to the camp for several years. John Shocke was also there and took the kids on a nature walk where they came across a box turtle I think they named Turbo.

Interesting story on John. I had talked with him and we went out to lunch back in the fall to discuss a possible partnership on an upcoming project at the camp. He was scheduled to lead a mission trip to Israel. I asked him about that trip and then he proceeded to tell me what had happened. It seems he had been having some back pain but nothing serious for quite some time when it took a turn for the worse. He said the back pain was really bad and never let up. The doctor found a growth on his spinal cord. They went in and removed it and found it to not be cancerous but had to remove some vertebrae and then fuse his spinal cord together. John told me for the next two weeks he experienced pain like he had never before but forced himself to walk every day. This has been a few months ago and now he says he can’t tell there ever was a problem! God is great !

I hope this catches me up for now and I did not forget anything or anybody. This weekend we have a group coming in for a family picnic, then we have a Camp Committee meeting next week, along with the Whitesburg Challengers coming in!