the tale of the sports camp…

The idea of going to a three day camp with 250 orphans and 35 volunteers was a little scary at first, but it ended up being absolutely amazing! We all camped in tents at a campground about 2 hours outside of Jakarta. During the day we played soccer and then in the evenings had a team meeting/special celebration service.

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The kids were divided into two groups. I was part of the soccer coaching team in charge of the kids ages 12-17. We worked mostly on passing and dribbling drills, with a tournament at the end of each of the 2 hour sessions. While we were teaching them the technical soccer skills, we were emphasizing  principles such as discipline and focus–because that would be used later in the team meetings where the head coach would share about each principle and how they should incorporate it in their lives as a whole.

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One of the best parts of camp was the music. The head coach taught them an Indian theme song that had all sorts of sounds and movements–which the kids loved! By the middle of the second day you could heart them singing it even as they were walking from event to event. ‘Wa ka kuwe kuwe, kaka…” I still find myself singing it at random parts in the day.

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After the first evening team meeting, the camp team organized a special birthday celebration for all the kids who had had a birthday in May or June. One of the local bakeries donated two cheese cakes–which was an extra special surprise to the kids (and to be honest the volunteers too).

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The highlight for many of the kids was the bonfire, fireworks, and sparklers on the last night. Each kid who wanted to share would come forward and share what they had impacted them the  most about camp. After the bonfire the kids all got sparklers. It was so fun to see their joy as they were running around with their fire sticks.

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It was such an honor to get to work with these kids, even if it was just for a couple days. I learned so much from them and hopefully they learned a thing or two from us coaches as well.

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