As always, the the end of the workcamp week is accompanied by exhaustion… I’ve noticed a trend that the Thursday and Friday blogs just do not happen. Although a week and a half late, hopefully one last blog can tie up all the loose ends…hopefully.

Thursday’s evening program at workcamp is the pinnacle of the spiritual week. This year, we watched a video asking us to think about how difficult it is to sacrifice a life for the sake of others. Jesus did this without hesitation. The program gives everyone an opportunity to focus on Christ’s love and to look inward to changes that we can all make in our own lives. This week was about renovation, and Thursday evening certainly aided us all in this way…

As Friday arrived, we were finishing up on our projects and started thinking about returning home and leaving all those we had come in contact with. For the first time, every Faith workcamper finished their job. This can be attributed to their hard work and the city of Vandalia’s preparation prior to camp. Emily, Tyler, Mark, Jim, Diane, Andrew, Platte, Leigh, and Justin finished up painting their houses. Keeping Lynn’s crew motivated proved to be challenging, but by late Friday afternoon, they had finished up their home. Christy’s crew seemed to be hard workers as they were reassigned and finished their second house as well. Larry’s double crew finished up their extensive list of projects. Will’s crew was sent to a new home to do some additional painting and shrub removal. Dan’s crew ultimately worked on 4 homes and their last assignment was to work with Steph’s crew. Her resident was a real gem and his one liners had both crews laughing hysterically! Jayme and Kelly finished up their week just as it had began, in the cherry picker.

At the Friday evening program, many of the residents of the homes we worked on came to the evening program. The night was a great culmination of a weeks work and I think we all left Vandalia having been renovated in one way or another. Friday also saw the dodge-ball finale which pitted the tournament champs against the staff. The emcee twisted an ankle early on and ultimately the young guns could not be stopped. Shortly thereafter, the Care Card rack disappeared which left Lynn without much option but to finish her care cards and stuff them into envelopes on Saturday morning. Next year, get an earlier start Lynn!

On Saturday morning we left camp and our week long sleeping accommodations, the Butler/ Vandalia High School. We spend the late morning and afternoon at King’s Island amusement park and everyone had a blast. The map of the park had a legend that included an intensity guide. The highest intensity level rides received a rating of 5, and a group of Faith workcampers refused to ride anything less than a level 5 ride… We were so proud! By the end of the afternoon everyone had their fill of roller coasters (the Beast rocks!!!) and were headed for Zanesville, OH. We stayed at the Central Presbyterian church right off of route 70 and it was a beautiful old church. In recent years, the church’s congregation has shrunk considerably and the town itself is a little rough around the edges. Ironically, next summer, Group Workcamps will be having a camp in Zanesville. Our thanks goes out to Central Presbyterian for their hospitality.

Sunday morning we pilled back into the car and finished off the last leg of our journey home to Emmaus! We were greeted by family members around 3:45 and our workcamp week officially had come to a close.

On our way home from Vandalia, we discussed possible ways to keep the workcamp enthusiasm alive. One idea was to visit other churches who had attended workcamp to expand our workcamp relationship. Yesterday, Browns Mills UMC in Browns Mills, NJ was having their workcamp Sunday so a group of us invaded their town. It was fun to see some familiar faces and to tell our own stories and we hope to keep in touch and feed off of each others enthusiasm. Our paths have crossed at multiple workcamps in the past, and who knows, they may cross again in the future.

The workcampers will united once again at the Moring household on August 11th at 5:30 for a picnic! All workcampers and their families are invited and encouraged to attend. It will be a night of reflection, looking at pictures, food, and fun! Plus we will decide where we want to go next summer! Workcamp ’07 will culminate with Workcamp Sunday on September 23rd where we will share our stories and hopefully give a workcamp experience to the congregation of Faith Pres. We thank you for all of you support and look forward to seeing you on the 23rd! Until then, keep the Faith!