Well again this is kind of a late post, but its certainly a post worth posting! Anyways a week ago I went to a camp called Royal Family Kid’s Camp that my dad had been raving on and on about. This was a camp specifically for abused children. My dad said that it was one of his favorite places on earth, and it had better been since he bought some much for it. We would be walking around the block when we would see a sign for a yard sale, I would laugh and comment how they were probably just selling a bunch of crap but when I would turn around my dad would already be over half way there. The next time I would see him he would be carrying home a bag full of crap like a Santa Clause out of a job. Well as they say one man’s crap is another man’s treasure.
My point is that my dad bought all this to use in his lessons at RFKC, he bought all of this because he loved the camp so much. So finally I was old enough to come, actually I wasn’t even old enough to come being only 15 but they made an exception this year. Along with me two other 15 year olds came. I was a bit iffy about going considering that my dad brought a huge bag of crap to camp every year for his lessons! =D
Well actually, camp was great! In fact it was one of the best experiences of my life. In fact, my dad’s lessons were amazing. He was creative and he really captured the kids attentions. It was truly amazing.
When the staff took the ride up to the ranch that we would be working at I got a little background on the camp. As stated already its made specifically for abused children. Many were abused by their parents physically, but the greater percentage were abused in even worse ways. Most were abused in ways to graphic to write about. Honestly, how their parents did these things to these children is beyond me. A parent would have to be pretty sick minded to do such demonic things. RFKC seeks to help this kids forget all this in a week of fun, were they can just have a good time and learn about God.
We put a lot of work into preparation and that was ok, but I really didn’t start enjoying myself until the kids arrived. The first day of camp me the teens, and the other helpers woke up early in order to get on the bus that would take us to the church were the kids would be arriving. As they would arrive we would pack their luggage. On the bus ride back to the ranch were they would be saying I got to know a few of the kids. Already I was seeing how awesome these children were.
As we pulled into the ranch we were met by the children’s guides and my dad, the youth pastor. They were screaming and waving the signs that had the name of the children they would be looking after inscribed on them. My dad, always eager and truly excited about camp, had already gotten his grey hair painted with colorful polka-dots. When the bus stopped the children got out to meet the adult who would be looking after them for the remainder of the week.
The rest of the week was insane! I mean donkey screaming, hair coloring, birthday throwing insane! Basically it was just really crazy, in a good way. So the first day went by, and the night of the first day is when things really started becoming awesome. So we are all eating dinner when we get an announcment. So it turns out that there is a mountain lion at the camp! Pretty cool right? Well cool if you don’t count the ten dead campers. Haha yeah just kidding, nothing was harmed by the mountain lion, except for all the animals in the petting zoo. (Thats right it ate all the animals in the petting zoo.) The mountain lion did however cause quite a commotion.
During the third night is when it all started. It was a mildly stormy, and not so dark night. We were all enjoying the sticky heat of Texas when the ear piercing scream of a donkey was heard through the night! We all headed for cover and waited while and listened to the emanating shrieks of the disturbed donkey’s. Well, to make a super long story short, there was a lot of commotion but it was all a bit anti-climatic seeing as the mountain lion had just been passing by the donkey’s and that is why the freaked out. Yeah its much more suspensful when you describe it slowly word for word, and drag it on and on, but unlike most I don’t have that much time to write on my blog cause unlike most I have a life. 😉
Well so you get the drift, there was a lot of drama, but honestly none of that really mattered in the end. More importantly were the people and kids. As for the people I met a lot of great ones there. In fact, when I first got there my dad would be walking me around and then point at a guy and say that that was one of his favorite people in the entire world, and I would look at him and say, “Dad you’ve said that about everybody here!”. Seriously, my dad thought the people who volunteered here were great, and I saw that too. They really were awesome people.
When I thought about it and for a while I was confused about how these people were so great at RFKC, but at most other places the people their just weren’t. My dad explained it like this. Everyone that comes to RFKC to help the kids. They set aside their faults to help these kids. As my dad said he wouldn’t necessarly like some of the people outside of camp, but during camp he enjoys everyone. Thats because we are all working towards one main goal. As my dad put it, when a group of people work towards the same common goal it’s a beautiful thing. Sure, all of the people who work at RFKC are amazing people, but they have their faults. When they come to RFKC they set those faults aside for the kids, and they all get along because they’re all working towards a common goal. As my dad said, its one of the most beautiful things that you’ll ever see.
The best part of RFKC, is the whole reason that it was created, the kids. The kids top it all off, they are what makes the whole experience truly spectacular. I made friends with quite a lot of the kids, and just talking to them I knew that they were great kids. This showed me even more that the fact that the parents did such horrible things to these kids makes them perveted, twisted, wretches. I’ve heard some of these children’s stories, and they had to be some of the worst things I have ever heard. I’ve never heard anything as bad in movies, songs, stories, anything worse than what happened to some of these kids. I knew if I was one of these kids, I’d feel horrible, I’d be completely miserable. But when the children come to this camp, they forget all of that. They forget all of their suffering, and they have a blast! They smile all the time when their here, and its just so amazing that they could forget all the filth in their lives for a week and just have a fun.
There are so many great things that the camp did for these kids. For one, it teaches them about the bible, and thats probably its greatest purpose. If they believe what the camp is saying about God then they will find a friend that they will never lose, a friend that will always be with them. Also, these kids enjoy themselves for once and its just great.
For example, there was this one girl, a small little girl, and she would come up to my dad every day and say, “Pastor Mike, we have to do something for my birthday ok?”. Her birthday had been last week, and that hadn’t celebrated it. So she would ask, and ask, and ask. Then Thursday came, every Thursday at camp they would throw a party that was for every kid there, a birthday party for all of them because most of them didn’t get birthday parties and at the camp the workers want to let the kids know how special they really are. So we get the party set up, and then open the doors and let the kids in. As they ran in we’d all clap for them and then sing happy birthday. As you can imagine all the kids were ecstatic, but the one that was the happiest was that one small girl who had been asking and asking my dad for a party. She came up to him, weeping tears of joy, and said, “Thank you Pastor, thank you.” My dad was so touched that he couldn’t help himself from crying either. Practically, everyone that saw how happy she was ended up crying.
That being said, most of the kids effect the adults more than the adults effect them. As my dad explained during one of his sermons, helping to teach these children, and helping to give them such a good time helps those working for the children more than it actually helps the kids. Sure, doing all this work is super hard, but its all worth it. Most of us would do anything to make these kids happy, I even colored my hair and let the girls mess around with it a little. Seeing these kids, who have suffered more than anyone should have to, enjoy our work is one of the best feelings ever. Seeing them smile brings an even bigger smile to our face, and seeing them leave causes us to weep thinking of how much were going to miss them, and thinking of the kind of life they have to go back to. Finally, I understand why every week after Royal Family Kids Camp my dad would come back with pink colored hair and tears in his eyes.