Walk out to the furthest cabins you can find, then keep walking. Go to a giant field full of blind mosquitoes. Swat them away and then keep walking. Go to the tree line, and there you’ll see it:
the Challenge Course entry sign.
Then keep walking. Deep into the wooded thicket, you’ll find various team-building obstacles, more commonly known as the “Low Ropes Course” around here. That’s the focus of day three: Team building.
The Challenge Course is a series of ten or so obstacles that are designed to challenge kids to communicate effectively and work together as a team. Some are balancing activities, some are memory games, and some are skill related. Regardless, the kids get challenged in ways that they are not used to, namely not being able to talk while completing some obstacles.
Throughout the day, the different age groups all had competitions that continued to work on team cooperation. The Elementary kids have to work together to save a building, the Middle School kids are competing in a cereal competition (seriously, Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, etc.), and the high school kids are all in a real-life version of Mario Party / Mario Kart. Not only is it a lot of fun, but they are really cheering and encouraging each other on. Who knows who is going to win?!?
In any team, there is a leader. And what does it take to be a leader? There is a great saying I keep coming across: If you are not willing to serve, then you are not ready to lead. To drive this point home to the kids, their small group time today focused on the Gospel readings of John, specifically John 13:1-20 (click here to read it!)
In this context, Jesus is showing humility through his acts of service to his disciples. He is literally lowering himself to a position of service, where most people would be above such an act. The emphasis with the kids here is “Love is humble.” This is a continuation of the previous day’s thoughts of “Love is patient, love is kind” from 1 Corinthians 13.
We live in a world where the loudest person definitely gets heard. The people that we elevate to celebrity are now “influencers” who have the most followers and the most likes. In other words,
They are the loudest.
Social media drives the notion that the more people like you, the more valuable you are. However, Jesus did not come to us to win popularity contests. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Yesterday the Middle School kids were taught the lesson of Zaccheus, and how scandalous it was that Jesus was going to go hang out with disreputable people. Jesus did not come to Israel to win the popularity contests of the wealthy and powerful. He came to win the hearts of every man, woman, and child, and he taught us that the best way to lead was to lead from a position of humility.
The kids are doing great, and they are representing you well!