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The very first Winter Blast sponsored by the Camping and Retreat Ministries was just that, A BLAST!

Friday evening Cricket Holler welcomed over fifty people of different sizes, shapes, and ages. After checking in and finding our bunks or mattresses, the group headed off to the Vandalia Recreation Center for splashing, sliding on the giant slide, and swimming in the warm water of the pool. The noise level really rose when our group joined the activity filled pool. Too soon for some, the time came to dry off and return to camp. 

Evening devotions taught us about God’s love before more fun began. Hot chocolate and inside s’mores were the treats just before watching a silly movie together. However bedtime arrived, and we had only seen half of the movie. The crisp walk to the cabins woke up some of the campers while others seemed to revive. Sleeping in a cabin with twenty-five or so other people can be interesting, but eventually everyone did sleep.

Campers were allowed to sleep in on Saturday morning, which is unusual for camp. The sausage and pancake breakfast was not served until 9:00. The pancakes vanished as all the campers got their fill. Now they were ready for the morning activities.

Table talks were first. Each table shared about talking with a famous person and why they chose that person. Then the campers told what they would like to say to Jesus if He were at their table. Table Talks are always interesting.

Games began with find the picture. Ted Foster had taken pictures all over the camp. Then he printed off the pictures on paper. Teams were given a picture to locate on the campus. Kids went running outside all over the camp trying to find the scene on the paper. As soon as it was found, the teams raced back to Ted for verification and to receive the next picture. Since Ted had made 40 pictures, the teams had lots to do.

Inside the hot chocolate flowed. Kids went in and out to warm up, but with all the running, no one was cold. Still the hot chocolate was very good. Games, puzzles, crafts, and blocks were there for more fun.

A traditional grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch was served by wonderful volunteers. Dirt pudding was the highlight dessert. Then the real fun started.

We went sledding down a slippery hill, had snowball fights using the camp director as a target, and played outside in the blustery air. Edible snow people were created and sampled. Snowball nose boink was played. How could we do all this when there was only a dusting of snow? You will have to ask someone who came to camp for our secrets. Our closing using sign language we learned was very moving and spiritual. As we left camp, tired and happy, the new memories of our fun and friendships followed us.