GOP and Replica put in several months of intense planning for our first camping trip with kids from BDM. It was a good thing we started with a small number as we were able to work out some kinks (#10,000 fails). However, the end result was an incredible weekend of camping for four “coaches” and 5 kids.
Myself and a few pax migrated from B-ville several years ago to support an after school program at AG Middle School. The kids in the program are very underprivileged and face many struggles. If that weren’t enough, the kids come from a very different culture (not bad or good – just different). Our goal is to mentor, teach, coach, and love these kids as much as we can. Over the past 5 years we have tried many things and almost always the first try is a fail as we learn how to interact with the boys. It’s hard work and lots of guys decide they can make more #impact somewhere else, which is fine. However, the PAX that do volunteer here are special men. And GOP and Replica are two of the most special (and it helps they are pretty good at camping).
Load up the supplies, pick up the boys and head to Kings Mountain for a one night camping trip.
Warm up – 5 mile hike up to Pinnacle and back. PR for all five boys
COP – Chill and play a little spike ball
Mosey – Gather up the gear and hike 1 mile into the camp site
COP – Set up tents, build a camp fire, gather wood and water, and cook some food. Rinse and repeat (boys were hungry – really hungry)
Extra credit – Make smores
10 count (we slept a few hours)
COP – Make breakfast and clean up the camp #leaveitbetterthanwefoundit
Mosey – Gather up the gear and hike back to the cars
COP – Walk around lake where we found a snake (copper head we think), frogs, birds, tad poles, fish, and a crawdad.
COT – Eat lunch at McDonalds on way back to Charlotte before dropping the boys off
Overall, an awesome event where the presence of the Lord was felt.
- Absolutely no phones for kids. We were planning on this but didn’t enforce and paid the price.
- Only 2 or 3 boys per tent as more means they have harder time falling asleep
- Take it slow – the boys are not all in shape and the hike was pretty strenuous
- Take every opportunity you can to give boys one on one attention – they crave it
- Take every opportunity you can to teach
- Bring A LOT of food – the boys can eat
- Don’t be afraid to fail – we learned a lot from our failures on this trip
Finally, it was a blessing to have GOP and Replica lead this endeavor. GOP created this amazing video to document the trip.