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Things I Learned at Summer Camp

I returned last week from an awesome week at Dry Gulch U.S.A. with about 50 kids from our church.  The camp is stellar, albeit super-expensive; which is the main reason that we will be researching some new desitnations in 2011.  The week really was fantastic, from the camp activities like horseback riding, swimming, and tubing on the lake  The services were fantastic, and the kids (and adults) that attended had a blast.

Here is a list of the not so important things I learned at summer camp:

  1. The restrooms adjacent to the pool areas is always the least used bathroom at camp.
  2. Girls will always give you a hug upon your arrival, while boys prefer a fist bump.
  3. I have a theory that 90% of hired bus drivers are devoid of all personality.  My bus driver was from that 90% pool.
  4. When telling a boy to take a shower, be sure to  emphasize  the need for them to use soap.
  5. When 20+ girls are together in any one space, there will always be a ton of hair braiding happening.
  6. When 20+ boys are together in any one space, there will always be a ton of farting happening.
  7. The kid that cries when leaving his mother for a week, is almost always the same kid that cries when leaving camp after that same week.
  8. Girls are more photogenic than boys.  Every year the parents of my boys complain that we didn’t get enough pictures of the boys, but the boys hide from the camera and only pick their noses on camera.  However, the girls see a camera and  immediately  form into picture taking groups.  It’s amazing!
  9. I really love having fun with kids.
  10. I really love seeing kids “get it” in chapel services.

You can see all of our camp travels and view pictures at http://www.trinitytoday.com/index.cfm/PageID/1441/tag/camp2010

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Starr · July 6, 2010

    The longer you sit by the pool, the more you start to notice that virtually ZERO kids are getting out to use the pool bathrooms…and the less inclined you are to swim in said pool! (you do become grateful for the seemingly high amount of pool chemicals)

  2. Emily · July 14, 2010

    Haha I loved this list as so much of it rings true for me as well.

    Our church is headed to Dry Gulch in a few weeks. Thanks for showing how you kept everyone updated on what was happening with your group while at camp as I’m thinking of ways to keep families and the church updated while we are there. Ideas are brewing… :)

  3. stephen posey · July 21, 2010

    Hey Jonathan, I’m sorry I missed seeing you out there. Wanted to meet you.

    I usually host the last night of chapel and get to hang out with all the visiting children’s ministry folks afterwards and this may have been the one session all summer I didn’t do it.

    We appreciate you guys coming out. Hopefully we’ll see you again sometime in the years to come.

    • Jonathan Cliff · July 22, 2010

      Wished we could have met up for sure. You and your team did a fantastic job for our kids this Summer! We all appreciate your hard work and preparation to make Summer Camp such a blast.