This year’s GEMS Camp was probably the best one I’ve been involved in. We had amazing weather, an amazing group of women & girls, an amazing speaker & worship leader, and an amazing God to learn about & worship. It was also somewhat bittersweet for me. I loved having all four of my daughters there with me, but since I am “taking a break” from being the WA State GEMS Area Coordinator, that means that GEMS Camp 2016 is not currently on my to-do list. It’s good because camp is a TON of work, but it is one of the highlights of my year! That is not to say I won’t be involved, because I likely could be, though a certain eldest daughter’s graduation could get in the way of how much I can do. But let’s not think about that just yet.
The waterfront area when we arrived – so very pretty and peaceful and just brimming with the potential for FUN!
Me & my GEMS partner and one of my BFF’s, Tami. (And yes, I have several BFF’s named Tami or Tam…it was apparently a popular name in the early to mid 70’s).
Bethany met up with her pen pal from 4 years ago that she had never met! Seriously! 4 years ago at GEMS camp, Sarah and this girl’s sister became friends and later pen pals. They decided since their sisters were the same age that they should be pen pals, too. So, they were. After a couple years, their writing dropped off. This pen pal didn’t make it to GEMS Camp 2012 because she broke her arm just a day or two before. So then…when Tami was driving this girl from her club over to camp she asked, “Do you think Bethany Ball will be there?” Tami said, “Uh, MOST DEFINITELY!” It was a great reunion of old friends who had never met. And now they are emailing and writing snail mail again.
My girls & Tami’s girl completing the Camp Passport!
Lots of friends from our club were at camp, too!
Chapel worship time with our worship leader, Angie.
And listening to our speaker, Ruth.
Tying blankets for Project Linus.
Ruth sharing with the girls on the prayer walk.
Our 6th-soon-to-be-7th grade GEMS from our club at the outdoor BBQ on Saturday evening!
Photo booth time at the carnival!
Our speaker & worship leader!
A couple of my awesome Bethel ladies!
Yes. I am wearing a crown. I picked that out on purpose. I am the queen. I know.
Saturday night bonfire & s’mores!
My Bethel group of GEMS!
Tami & her girl.
Me & Tami & our girls, plus Bethany’s new old friend who came with Tami!
Don’t mind my baggy eyes…I hadn’t slept much in two days, plus I spent a good portion of the Sunday morning session trying desperately (& failing) to hold back tears. I don’t know why I got so emotional…GEMS is so very dear to my heart and ending camp meant that part of time work with GEMS was coming to an end for a while. I will still be at our Bethel GEMS – I am so thankful about that! And these 4 girls were SO good and helpful to me all through camp – it was a special mom/daughter/God weekend that I will never, ever, forget.