Friday, March 1, 2019

Winter at Gator Camp

Winter always brings a host of new and exciting things happening around camp. This season in Florida brings the opposite effect as it does for Northerners. As the cold weather hits up North things start to slow down and projects are left until the Spring. As the beautiful weather calls many people to Florida, Gator Camp gets busier and busier. This winter we were blessed with so many wonderful work groups and individuals who came to serve and work on various projects around camp. With the whirlwind of meeting new people, starting and finishing various projects and working day in and day out, it sometimes feels exhausting and overwhelming. It is always worth it though, to introduce new people to camp and see their excitement to get involved with what we are doing here. God is great at sending the right people to camp and blessing us in so many unexpected ways.

The boys kept busy this session as well with camping trips to the Everglades, canoe trips to the Peace River and different projects around camp like sugar cane cooking, tent building, and learning to make beef jerky. Two of our groups also had the opportunity to learn how to carve from a group of gentlemen in Arcadia who gave us their Mondays to come to camp.

Thank you for all the continued ways you love Gator Camp. Our boys and staff are so blessed to have your prayers and support.
 
 
The Buccaneers were one of the groups that spent their Monday mornings carving this session.
 
 
 Buccaneer Chiefs- Chief Jimmy and Chief Tony working on their projects.
 

 The Groups worked on carving walking sticks and dolphins.
 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanksgiving


 

Thanksgiving

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” Psalms 107:1
These words were written thousands of years ago but they remain so true to this very day. There have been a lot of hard days in the last three month around camp, finding out Chief Josh has cancer, that Chief Matt would need to have brain surgery again, and still not knowing exactly what is going on with Miss Annie. But despite it all, God’s love endures forever and I know he is in control. I am thankful for Jesus that he came and died for us so that we may have life more abundantly. I am thankful for the way Chief Josh, Chief Matt and Miss Annie charge into everyday with faith and hope. I am thankful for this staff team that is my family and for how much they love and care for each other. I am thankful for each and everyone one of you boys, that you made the choice to come to camp, that you were able to recognize that you were in need to some kind of help and are now working on learning successful tools for living. I am thankful for Turkey in the Hole and the great spirited day it is and that so many people locally are catching the spirit of camp. I am thankful that Casey was able to be an auctioneer yesterday. Lastly, for now, I am thankful for my favorite chapel of all the year (this one) and being in this beautiful hammock listening to all of your articles.
 
Chief Tyler
Camp Supervisor
 


Things I’m Thankful For

I’m thankful for how my Chiefs never give up on my problems. Something I am also thankful for is my mom and grandparents never quitting even when things get tough or when I’m being stubborn. I am thankful for the cooks because they never have a quitting attitude and because of their delicious food. Something that I’m thankful for is that Casey always sticks in and forgives us no matter what. I am very thankful for my family always trying to cheer me up when I’m a bad attitude. I’m thankful for Jesus coming to earth to cover up all of our sins. I’m also thankful for my mom keeping a roof over my head and giving me clothes and food. I am thankful for all of camp and the people who support camp so we can make progress. I am also thankful for my education that I get every day. Something that I’m very grateful for is my relationship with my family and friends. I am very thankful for my family changing so it is easier for me to change.
 
Landon
Miccosukee Group

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Families Day

Families Day is an important day at Camp that happens once a year. It's a fun day where parents, siblings, grandparents, and even aunts and uncles can come to camp and see what life is like for their camper. When families arrive we have a program with of course, lots of singing, followed by tours and a big family meal. The boys work hard to make sure their campsite looks good and they give the tours and explain what a day looks like for them. It gives families a chance to connect even more with their sons as they get to experience what their sons are learning at camp. It also gives them ideas for how they can incorporate the structure of camp at home.  
 
 
This year every single boy had at least one family member come out and join in the day with them. What a praise and a blessing!
 

 
Below are a couple articles that were written by campers and read for their families.


 

The Best Family I’ve Ever Had
Good morning everyone. My name is Weiss. I am a camper from the Miccs, the middle-aged group from Gator Camp. I am going to tell you why my family is the best family I ever had. First, my mom is the first one of the best members of my family because she is nice, loving, caring, and is a really good cook. Second, my dad is also one of the best members of my family because he helps me when things are hard for me and he is also kind and caring and he takes me fishing. My sisters are the last ones of the best members of my family because they are kind, loving and caring. That is why I have the best family I ever had.
 

A Families Love

A family’s love is great beyond measure.

Higher than the clouds, deeper than the ground.

A families love is tougher than steel, lighter than air.

A family’s love is cared for, although it might be tested.

Tested through young ones, who take it for granted.

Young ones who don’t know the great power of love.

A family’s love can’t be faked, for it isn’t meant to be faked but cared for, forever.

A family’s love is meant to last, growing bigger and bigger with each member, growing with each mistake being resolved.

A family’s love is full of compassion, with a mother and a father a brother and a sister,

a grandpa and a grandma,

full of deep love from deep in the heart, bound to the heavens.

Take care of a families love. 


What I Like About My Family

Something I like about my family is they care about me. I like that my dad loves me and brought me to camp. Even though I don’t always get along with my step-mom I always appreciate all that she does and how she cares for me. I appreciate how my family sticks into my problems and helps me solve them.




 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Fishing Tournament

 
Gator Camp held its annual fishing tournament recently. The boys at camp love fishing and as many of you experienced fisherman know, it takes a bit of strategy to catch a fish.  You need the right equipment, knowledge, a significant amount of patience, but maybe most important, passion.
In Matthew, we read when Jesus called his disciples and how called them to be fishers of men. He called us to that too when he told us to go make disciples. We are called to action. Avid fishermen don't just wait around for the fish to find them, they find the fish and bring them in. 
 
It is important we don't lose sight of who we are really called to find -  the hurting, the outcast, and the lost and share the beautiful news of our Savior.
 
Thank you for the prayers and continued support as we serve here at Camp with these boys.
 
 
 
The winning group was the Miccosukee group with 59 points. The grand prize was $50.00 to share as a group in Trading Post.
 


Our GWCWC officials
(Gator Wilderness Camp Wildlife Conservation)





Friday, July 27, 2018

Pottery with Miss Tami

Every summer at Camp the boys get a special week where they learn to use their hands and create all kinds of things out of clay. Miss Tami comes down from Pennsylvania and teaches the boys everything they need to know. This year they learned how to make mugs, Christmas trees, cheese plates, and more! There were even birdhouses made! They all worked very hard to finish their projects and these pictures offer a few sneak peeks at what will be at the Turkey in the Hole auction this November!




 
 





 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

THE FOURTH OF JULY

Fourth of July is an exciting day at Gator Camp every year! This is the only day of the year the camp water slide is open for business. The groups have great camp spirit and our freedom is celebrated by eating good food, singing songs, and lots of fun in the water!
 

Today we got out to the lake at 9:45 am to go off the 4th of July slide. MJ and Landon did a lot of tricks and I completed a flying squirrel, flying Miccosukee, and a Micc flip. After we got done with our first time around, me, MJ, and Chief Matt decided to flip Miss Melissa out of her kayak. She had such good spirit that she got up and went off the water slide too. She probably shot out the farthest. Casey decided to try a flying squirrel but it ended in a belly flop and you could almost feel the pain when you heard him hit! In my attempt to have good spirit I put on three necklaces: red, white, and blue, and I put on an America hat and glasses. Me and Chief Jordan had a five star competition in the water and I won. Tonight after we eat Chief Greg and Chief Ross’s 5-star food, (which still can’t beat the cooks food) we will go to the Detwiler’s to see fireworks and eat supper. After we are done there we will set up to go down trail, to do ph, pow-wow, and go to bed at a good time so we can be setting up for tomorrow.

Article written by Christian, a camper in the Miccosukee Group



 











Saturday, June 30, 2018

South Carolina and Lake Jocasse


It is trip season again for the boys! When Florida starts to warm up, the groups tend to move north to escape the heat for a few weeks. The Cowboy group planned a 24 day trip to the South Carolina Foothills and Lake Jocasse! Life on the trail is a bit different from at camp, but the same principles and goals still apply. It is great to see them enjoying their time and seeing all their planning pay off.
Below are a few days of the trip as told by some of the Cowboy's...
  
Kaleb
6/11/2018
Chattooga River
Today we woke up and took down our tents. We did devos and ate breakfast. After breakfast, we cleaned up our campsite. Then we left Mr. Gresham’s and we got back on the road. We are going to go hike the Chattooga River for 13 days. When we were hiking, we went on some bridges on the way. We also saw a tree snake on the way to campsite. We ate lunch and took siesta. After siesta, we had one more mile to hike. When we got to campsite, we set up our tents and got some firewood and now we are writing articles. We are also going to go fishing and swimming in the Chattooga River. We are going to eat supper that Chief Jimmy made. 
 
Jimmy
6/16/2018

A Rainy Afternoon
Since I wrote my article last, we broke firewood, wrote articles, and ate supper. For supper we ate mac & sausage and pineapple tidbits. Then we brushed our teeth and played a game called look down, look up! Then we did pow-wow and bed! Hoya!
Today we had a great day! We woke up at 7:00! We took down our tents and did devotions, which were about following the bible the WHOLE way and not halfway! Then we ate breakfast. We enjoyed oatmeal, Nutri-grain bars, and chewy granola bars! Then we hiked for one mile and we reached highway 28! There was a parking lot on the South Carolina side! Mr. Chris and his kids brought us chicken nugget biscuits at our restock place! Thank you Mr. Chris! Then, after one more mile, Chief Jud was 4 feet away from an EASTERN RATTLE SNAKE! Chief Ross killed it! We cut off its head and rattle. We chucked the head and body. But we kept the rattle just in case a bear comes! Proven fact, bears are scared of rattlesnakes! Then we ate lunch! For lunch, we enjoyed cheese crackers, jerky, and Nutty bars! Then we took a 22-minute siesta because there was a thunderstorm coming! Chief Jimmy and I took off leaving the group in the dust! We needed to set up the walrus tarp! We had a great day!

Ryan
6/21/2018
The Fishy Day
We woke up and took down our tents. Then we ate a breakfast of grits, pineapples, and Slim Jims. Last evening we caught a brook trout and a rainbow trout and we ate them. We also saw a crawdad and let it pinch our fingers. Jimmy let it pinch his ears and Stephen let it pinch his armpit. Back to today, we hiked up to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery towards Ellicott Rock. It was a 2 miles hike. When we got there, we saw rainbow, brook, and brown trout. We saw big fish up to 26 inches! We also saw trout minnows and learned the life circle of trout. Then we ate a lunch of Slim Jims, pineapples, and ate N & J rolls and we took siesta at the pavilion. Then we went fishing and me and Chief Jud caught a little rainbow trout. We also found a fish head and some line. At supper yesterday, we saw an ant fighting a beetle. When we saw the crawdad, Shawn saw it first and thought it was a scorpion. Back to today, we got back to campsite and wrote articles. Then we will swim, eat super, swim more, and settle down and go to pow-wow and bed. Hoya!

The Cowboy Group and their Chiefs