Saturday, November 30, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Gator Camp!!
     I am thankful for the How, How, How of Camp. A few years ago, the word hard and the word good didn’t belong in the same sentence, let alone have the same meaning. God has brought me on a long journey that hasn’t been easy but brought me here to camp.
   I am thankful for the struggle. Because if everything was easy I wouldn’t appreciate it and it would have no value to me. The struggle is a blessing because without it I wouldn’t me humbled and rely on God.
    I am thankful for the challenge. The challenge drive me to keep going and never give up. The challenge is what make life feel like an adventure, the challenge is what keeps life from being mundane and stale.
    I am thankful for the accomplishment because without it life would be overwhelming. The accomplishment make the other two worth doing again and again. Without the accomplishment I would never be able to develop the healthy pride that is kept in check by humility the struggle brings.
    In closing, I am thankful for the balance and the cycle of the How, How, How. The challenge, struggle, and accomplishment. The humility, adventure, and pride. I am thankful for Gator Camp and the community here, that helps me live life and be fulfilled daily experiencing the How, the How, and the How.
Chief Kordell
Miccosukee Chief

     Starting off this article, I am thankful for many things, so many I don’t know even where to start but the first thing that I am eternally grateful for is that I have a God in Heaven that no matter what I do will always love me & forgive me of my sins. Another thing I am greatful for is my parents loving me and giving me a great life even when I don’t deserve it. I am also thankful for all the Chiefs that put their all into me especially Chief Devon & Chief Justin, them two were my first Chiefs when I came to Camp. I was coming to a new place & I had no idea what to expect, but Chief Devon & Chief Justin made it feel like camp was my second home. Chief Justin, I am definitely thankful for the 8 ½ months that he chiefed me, there was not a dull moment. He definitely poured his all into me & did his best to show the love of God to me. Chief Tony, Chief Jimmy, Chief Kevin, I appreciate you, it was probably the hardest thing to come to the Bucc group because of Chief Justin. But it was definitely the best decision and I’m thankful for you coming. Chief Andrew, I’m thankful for you hopping into the group & bringing a great attitude & spirit into the group. Another Chief I am thankful for is Chief Curtis, no matter how many problems I had with him, he still loved & cared about me. Without Chief Curtis I would probably not be the person I am today. I am thankful for that cold night on Jan. 16, 2019 that I accepted my Lord Savior into my heart. I am especially thankful for my family because even when it was hard they still loved me. That’s some of the people & things I am thankful for.
Buccaneer Group

Monday, September 30, 2019

Pottery class with Miss Tami

Every summer Miss Tami comes down from Pennsylvania for a whole week to teach the boys everything they need to know about making pottery. These pottery classes encourage and promote creativity and working with their hands. This year the boys learned how to make castles, Christmas trees, and so much more! What a fun week!







Monday, August 26, 2019

Camp-A-ree 2019

Camporee is an annual camp event that takes everyone to northern Florida for a few days. This August we spent three days at Lafayette Blue Sate Park. As a whole, camp staff relaxed, explored a different part of Florida, and ate some really good food. We also spend one day sharing our yummy food with all the state park staff and rangers that keep Florida's state parks so beautiful. It is our small way to say thank you for all the work they do so our boys can enjoy camping on their group trips throughout the year.

Lunch Deliver
We were walking and talking as we climb, we were walking and talking as we deliver. Ok off that topic. This morning we got up but I don’t take down tents because it’s CAMP-O-REE! Camp-O-Ree is a 3-day event at Lafayette Blue Springs State Park. Before we came to Blue Springs we paddled from Owens Spring to Manatee Springs. But anyways we ate breakfast at 8:30. After a really good breakfast we got in the green van to ride to Peacock Slough. We walked a half of a mile to deliver lunch to Mr. Fred and Ms. Ann. We also sang Seminole Wind. After we made some Godly, nice friends we had a 10 minute siesta. We arrived at Adams Tract where we waked ¾ mile to deliver lunch to the owners of Adam’s Tract. Before we knew it we arrived it was quiet, too quiet. So we looked around and nobody was around. Next we went to use the bathroom and get a drink. After that we walked to the van carrying the food with us. We finished the rest of siesta. After the rest of siesta we arrived at Lafayette Blue Springs. We went to Chief Greg’s smoker to give back the food. After we gave back the food we wrote articles. We went swimming for a little bit. After we went swimming for a little bit we had a super delicious supper. After that we walked to campsite to have pow-wow before bed. Hoya!
Gavyn  Cowboy
Talking with the Park Ranger

Camporee Day 2
Today is the second day of our all 4 group called the Camporee. We woke up from an amazing sleep and went to an 8:00 breakfast. Our breakfast consisted of egg casserole, potatoes, biscuits, gravy, and orange juice. After our breakfast we used privy, brushed our teeth and used privy again. We then gathered our lunch stuff together and hit the road to the park rangers. We first went to the Lafayette Blue Springs ranger station. We offered them….listen to this, bacon on a stick, pork chops, ribs, and grapenut ice cream homemade ice cream right then and there with cookies. Once all the stuff was handed out to them we sang to them. We then headed over to Troy Spring State Park. We sang for them and gave them food too. We transitioned from there into eating tons of ice cream and I guessed the original grandpa for Big Alligator so I could get an extra scoop. After we ate we went swimming in the spring and I immediately found the tunnel and went straight through cause you just got to send it. Once that was finished we left and got into the bus and went back to Lafayette Blue Springs to see our big camp family. Bye.
Bradley  Buccaneer

Homemade Ice Cream is the Best!
Feasting Day
This morning we woke up and took down our tents pretty fast. We packed our stuff in our first campsite. Then we ate breakfast at the pavilion and then took our stuff down to the river and packed up our canoes and hit the river at 8:40ish. After a fun 7 miles we reached Charles Springs and circled up on shore at 11:15 and got expectations for bathing in the Suwannee. After a great shower, we swam in the spring and went under tunnels. There were three springs, a small, medium, and large. The small was like 6.5 feet, the medium was about 7 feet, and the large was like 4 feet. Then we went out to the Suwannee and jumped off a big rock like 5 feet over the water. We also went to the rope swing that was 15 feet high for the campers but 25 – 30 feet high for the Chiefs.  And Chief Jon and Chief Eric came after siesta and lunch. We had honey cookies, Cheez-its, and pretzels. Then we got back on the river around 1:30 and canoed for about 2 and ½ hours and arrived at Lafayette Blue Springs. Then we set up campsite and wrote our articles. Then we are going to swim in the spring. And also eat amazing food from Chief Greg.
Mason  Miccosukee

Enjoying a swim


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Celebrating Our Moms

Happy Mother's Day to all our dear Mothers!

We had our annual Mother's Day Luncheon, a special day that our boys get to honor the moms in their lives. It's a fun day with flowers, cheesecake, and sometimes, a few tears.

Our boys spend the day on their best behavior and loved on all their Mamas, Aunts, and Grandmas. It is always a special day, especially for our moms who get to see their boys show off a bit by singing and playing instruments.

Below are a mix of pictures and articles that the boys wrote for their Mothers.


"Who has the best mom? For sure I do but that’s my opinion. My mom has stuck in with me for most of my problems. She never gave up which is why I love her. I’m very appreciative that my mom sent me to camp or else I don’t know what I’d do for Mother’s Day. On Mother’s day a boy should love, respect, and care for their moms. For the past couple years I’ve been locking myself in my room and not caring at all for my mom. Today that changes. Every mother’s day I will love and care for mom and treat everyday like it is mother’s day. I love you mom and something I appreciate about you is just everything. I love you. I appreciate you teaching me to fold my laundry and teaching me how to make my bed and how to do the dishes and I love you. Thank you for being my mom. Oh, by the way I love you mom".

Aidan D. - Buccaneers

"Lots of 11 year olds have good moms, but mine is the best. My mom is very good at being creative, especially while she’s cooking. I love the cauliflower pizza. Its delicious. She’s also very adventurous. One time we were checking out a summer camp with a very tall zip line. It looked scary but she helped me do it by coming right behind me. I love her and glad she’s my mom. She is a great one".
Hunter - Cowboy

A Mother’s Loving Hand
I love her when she’s happy
Or when she takes a stand
Because these are things
That proves my mother’s loving hand
I’d love her if she was gone
Or way across the land
Because I’d always feel the presence
Of my mother’s loving hand
I love how I am now
Formed by the great “I am”
And the man that’s inside of me was made
By my mother’s loving hand
As I walk this road called life
Through this desert sand
I’ll make it to the end
With help of my mother’s loving hand
Now with mother’s day this year
I’ll give her something back and
I’ll treat her the way she treated me
With her loving hand.
Matthew G.- Buccaneer



Tuesday, April 23, 2019


“He is risen” “He is risen indeed”
As Jesus did thousands of years ago, we rose this morning. Of course, none of us are dead so we couldn’t rise from death but we got out of our beds at 5:20 on a cold morning so to us it was about as difficult. Something I realized about Easter is that people only rejoice Jesus’s victory when it starts to come around that time of the year. Parents say that their children need to behave because the Easter bunny will find out. Children behave extra well so they get extra goodies. Parents do it too. They act good in the church, do good deeds, and proclaim their good doings. I’ll admit, I do it all the time, every year, around the same time. What we need to realize is that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is something we must celebrate every day, with every prayer. Jesus Christ is risen, risen indeed. This we must celebrate with every living breath we had. We know this in our hearts but we don’t do it. The real question is, why?
Matthew - Buccaneer Group
-Each group took time to build a cross and on Good Friday we nailed our sins to them-
Happy Easter
This morning we got up at 5:00 and did our bed chores and morning chores. After that we went over to the people hauler at 6:20 and went into the back 90. Next we ate breakfast and got the Easter service started at 6:30.We talked about how Jesus was crucified and how he chose to do that for us and about how he rose back from the dead. After the service we all played a few games of bush tag. Then we started our adventurous Easter hunt. We bush wacked through the forest of the back 90 as we followed the clues. Finally, we ended up at the pavilion and won the race! Then we ate brunch. Today was a great day. But, not only was today fun, but I also learned a lot about Easter such as how Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
Alexander- Cowboy Group
 -On Sunday morning we took our sins from the cross and burned them. We can rest assured that Jesus rose and they are forgiven-
Easter Sunday
Today we went to Hostetler Hammock and ate breakfast and had the Easter sunrise service. We learned that Jesus rose from the dead and died on the cross to save our sins. Then we played games in the Hammock while waiting for Chief Mike. Then we went on the hunt. The first spot was entrance tent. The next spot was the pigpen. Then we went to the horse barn but it wasn’t there so we went to the back ninety and found it there. Then we had to go to the Lake. We found it at the rope swing. Then we saw Chief Matt and Chief Curtis running for our other bag of candy. We had to grab it from them. We ran to the pavilion. Chief Jordan had to carry James halfway there. When we arrived, we ate our candy and ate brunch.
Remey - Cowboy Group
-Our beautiful sunrise at Hostetler Hammock-
Happy Easter
Today was Easter! Today Jesus arose from the grave after three days of being dead. It is also a great day around camp. We play games, have good meals, a sunrise service and a great time with all of camp. The day is all about how God sent his only son to die on the cross for our sins. If you have not asked Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, you need to. His hands are always open for you. Romans 10:9-10: “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved”. If you don’t know where to start that verse should be the first. Always remember this day as the day for our savior, God! Have a good Easter!
Tyler - Bucaneer

Monday, April 22, 2019

Cowboys on the Suwannee

The Cowboys embarked on a courageous adventure this month. A 21 day trip down the Suwannee River! Here are a few article written by these brave men describing the first few days on the trip!

First Day on the Suwannee
It is our first day on the Suwannee River! We woke up at 4:00, quick did our morning chores, and then left camp at 5:00. It was a 6-hour drive from Florida to Georgia. It was tiring but we made it. When we started out in Fargo, the first creature of the trip was a baby crawfish! It was cute. A few hours later, we stopped for lunch and saw a CRAZY inch worm. It was super gnarly. After that, we continued to paddle and then saw a 4-5 foot alligator. Then we found a really nice campsite, in which it had pine trees on it. It’s a little muddy in the shore but other than that, it’s pretty nice.

I Woke Up this Morning
We got up to a very chilly morning before we ate a really yummy breakfast with some warm hot chocolate to go with it. Next we got on the river and sang some good high spirited songs. After that we had a fun game of splashing each other with our paddles and I soaked Chief Matt. After that we got to our campsite and set it up. Chief Matt made awesome stairs with sand on a hill in our campsite. Next we swam and went to pow-wow and bed. Hoya!

Putrid Smell
This morning we woke up to the sounds of the Big Shoals. After we woke up we took down our tents. We did devos and ate a good breakfast. After we ate breakfast, we loaded out canoes, then started our daily routine. After we paddled 5 or 6 miles till we got to the worst smelling spring I’ve ever smelled. We swam in the spring and found out it was a sulfur spring which was known for healing. It is a sacred Indian healing spot.


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.