Romans 6:23

Monday, July 29, 2013

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" - Romans 6:23

At K-Kountry and Kanakuk Kamps we have one goal, one mission, and one purpose: to create fun and lasting experiences, that give us an opportunity to share the Gospel in a relatable way. One such opportunity that we use at K-Kountry is Bible class; a time set aside from the fast pace of kamp, to take the time to dive in to the Word.

At Bible class each kamper goes over Romans 6:23, and how it relates specifically to them. We are not at Bible class to dive in to the theology behind each and every word, but to explore what exactly is the free gift of God, and what it means. This is such a great time for each kamper to ask questions, to learn, and to be poured in to by their counselors.

Bible class is such a great experience because of how representative it is of kamp as a whole. How much of a blessing it is to have the chance to minister and pour in to each and every kamper's life away from the contrasting distractions of the world. To see the spark in kamper's eyes when they realize why a gift is a gift, and why the free gift of God through Christ Jesus is so far beyond anything of this world, is something so special. 

The growth that happens at Bible class and K-Kountry is why we do kamp, why we have the waterslides and the blob, and why we do what we do. It is all for incredible moments such as a kamper saying that it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.

Real Deal Trip

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all of the families of the nations will bow down before Him." - Psalm 22:27

Yesterday on Instagram we posted a picture of and briefly talked about "Real Deal trip", but what is it? And why do we do it? Real Deal is a nickname around kamp given to the barn with the oldest kampers, who have also been coming to kamp for the longest time. We are so incredibly blessed here to have been able to have these kampers keep coming back to K-Kountry for so long; and while their time at this kamp is coming to a close, we want to be able to thank them for coming back over and over again, as well as show them what else the Kanakuk family has to offer. 

Making our way out to Lampe, we get to hang out at K-West for the day; go down their slip n' slide, have a blast at the lake, as well as the chance to talk with K-West director Ward Wiebe. The trip is so much fun, as well as an awesome opportunity to get a taste of what kamp next year could be like. While we hate to have to say goodbye, we know that each and every Real Deal kamper will be in gat hands with K-West!

Being Intentional

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" - Romans 12:12

Today I had the privilege of going out on ski trip with Kuk Barns 9 and 10, and honestly it could not have been any more fun! One of the best parts of ski trip is the opportunity to take one morning and get to know a group of kids that are in your boat in such a different and intentional way. There aren't many times at kamp that you are in the same place, let alone an entire morning. Because of this, ski trip gives such a great opportunity of being around the same kids for such an extended period.

While ski trip is always such a fun experience, today was special because of a pair of counselors that went the extra mile to make sure a group of kids had an unbelievable day. It became apparent that a few of the kids in my boat were hesitant and a little afraid to either get in the water or ride on the tube behind the boat. The greatest thing about this though, was how the two counselors jumped in. Taking the opportunity to dig in, and be intentional with these kampers. Making the time to get on their level and help them understand that they were safe, that they were there for them; building up their confidence, and giving them a platform to succeed.

By the end of the ski trip each kamper had the biggest grin on their face, having grown in their ability to conquer their fears. It was such an honor to take the morning to be able to get to hang out with these awesome group of kampers, and an incredible sight to be able to watch these counselors as they took the time to make sure each and every kamper had the greatest day of their lives! And if you can't tell by the picture above, it truly was an absolute blast!

First Session Staff

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith" - Philippians 1:25

Here we stand again, half way through the summer finding it hard to believe how fast the past six weeks have flown by. Over the course of the past month and half we as a staff have celebrated every holiday of the year all in one day, cheered "U-S-A" more than a half million times on the 4th of July alone, done more than our fair share of belly flops, and grown to become a family in every sense of the word.

This place is truly unlike any other. I know that phrase is easily and often tossed around, and just as often quite cliché; and while it still may be cliché, it is nothing short of true in this case. This place, K-Kountry, the Kountryside, the Happiest Place on Earth, is a testament to God's grace and unbelievable love. To take a group of college kids from each corner of the country, bring them to this little corner of Missouri, and use them all in their own individual ways in order to come together as a family to glorify Him, is beyond all measures. 

The Lord has blessed this place in incomprehensible ways, one of them being the unbelievable staff we enjoy every year and easily take for granted. A group of selfless men and women, who put everything before themselves for the Glory of God, so that every kid that walks through K-Kountry's gates may know who Jesus is and understand what an incredible sacrifice he made for us. These men and women, who absolutely never will ask for the thanks they so rightfully deserve, who pour out every bit of their heart with no intent of any reward in return. 

So while they may never seek any praise, hopefully this post can stand as somewhat of a "thank you". A thank you for being so faithful in everything that you did, for never slowing down, for giving everything you have, for never cutting corners, for the love you poured out and for the sacrifices you made when no one was watching...thank you!

First session staff, words will never be able to describe the blessing you were. You were special in ways that you will never be able to understand, and you were everything and more that this place could ever ask for. A simple thank you does not feel like enough for the job you did, but when I sit and think, I know that there is nothing on this Earth that could ever match the reward you all deserve. Your treasure is not of this world or for this world, but instead it is waiting in heaven for you. Waiting for that day, waiting for that celebration for you all. First session you have run an incredible race, you have laid everything out and made no reservations. To say that everyone here at K-Kountry is proud of you would be a disservice for the esteem you are held in. Thank you again first session staff for all that you have done. Forever a family, know that from the bottom of our hearts, we love you all!

Opening Day, Term 4

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yesterday was the kick off for the fourth term of the summer, and we could not possibly be any more excited! Easily one of my favorite Kanakuk traditions is the opening day announcements. There is something so unbelievably special about being put on a platform (literally) in front of all of the coolest counselors in the world, and hearing how excited they are just to see you!

As each counselor goes crazy for the announcement of each kamper, you can see the glow of their smile begin to build and build. While it may be just a half minute or so, being shown how much you are cared for right away in a new place goes beyond words. To be able to watch all of our new kampers here at K-Kountry come through the gates and enter in to The Happiest Place on Earth with the greatest smiles ever is an incredible privilege!

The fun didn't stop at the platform, however, as we made sure to welcome kampers in the other best way possible: a great dinner and K-Life! Theres nothing quite like a picnic by the lake followed up by the Kanakuk classic that is K-Life! At K-Life we saw some crazy new characters, such as the Dutch Boys, as well as some old friends from summers past like Gizmo.

Yesterday was an incredible day, and only served to show how much fun this term is going to be! The blob is ready and waiting, the zipline gearing to go, and everyone is finally here to have some fun! Fourth term of the summer: here we go!

Man Day (Kuk Dynasty)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: 'I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have raised up a young man from among the people'" - Psalm 89:19

Yesterday was Man Day on the Kuk side of kamp here at K-Kountry, or as it is also known as: the greatest day of all time! The Kountryside was completely overhauled yesterday, spinning things up just a little bit differently, in to Kuk Dynasty! The famous duck hunters themselves made their way to K-Kountry to show us a thing or two; ranging from how to catch a fish and make it correctly, to learning how to make the right duck call. 

After all of the duck blinds had been built, and all of the duck races finished, it was time for the classic Man Day warball tournament! Following the tournament we made our way to the pool for a bit of Man Day free time, because what is manlier than blobing or going off of the trapeze?!

The daylight may have been coming to a close after dinner, but the fun had only begun around here! Each of the kampers camouflaged up head to toe, preparing themselves for Commando Night! Each barn ran around kamp with their team of heavily trained and specialized commandos, as they attempted to foil the plans of the Polaysians and their attempts to take over K-Kountry! 

After collecting all of the plutonium hidden around kamp, each commando squad rallied together to pool their resouces. Luckily we had found just enough plutonium to save the day! Fireworks, bomb pops, and a little bit of celebrating was in order! Man Day had lived up to its billing of the greatest day of all time once again!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

If you have been following our Twitter, Instagram, or blog you may have come across the term "klinic" and wondered what exactly they are or what they look like, this blog post is exactly for you (yes, you). Klinics are more along the lines of traditional sports (such as baseball, basketball, football, etc.), each day for about an hour.

Klinics are a unique part of the K-Kountry schedule because they for one happen every day, but also because they are completely chosen by kampers. Each kamper has the choice to pick whichever klinic they would love to go to, with choices such as: baseball, kayak, gymnastics, football, soccer, tennis, cheer and dance, wrestling, and more!

One of the most rewarding parts of klinics is the opportunity to see a kamper be able to come in to baseball having never picked up a baseball bat in their life, and come out of the two weeks knowing America's pastime in and out. Watching as our amazing staff walk through each step of their klinic, making sure each kamper has the chance to shine is such an incredible thing to witness!

It simply can not be put in to words what a difference it can make, to have someone show you how to do a perfect back handspring, to show how to shoot a better 3-pointer, to show how to bend a soccer ball around the goalie; to see the change in confidence grow exponentially in every kid is something that goes beyond words! Klinics are just another part of the reason why K-Kountry is the Happiest Place on Earth!

July 4th!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fireworks, bomb bops, freedom tickets, ice cream sandwich eating competitions, Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA, George Washington, K-Kauai water park, the American flag, letters to troops, warball, and more! Happy Birthday America!

Yesterday was the 4th of July, and there is just nothing like the way K-Kountry celebrates the birth of this great nation! From the very onset of the morning you could feel just how special the day was; with firecrackers, fireworks, and bomb pops awaiting everyone as they awoke, you knew the day was starting off right! Whether it was the rush of sugar from the bomb pops before having breakfast, or the sense of national pride watching fireworks, there was undoubtedly something in the air that was electric!

The day was filled to the brim with fun, excitement, and sporadic U-S-A chants, and truly it could not have been any better! We had freedom time, which entailed opening up all of our water slides, pool activities, and more around kamp, each of the kampers had a chance to earn a freedom ticket for one free ride down the zipline. The opportunity to earn a freedom ticket came from watermelon seed spitting and ice cream eating competitions, the best tricks off the trapeze, diving off the pool diving boards, and more! 

The best part of the day came after the sun set, however, starting with the dance party that dinner became! Each song was more fun and patriotic than the one before, inducing a U-S-A chant at the close of each song, which in all honesty can not be done any justice in words! The looks on each and every face in the dining hall was nothing short of pure joy! 

To close the night out we invited K-1 and K-Kauai over to our lower fields to enjoy the great American classic that is 4th of July fireworks! There is something indescribable about listening to Ray Charles' version of America the Beautiful while watching the blues, purples, reds, greens, and whites of fireworks light up the night sky, something that brings a smile to my face just thinking of it all as I type this. Yesterday was a day that will be hard to ever forget, filled with incredible memory after incredible memory; a day that stands out amongst all others. So happy birthday America, we already can't wait till the next one!

Track & Field (Wacky Wednesday)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2nd Timothy 2:4 

Today was a Wacky Wednesday at K-Kountry, which means we slept in a little bit later, the schedule was changed around, and kamp got even more hype! Instead of going to klinics or optional period in the morning, we had our annual track and field day!

Track and Field day is such a special part of Wacky Wednesday, and kamp as a whole, as it is just another chance for us to honor each and every kid! Our staff, dressed up head to toe in crazy costumes and characters, wait at the finish line to greet every kamper as they run down the track to meet them at the end. You can see the smiles on kampers faces as they run to the finish line towards as a rooster, a knight, or any number of wild characters!

While the crazy characters help make the morning in to what it is, what separates the track and field day portion of Wacky Wednesday in to such a spectacular day, however, is the amount of pure joy found on this day that captivates and inspires each and every kamper.

To be able to cheer on their tribe, compete alongside their friends, and find encouragement at every single turn, brings irreplaceable memories to kampers that lasts far beyond the gates of K-Kountry. The best parts of this morning though, aren't the times when a funny character makes everyone laugh, but when new friends made at kamp come together to encourage and lift one another up after a race well done.

What does Parent's Day look like?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Parents, friends, family! The time has almost come for the special moment of reuniting with your children here at K-Kountry, and we just wanted to give you a heads up of what the day will look like! For the first half of the day we will have a mostly regular schedule here in kamp (klinics, free time, etc.), followed by lunch and rest period. After that, however, is when the Parent's Day schedule begins.

At 4:30 the gates of K-Kountry will open for all, it would not be a bad idea though to arrive a few minutes before to pick up your kid's luggage. All of the luggage will be located up on our parking fields across the street; if you were here to drop off your kid at the beginning of the term, this will be the same spot as before. If you were not here, however, don't worry as there are plenty of signs to direct you on where to go.

After the gates have opened, and you have picked up any luggage, all of the kampers and our staff will be waiting to welcome you down at the K-Dome (our basketball court). It goes without saying that this is undoubtedly an incredible time, as smiles and stories of the past two weeks fill the area! The rest of the night is focused on showing at least a sample of what has been happening at kamp over the last two weeks, as well as honoring each and every kid at every possible moment. If there is one thing we love to do at kamp, it is to make sure every kid that walks through those gates knows how incredible they truly are! 

We are only hours away at this point, so parents, we can't wait to see you!

The Gospel Skit

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." - Mark 16:15

(A Pirate's Life for Me - The Princess here is being led to her wedding, that is until she runs in to these pesky pirates) 

The Gospel Skit is a subject we have touched on before, particularly on Twitter and Instagram, but is certainly deserving of more attention than just 140 characters. While each kid at kamp hears of the gospel multiple times while they are here at K-Kountry, The Gospel Skit is special because of its ability to show the gospel in a visual and relatable way.

Taking the gospel, and relating it to kids in a fun and interesting way makes such an incredible difference with both the initial reactions, as well as the longer term retention. It is amazing to see kampers who have come back to K-Kountry for multiple years, and talk of previous Gospel Skits in such detail that you would believe they just witnessed it all over again.

The Gospel skit itself is not meant to be the platform for which kids come to know the story of Jesus Christ or who he is, but instead the building blocks for each counselor to have a platform on which to build upon for each nightly devotional, accumulating night after night throughout the term. While we ourselves are merely instruments in God's plan, it is amazing to see the ways that the Gospel Skit has been used to speak life in to so many who have seen it. So on your drive back home with your kids, don't be afraid to ask who these pirates are, and what they have to do with the gospel!

Sunday Chicken Letters

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday at K-Kountry and Kanakuk as a whole is filled to the brim with long standing traditions; traditions such as: Coffee cake, Sunday Fun-Day, I'm Third Church, and more! One of the great traditions that often gets overlooked, however, is a thing called Chicken Letters. Chicken Letters are fun, little notes that each kamper writes to tell everyone at home how kamp has been going.

The reason they are called "Chicken Letters"is because each Sunday afternoon at kamp we have grilled chicken for lunch, followed by our rest period where each kamper has the opportunity to write their letter. Chicken letters are such a wonderful tradition, and a great marker for the midway point of the term. So parents, be on the lookout for one of these little red letters in your mailbox soon!

Nursery Rhymes & Crimes

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Eency Weency spider climbed up the water spout; down came the rain and Humpdy Dumpdy had a great fall! All the King's horses and all the King's men stuck a feather in their hat and called it macaroni! So Twinkle, twinkle, little star, POP! Goes the weasel! Its Nursery Rhymes & Crimes!

Last night all of the greatest nursery rhymes figures transformed from simple stories and dreams, in to some of the most amazing characters ever seen at K-Kountry! From Jack and Jill to the Muffin Man, it was an amazing spectacle to see stories become reality and for dreams to become memories that will last a lifetime!

Our party started this morning when we all found out that one of our favorite K-Life characters, Mother Goose, had gone missing. Stories just never would be the same again if we couldn't find her! The task? Find Mother Goose. How? With the help of all of our new nursery rhyme friends!

As we travled around kamp with our barns, we looked to try and find any clues that may have been left behind from Mother Goose's disappearance. Separately, each clue didn't quite seem to make sense; but as we came together to combine what we had found, all of the pieces to the puzzle started to fall in to place!

Once all of the clues were put together, we discovered where Mother Goose had been! Mother Goose was back, the day was saved, and the most fantastic of stories would once again be told! You know what that means around here at K-Kountry when you save the day though right?...Ice cream dance party! It had been an incredible night, full of unbelievable characters! K-Kountry had once again saved the day, in the most incredibly fun way possible yet again!

Other K-Kountry parties: Luminosity Atrocity

Term Two 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God" - 1 John 4:7

Term Two: 2013 is here! Water slides, the zipline, Tribal Night, ski trips, coffee cake, parties, K-Life, and more! Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth, K-Kountry! Does it get any better than this?

Term Two began just the other day, but already we have been having such an incredible time! On our first night we jumped right in to K-Life, an off-the-wall fun and crazy night where we go up to Barn 13 and see crazy characters, worship God, and watch the Gospel Skit. K-Life is such a great core experience here at K-Kountry and Kanakuk as a whole, because of its ties in to what kamp is: fun and lasting memories that lead to spiritual growth in God.

Cherokee...Choctaw...Kickapoo...Kiowa, the hatchet of friendly competition was once again dug up during Tribal Night, a night where the families of the Kuk and Komo tribes grow as each of the new kampers join in on an incredible Kanakuk tradition. Tribal Night is more than war paint, headdresses, or arrow heads, it is a night of wonderment. A night where each kamper can see their imagination in action, where sparkling arrows through the sky are no longer just a dream. As each kamper is put in to their tribe, you can see the awe in their eyes as they soak in all of the details of the torch lit night.  

While we still have so much more ahead of us, Term Two already has been full of moments of wonder and incredible fun! God has blessed this place in unbelievable ways, and it is so exciting to see how He moves through this place! The friendships that are already being made, the spiritual investment already taking hold, and the joy seen on each and every kamper's face shows what an incredible term we have ahead of us!