This is Part 2 of a two-part series! If you want to be caught up, go check out Part 1!
On November 5th and 6th, we went on a camping trip at the Beirbaum’s farm. The Beirbaums are members of our Lead Team for Emerge, and are crucial part in organizing events and fun outings for us students. They have access to a huge field in Defuniak Springs where we set up our tents, all of our glamping supplies, and started a giant campfire. It was a great experience overall! I am a firm believer that it doesn’t matter what you are doing, if you are doing it with friends, it will be extremely hilarious and extremely fun. At Emerge, there is a lot on our schedule and a lot of deadlines that we have to meet, so it was nice to get away from the campus and spend a day with no responsibilities. They didn’t schedule anything for us to do, so we were free to roam around the farm to do whatever we wanted. It was great!
On the farm, they had three horses and a donkey that were also free to roam around and sometimes made their way over to our tents. Everyone had fun petting the animals and getting to know them. We had a golf cart that we got to ride around, back and forth to the house and the barn and then back to our campsite. This was my first time on a golf cart, so I was excited to get to drive it. It reminded me of the safari tours at Disney. When we first got there, we spent our daylight hours throwing the football, and the Frisbee (When we weren’t petting the animals). It was really fun to be out in the open field throwing the football back and forth. In the evening we got the fire going strong. It was the biggest fire I’d ever seen and it was extremely HOT. I couldn’t stand near it too long, because the heat reached a couple feet out all around the fire. Roasting marshmallows on it was definitely an interesting task. We had sticks to roast them with, but they weren’t long enough, so we had to stand pretty close to the fire. I would go up and start to roast one, and then have to run back and let my face cool down!
For dinner, we popped out the grill and had hamburgers and hotdogs- delicious! We were definitely stocked full on food that night. We had chips and cookies for snacks. We had the s’mores, all the food from dinner and some brownies for dessert. We were also set up with hot water for hot chocolate. I can tell that the leaders really love their Emerge students. As it got later, most people sat by the fire, or sat in front of the big screen and projector we brought to watch that night’s football game. The remaining students who weren’t watching football gathered up to play a game of Man-Hunt in the dark around the field. If you have never played Man-Hunt, it is basically like hide-and-go-seek with a cooler name, and it’s even scarier in the dark. One person finds everyone else that went and hid, until the last person is found. It seems like a simple game, but we felt totally lost wandering around a pitch black field. There weren’t really that many places to hide, so eventually it just became a game of who could be the quietest and who was wearing the darkest clothing, so that they couldn’t be seen in the dark. Again, with friends anything is fun. I don’t know too much about the past Emerge classes, but I know this one is particularly comedic, so it always makes for a great time.
After the night was pretty much winding down, the football game was over, and all the food was gone, the majority of people went to bed, while a group of us stayed up around the fire. I think my favorite part of the campout was the conversations we had around the fire. I love food, and games, and sports and all of that, but I love a good conversation. It was so late, and we were so tired, that it went everywhere from deep theological talks, to funny stories about our past that you only tell your closest friends. I learned a lot about a few of the other interns that night, and I think that nights like this are what make the bond so strong among the Emerge alumni. We spend so much time together and we make so many great memories, but the best about it is learning more and more about everyone. We are only in our third month and I feel like there is so much more to learn. I hope for many more nights like the night by the fire, and many more fun adventures like that campout. We bond together in these times of fun, and we build it further in the hard times. We build each other up when it gets hard, so that we can laugh together while we take it easy. That’s what Emerge life is all about, and the Campout this year really highlighted that for me.