Sunday, 30 December 2012

Camp Challenge Day Four: Water, Stages, Taking Big Steps

Today we had the delightful honour of seeing a wonderful young lady whom I have known since she was a baby take a very big step - Rachel decided to commit her life to Jesus and accept His gift of love, grace and salvation! Well, there ain't nothing more exciting than that for me! We all gathered around to watch her get baptised - going into the water as her old broken self in need of forgiveness, and coming back up renewed with His eternal and ongoing grace. Transformed by His love. Much cheering, praying, singing and joyful (damp) hugs followed! Always brings a happy tear to my eye and breaks open sweet memories of when I made that decision myself many years ago... best decision I ever made, I gotta say!

A face filled with pure joy!

That evening was the Annual Camp 'Talent Night'. I have been on the Board for Challenge Camp for quite a few years and one of my roles is to organise the evening activities each night for the camp. This year I forced myself to hand the duties for three of the five nights on to others as I knew I would not be able to physically cope with running every night of camp. Those who took it on did a fantastic job and it was good lesson for this busy little bee to force myself to ask others to step in - and also a big relief to free myself of some of the responsibility!

One of the nights I did still organise and host was the Talent Night. Or, as I usually jokingly call it, No-Talent Night! (It releases some of the pressure for people to only participate if they are pros - I think jovial participation is the key to a great night of entertainment, not just serious talent - though of course some super talented people always sneak in!). A mix of funny/cheesy/quirky camp skits, earnest teen ballads, and cute little kids belting out a tune or two or putting on a play. It is without fail a night of unforgettable performances, jaw-aching laughter and precious moments (oh  yes, and of course happy groans at some of the cheesy skits). I absolutely love it because every person who has the guts to get on stage is cheered, encouraged and applauded. A moment for anyone to shine. I love seeing introverts put themselves out there, little ones grow in courage and confidence each year and talented people sharing their gift of song and skill. Good times, people!

Lily remembered me being on stage last year hosting and had sung an impromptu little song back then, and so this year has been talking for weeks and weeks about the 'concert' at camp and what she wanted to do. She decided she wanted to sing one of her and Eli's favourite songs 'Do-Re-Mi' from the Sound of Music. Brimming with excitement and enthusiasm, she was soooo keen to get up there, and she and Eli practised and practised in the days before, had it word perfect with even a few actions thrown in. I knew however there was no telling what the reality up on stage would be!!! She eagerly dressed up in her best fairy outfit for the big performance and bounded up on stage when the moment came, little brother excitedly scampering up too. This was it....

Then my little lady caught sight of 90ish sets of eyes lovingly looking at her, and froze. The look of terror in her eyes was just tragic as she threw her arms around me and said with tears in her eyes 'I can't do it, Mummy, I can't'. Oh, darling girl! Knowing Eli was not yet at the age to be as phased or aware of the crowd, I told her it was ok if she didn't want to and asked Eli if he wanted to sing a song. He grabbed the microphone with gusto and launched immediately into a complete and enthusiastic rendition of Jingle Bells (his absolute favourite tune). Yeah, not quite the song we had rehearsed but Little Bro took the opportunity to sing his fave and ran with it!!!

As he completed his tune, the crowd burst into rapturous applause combined with coos at his adorableness and sweet laughter at his brave little performance. Just look at that face.... his moment in the sun!

His little eyes just lit up in surprise and joy at the reaction to his little tune, and his loving sister could not have been prouder - she was laughing, smiling and squealing with delight and pride. Our little E-Bear!

Not quite sure how to proceed, I wanted to give Lily another chance to try and so I suggested we give our original tune a go now that she had relaxed a bit, and so the two of them launched in. Lily only sang bits (with moments taken to bury her head in my neck), giggling and half whispering much of it, but mostly making her way through somehow. Well, it was not quite 'as rehearsed' but we got through it and Lily still felt plenty pleased with herself for getting up there. 'Mummy, everyone was looking at me! I was so scared' she told me later. She mostly talked about how cute Eli was - she is such a doting big sister!

I gotta say it was a bit of a stressful moment for this Mama (not the least of which was trying not to topple off the stage while crouching with my big belly, trying to balance against the 4 year old clinging to my neck!). I wanted to also balance encouraging Lily to do the song she so keenly desired to do without pressuring her in her legitimate fear... all on the spot in front of 90 people! Argggghhh, talk about parenting under the spotlight, haha! But everyone was gentle and encouraging, and thankfully I think we got through without undue trauma; a little experience with the realities of life on the stage and a few good laughs and sweet moments. Who knows what next year will hold, huh?!

My husband, who is really not a show pony, even got up to reprise his role from last year with his mate Jason of 'Cletus and Jed' - two American Southern farmers with drawls as long as their piece of chewing-grass! Hilarious and rather cute, I must say!

All in all, a great day with joys, a little unexpected drama, and a whole lot of laughs and memories made!


  1. Oh Lily my love. It must have been quite daunting when her big moment came. Love that Eli took the lead and made a little change to the set list ;)
    I can imagine that it would have been a delicate balance and a tad bit of pressure for you being up on the stage trying to manage it all. I think you handled it beautifully (when do you ever not do so ?) Great that you gave Lily another shot.
    Man, Eli is looking like such a little boy now!
    p.s. MANY tears today when I told Harper that we are catching up next week. She was sure we were catching up today :( Oh dear, it was a tough day!

    1. yes, poor darling! i think she got so over-confident in the lead up it was a bit of a shock for the dear thing! yes you know eli, he just barrelled on through!!!! argh, dont know how i handled it, it was heat of the moment stuff - so many lessons for these little ones to learn huh and i'm just stumbling through much of the time!
      Poor dear harper - perhaps a little phone chat in the mean time?? we miss her too! tell her lily is excited to play kitchens w her :)

  2. How adorable you and your children are! Fabulous performance moment to share (go Eli!) thank you.


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