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Team Members: Mark Wible, Andy Cash, Jared Tice, Jeff Coker, Johnny Mumford, Josh Williams, Josue Jimenez, Laurie Wible, Luke Helgeson, Madi Elkins, Michael Eddy, Sam Meeks, Taylor Creamer, and Todd Helgeson
Friday, June 16
Each night, the team normally enjoys dinner on the patio around picnic tables, but on Thursday night, it was different. They ate under a tent so some of the kids could entertain them. Two little girls danced the hula for the coaches, and a young boy played the ukulele and sang. It was so sweet to see them pour their hearts into their performances.
The coaches invited Sheila, and AJ and his wife to join them for debrief. It was good to share the day’s stories with others who worked with the teams each day.
Friday, being the last day of camp, was filled with excitement. Madi ran mass ball handling and Michael ran the rest. The coaches kept the energy level high and the kids loved it. The kids have learned so much this week and did their part to keep things moving quickly.
About 40 parents stuck around after the Friday morning camp to thank the coaches for investing in their kids all week. They showered the coaches with beautiful flower and shell leis. The kids wanted lots of pics with their coaches to remember such a fun week together.
The coaches were given 2 huge sandwich trays, fruit and water so they didn’t have to leave for lunch. The coaches all sat on the gym floor and were eating when someone hollered that there was a truck outside with tons of snacks. One mom had been given a pickup truck load full of chips, bars, nuts, snacks of all kinds. It was incredible!
There were 54 kids in the afternoon camp. Todd ran mass ball handling, and Michael ran contests and stations. This freed Mark and Laurie to pack up the equipment and get it ready to go. Again, it was high energy and lots of fun. At the close of the afternoon camp, many parents showered the coaches with aloha like only they can do. There were lots of hugs goodbye and pictures.
One group left straight from camp to go to the volcano, about a 2 hour drive through lush forest and beautiful fields. They got to see the lava, which was really neat, especially at night. There was a big difference in the temperature too, going from 1200 feet to 4000 feet. It was windy and rainy, but they enjoyed every minute of the hour they were there. They got back to their rooms about midnight.
Others did a night dive with manta rays. They went out on a boat and when they came to the right location, a florescent light was placed into the water. The coaches in their snorkel gear, would hold onto a bar and just watch. As the plankton would come up to the light, manta rays would come up as well. These rays were huge, some with a 10’ wing span. They would come within a few inches of your face and might brush up against your body. It was described as the trip of a lifetime. They were there for 30-45 minutes and returned back to their room about 10:30.
Saturday started with a lazy morning. It was hazy and misty. Two groups went to a point to hike down to Captain Hooks Cove, and another group went to the other side. They would both snorkel in the same cove but on different sides. Everyone was meeting back at the rooms at 5 to pack up and head to the airport.
It was an incredible week! We are so grateful for your faithfulness to remember us each day. With your help, we’re changing the world, one bounce at a time.
Thursday, June 15
There’s close to a 3 hour break between the morning and afternoon camps, so after lunch yesterday, everyone jumped in their cars and drove down the coast to see the island. There were many beautiful beaches along the way. They saw a cruise ship that has just docked. It was neat to be on the cruisers’ island destination and see them get off the boat.
There were 53 excited kids when they returned for the afternoon camp. We even had 2 new ones join. Coach Michael and Coach Mark co-led the camp. Michael does an outstanding job of leading the kids. For the last hour, each coach was given autonomy to keep the kids engaged. They knew their kids and what they would be most interested in and able to do, and indeed several who had not wanted to participate jumped in wholeheartedly. There were plenty of water breaks along the way.
Michael and Madi shared their story with the team after a satisfying dinner of teriyaki grilled hamburgers with all the fixin’s. Sheila’s husband, Rick, was a great grill master. They had a very special dessert, AJ’s famous frozen pistachio delight. This only comes out for company so it was a treat indeed. They also enjoyed the fudge brownies.
This morning when they got to the gym, the athletic director had not arrived so the closet where the balls and equipment was stored was still locked. There were 73 kids and nothing to run camp with. So Michael and Todd were quick to think they’d lead them in stretches. Thankfully, after 10 minutes or so, the closet was open, the kids were well stretched, and camp began. Taylor ran the mass ball handling, cross court drills and 5 minute stations. The kids love the quicker pace. Michael ran the contests, and the kids really got into it. Coaches were again given the freedom to choose the drills for their kids.
Half the group went to eat locally while the rest came back to rest. Everyone is looking forward to this afternoon’s camp.
Wednesday, June 14
Yesterday’s cloud cover made for a cooler day, and with the additional pavilion cover in the afternoon camp, it was really nice. The 53 kids were very energetic and excited to show how well they had improved in their basketball skills from one day to the next. However, one boy is part of the morning and afternoon sessions and loves to show off his improvements at each camp. They really got into the competitions and are learning much about encouragement.
The Waco and Denton coaches combined again today which helps things run more smoothly. Brian, our host, has been a tremendous help; Sheila, our wonderful cook, has been outstanding, and AJ has been an awesome helper in every way. They too help make things run smoothly.
After a delicious dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and sweet hawaiian bread, Jeff and Todd shared their story. Then it was lights out. 9:00P. Everyone is recovering from the 5 hour difference and the high energy camp levels of the day.
In the morning, Todd & Luke shared in team time, reiterating our responsibility as the light, and challenged the team to stay strong with the encouragement. Everyone has noticed that the kids are catching on and not only respond well from encouragement from their coaches, but are beginning to encourage each other.
There were 73 kids in the morning camp today. It was a fun day. They started with lightning rounds of mass ball handling, short 20 second drills. That carried over into contests and relays, and excitement was in the air. The kids really enjoyed the quick pace and loved the competitions. The coaches finished out with games at their discretion.
Today’s focus is Part, and how when one part hurts, the whole body hurts. They talked about how we play our part on our team as well as in our family.
Pizza was on the menu for lunch, and they enjoyed it at another more popular beach nearby with a pavilion and life guards. Some went snorkeling and some simply enjoyed soaking it in.
Tuesday, June 13
Yesterday afternoon’s camp was outdoors under a pavilion with 50 kids. It was a good decision to double up the coaches so each team had a Waco coach and a Denton coach since this camp was primarily younger kids. In fact, Mark mentioned that he was learning a lesson about grumbling. When he found that 4 of the goals at this court were only 8 foot, he was frustrated. But seeing the number of young kids in this camp, anything higher than 8 foot would set the kids up for failure. They would not have been able to handle a 10 foot goal. This was a blessing in disguise.
This camp was primarily 8th grade and younger, with maybe one team of high schoolers. But age didn’t stop them from being full of energy and excitement to be there. They tried their very hardest to do everything asked of them. And as the afternoon wore on, they were grateful Jeff knew how to rig a key to work in the light box to turn on the lights.
Sheila made spaghetti and a salad for dinner, and Taylor and Josue shared their story while the team sat on the porch and watched the sun go down over the water. Everyone was in bed by 9:00P. There was however, a little excitement before bedtime when a tree limb in a neighbor’s yard was laying on a power line, sparking and catching on fire.
After a delicious breakfast of eggs, sausage, hash browns, fruit and juice, Andy shared in team time about his personal career choices and plans for his life. He told how he walked through a season before realizing that his plan for his life wasn’t the best. He encouraged the team to trust in the one with the plan, and not go in their own direction.
In the morning camp today, there were 6 new kids, making the total 73. There are several 5 and 6 year olds in this camp. Laurie, Josue, Josh and Jared do a great job of keeping them engaged… except for a few who just sit there. They cannot be motivated to participate. There are twin girls pictured below who played like the older kids, and outplayed their older counterparts at times. When it was time for the competitions, some of the many parents who were watching were recruited to help count the jumps, slides, etc. They were a big help with the lack of extra hands from translators typically a part of camps.
Brian, our host, was onsite today and very helpful. JT is also helpful, ready to get whatever is needed.
Mark called in the report while having lunch with the team on the beach. Some of the team had eaten and were snorkeling, others were resting underneath a palm tree. Nice. There was excitement in the water at the sight of 3 or 4 large sea turtles that had come up to sun on the rocks.
Monday, June 12
The teams set up for camps yesterday afternoon in preparation for a Monday morning start. For dinner, Sheila, the most wonderful cook, made shoyu chicken served with rice and a salad. They’re going to enjoy her cooking all week long!
After dinner, two of the team members, Josh & Luke, shared their story with the others. It’s a great way to get to know those you’re teaming with.
Some of the team was up early again because of the 5 hour time change. The leader was up early reworking the framework of the camps, making it so that both teams (Waco & Denton) can be inside the large gym for a portion of the camp.
After a delicious breakfast of pancakes and bacon, Sam shared in team time about being an overcomer. When he was in the eighth grade, he would come home from working out with extreme headaches and vomiting. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was turning into cancer. His parents were told he had a 50/50 chance of survival. The Healer stepped in and after rounds of radiation, restored Sam. The tumor is still there but benign. His story about being an overcomer and challenging the team to be one as well was powerful.
Today was King Kamehameha I Day on the island, which honors the memory of Kamehameha who united the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 to become their first king.
Needless to say, many of the 100 kids signed up for the morning camp were out. There were 37 kids absent, but some who had not registered came, putting the count to 70 kids. Many parents stayed around to watch the camp and showed their appreciation when it was done.
Laurie and Josue had the youngest groups, which included some 5 year olds. Josh had some young ones as well and they all did a great job working with them. Andy did an awesome job being the mass ball handling demonstrator.
There is no air conditioning or fans in the gym, and even with all the doors open for circulation, it was a hot and muggy 80 degrees. Everyone stayed inside for mass ball handling, stations, and the new drill 1-on-1 turning. Then the Denton team took half the kids outside for competitions. They worked hard in the 90 degree heat.
Team time was off to a good start with the kids. They had good questions including one from a 6 year old who asked why the earth was created. This is a good indication that they’re open to group discussions.
The teams are sleeping on mattresses in the rooms of the host’s building. They leave the windows open for an occasional breeze and are surprised that the sounds they thought were made by a bird are the sounds of Coqui frogs.
We are hopeful more kids will show up tomorrow and for those connections to be quick. We’re grateful for the health of the team and hope that will continue.
Sunday, June 11
The Hawaii Team arrived safely last night in Kona, along with all their luggage.
Due to the time change (they're 5 hours behind us), everyone was up early this morning, by 6:00A. After breakfast at McDonalds, the team enjoyed meeting 100-120 brothers and sisters at a local fellowship. It was sweet to sing some familiar songs. Mark and the team brought greetings and were presented with homemade leis.
A time of fellowship and finger foods followed, and everyone enjoyed meeting folks in this family. Lunch followed at either Dairy Queen or Subway.
In the afternoon, AJ helped the team prepare for camps to begin tomorrow by loading up his truck and transporting the equipment and balls to the sites. One court is outdoors but under a pavilion. There are 6 goals there but 4 of them are only 8’. Flexibility!
The team will return to the evening gathering, then after dinner, retire for the night.
We ask for good rest for jet lagged bodies, continued health, and great connections with the kids tomorrow.