Twenty local teens and adult leaders departed Audubon on Saturday July 17 at 6:30 a.m. The group began their journey to Call to the Creek Group Workcamp located near Midland, Michigan. They reached Jenison, Michigan around 6 p.m. eastern time where they spent the night at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. After worship the next morning, they completed their journey and arrived at Bullock Creek High School around 1 p.m. on Sunday. This year’s workcamp theme was “Undeserved” and was based on Luke 15, the story of the prodigal son. The week-long workcamp, a faith-based mission project, was the second camp to be held in Bullock Creek, the first one was in 2007.
Members of the group included: Tim Andersen, Todd Nelsen, Emily Nelsen, Miranda Nelsen, Kathy Graeve, Rachel Graeve, Kayla Polson, Becky Jones, Rachael Jones, Ryan Cerrillo, John Jensen, Jessica Simonsen, Colby Rattenborg, Ally Rattenborg, Drew Keller, Adrianne Nielsen, Hannah Bowen, Brooke Obermeier, Lacey Vokt, and Faith Fliflet.
For many teens, summer break means sleeping in, spending time with friends, or maybe working a summer job. But for the 400 participants in this year’s Call to the Creek workcamp, it was different. Teens traveled from eleven different states to sleep on air mattresses and sleeping bags in classrooms at Bullock Creek High School. Their day began with a wake-up call at 6:45 a.m. and breakfast from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. After a short morning program at 8 a.m. the youth and adult leaders were off to their work sites where they completed home repair projects for the elderly, disabled, and low-income residents of the Bullock Creek area. This was a challenge camp which meant there were more construction projects including seven roofing projects and several wheelchair ramps. Other projects included painting, drywall, installing skirting around trailer homes, installing handrails, and installing doors and windows. Call to the Creek raised $25,000 to purchase materials so the work could be done at no cost to the homeowners. Forty seven projects were completed during the week with 66 crews. Each crew consisted of one or two adult leaders and four or five youth.
The workcampers ate breakfast and dinner at the school cafeteria and ate a bag lunch at their work site. The school’s cafeteria staff prepared the meals and a gave up a week of vacation, along with the custodial staff, to be involved in the workcamp. Local churches were also involved and provided snacks for the workcampers.
The work day ended at 3:30 p.m. and the workcampers returned to the school to shower and enjoy free time before dinner was served at 5 p.m. An evening program was held at 7:30 p.m. that included singing, dancing, skits, picture slide shows of the work sites, God sightings, and worship experiences. On Wednesday evening a variety show was held and Miranda Nelsen sang a rap song called “Baby Got Book”. Lights out was at 11 p.m. each night.
At 3 on 3 basketball tournament was held during the week. Our local team, “The Blondie’s”, consisted of Lacey Vokt, Emily Nelsen, Miranda Nelsen, and Colby Rattenborg. The team was the first girl’s team to make it to the finals in workcamp history.
The projects were completed on Friday and a final evening program was held in the school gym. The residents were invited to attend the program and celebrate a successful week. The workcamp concluded Saturday morning with a final breakfast. The local group departed at 7 a.m. eastern time. After a 12 ½ hour road trip they arrived in Audubon and were greeted by family and friends in the parking lot at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.
The workcampers will be sharing their experiences on Sunday August 15 at the 9 a.m. worship service at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Everyone is welcome to attend worship and view the slide show.