We arrived on Monday at 12:30 pm for the Young Single Adult Camp at Zonne Wende - about one and a-half hours south of Amsterdam. It was a pretty wooded area near S'Hertogenbosch.
Elder and Sister Anderson were there to meet everyone as they came into the compound.
Now this is how I like to rough it! There were 8 single beds in our unit, and we had them all to ourselves! The showers and WC's were just outside our door a few feet. The lights were motion sensitive, so if you stayed too long in the WC you were pretty much in the dark (unless you wanted to sit there and wave your arms in the air like a demented person!)
Our JoVo President - Ramon Kaspers - is visiting with other camp attendees. Ivo de Graaf from Lelystad is on his right. The short one in front is Tim, and Willem Paul (Deventer's President) on the right.
These incredibly intelligent-looking fellows are part of the human slot machine that was part of the "Life" games. You should have seen them when they were all rolling their arms together, imitating a slot machine. Hilarious!
Three of our Amsterdam students: Kim van Dyke, Vanessa Wijders, and Kim Stigter. And look! The sun is shining!
Everybody chills while they're waiting for the masses to arrive. There are over 130 young people registered.
Mitchell Shwaart is the Camp President this year. He has done a fantastic job!
I was asked to oversee the table where the young people could write a letter to one of their friends who was serving a mission. There were around twenty Dutch missionaries on the list.
Sister Van Komen was the Gypsy fortune-teller. The young people made life choices that were either good or poor choices. Of course, gambling at the human slot machine or going to a fortune teller were considered very poor choices!
The kitchen was set up with the object of cooking for a crowd, and a crowd was what we had. A very large, hungry crowd.
Sister La Frandt was in charge of the kitchen. This electric kettle could boil about 50 pounds of potatoes at one time.
The young people scarfed up the meal in no time flat. They were high-spirited and very noisy. It was impossible to talk to your neighbor sitting right next to you. Tomorrow let's sit in the other room, K?
Family Home Evening was very entertaining! I hadn't seen a two-headed man before.
Be careful with that razor, Elder Beckstrand.
The night games lasted until nearly midnight but that wasn't the end of the evening for these night-hawks. Many of them were still up at 3:00 am. Oh the resilience of youth....
On Tuesday I was put in charge of the volleyball tournament. I was so impressed that this young man, who is a midget, was still willing (and excited) to be included in the volleyball game.
The other YSA's were so great with Tim. They never criticized or belittled him if he missed hitting the ball over the net. And they always cheered him on when he made a good play. Such great sports!
Everybody ready for the serve? Ready or not - here it comes!
In addition to fun games, there were workshops every morning which covered a variety of gospel subjects. The young people were good about attending them - they weren't just there for a good time. They also came to learn.
One of the more intriguing workshops was the making of ice cream in these itty-bitty machines. The amount that would fit in the machine wasn't very large but the finished product was pretty darn good.
In the next room the girls were decorating cup cakes.
They shared the finished products at dinner that evening.
On Friday the Van Komens were in charge of the evening barbeque. Here they are boiling the potatoes for potato salad. We cut up 50 kilos of potatoes and 8 dozen eggs!
Everyone got drafted to help. I thought I wouldn't have to cook this entire week. Oh well....
Friday night was the "Cowboys and Indians" dance. Mark Von der Donk was in charge and went all out to create an Old West saloon for the dance.
The young people really got into the mood of the evening by dressing up in Western attire. Vanessa made a pretty good cowgirl, don't you think?
Micah and Kim are "Rootin' and Tootin' those six-guns and ready to get their man.
No amount of coaxing can get us out of these chairs. We've been in the kitchen all day, and after the barbeque we scrubbed the dirty barbeque grills for an hour and a half. We're BUSHED - no dancing for us tonight!
These lovely people are the Oddens - The Hague Center's senior couple. They live in Haarlem and serve in the YSA Center as a church calling, rather than a mission. Their elder son is our Stake President and their younger son is our high council representative over the Amsterdam Center.
These handsome people are the Boegarts. They are the couple who have been called to run the Antwerp, Belgium center.
These western honchos are the camp "Mom and Pop". They are the Gouts from Groningen, and did a super job keeping everything running smoothly.
The Van Komens, taking a much deserved break.
The last thing Saturday morning was a testimony meeting. The young people expressed their feelings about the camp, each other, and the gospel. The spirit was beautiful, and everyone expressed their love of being together with other LDS young people in The Netherlands and Belgium. They need this camp - it gets lonely being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in The Netherlands. They are often ridiculed for their beliefs.
All good things have to come to an end, however. Kim puts her things in the car for the return trip to Amsterdam. Jan and David Reijnders were also with us. We didn't think all the luggage and paraphenalia would fit, but we did it! We're looking forward to sleeping in our own bed tonight.
AND A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!