We started off last Sunday night with pizza donated from Pizza Ranch in Muscatine, it was awesome! Then watched a movie the boys could somewhat relate to, GRID IRON GANG, with a follow up after the movie by our very own speaker JIM FRY! His challenge was do you have the Guts to let God work on your life this week? Monday the boys woke up to the beautiful outdoors of stretching to the birds singing to get ready for their first run through the timber. Then breakfast out in the woods. Then they helped load wood and cleaned up in the woods and the creek, some sand volleyball, Then we had a hotdog roast and our guest speaker was Kevin Jandt and he spoke about ENDURANCE. He was a participant in the IRON MAN Triathlon and finished a 2.4 mile swim, 112 m. bike ride and a 26.2 mile run in 11 hours and 44 minutes. That's what you call endurance. We also had a guest that night that shared also on endurance, Tim Sylvia 5-time UFC heavyweight champion. That was a pretty packed first day of camp but it was awesome to already see a changed heart in one young man whom wouldn't even shake Jim's hand the night before to be the hardest worker for the day and was awarded a bottle of pop from Jim. Tuesday about the same thing, accept a little bit of playing in the creek in the afternoon because it was so hot. Our guest speaker on this night was Cory Smith one of our counselor's (and board members of the Ranch) and talked to the boys about the choices we make in life. Wednesday, we had a little rain, so we spent the afternoon in the basement of our house, playing pool, ping pong, carpet ball, air hockey and some of them sparred on the wrestling mat with a man named Dean that spars at Pat's Gym. Our son, Curtis decided to spar with Dean also. Thanks for coming out and letting the guys beat up on you, they had a great experience. That night our guest speaker was Craig Peters, a pastor of a church in Davenport, and also has been Jim's accountability partner for the last almost 15 years. He talked to the boys about God being number one and we are #2. If we follow that we will always be a winner, never a loser. Thursday, after working hard moving Brad Imes, whom was out here all week long helping with the camp. Jim and the counselors had a surprise for them and took them out in canoes down sugar creek. They had an awesome time. Our speaker Thursday night was Rick Fountain, and he had a story I don't think the boys will forget, he shared about making something of your life, even though you had one adversity after another, God's Grace is enough. Friday, after working hard in the timber again, Jim, I and the staff took the boys on a longer canoe trip down Sugar Creek, once again an awesome time. I almost forgot, we had awesome coaching staff from Durant here all week teaching them football skills and drills, to get the boys ready for a big football game in front of the parents on Sunday, against the staff. Friday night, we had one of our boys that graduated from the Miracles Can Happen Boys Ranch, back in 1995 speak about Choices and change, he has a great story to tell also. We really had two speakers that night, we also had another one of our counselors Brad Imes, an ultimate fighter, wanted to share with the boys, he spoke about perseverance, his mother sounded like quite the fighter and he talked to the boys about perseverance. Saturday night, we enjoyed food donated from Olive Garden, from the Davenport and Coralville stores, it was great! Our last night in the trees on a huge screen, we watched Facing the Giants and it felt like we were at an outdoor theatre. There were a couple nights it felt like we were walking on holy ground, God was moving in the hearts of adults and young men's lives. We topped the week off Sunday morning with church in the trees, with an awesome speaker, Rob Miltenberger from Eerie, Illinois, with an awesome testimony. He talked about us facing Giants everyday in our lives, no matter who we are. It was an awesome time, the parents and grandparents of the campers were invited and then we ate lunch together, and watched a great game of football. The staff played against the boys, it was so fun to stand back and watch the parents and grandparents watch there sons and grandsons have so much fun, playing football against men that they learned to look up to in a short week. We had one camper that wanted to get his haircut so he could look like a new person, we had a couple campers that were having a hard time leaving on Sunday. A couple not so dry eyes, especially one camper on the way home, he asked his grandma why he had to go home, he wanted to stay forever, because it was the first time he was really happy in his life. This grandma just wants to be a grandma, and Lord willing we will keep this young man to fill an empty spot we have so we can step up to be fill in parents for him that he has never really had, then Grandma can be Grandma.
Not only were young boys lives touched this week of the Got Guts camp, but grown adults lives were touched too. God was very present, we had a very busy week, but so moving by God's presence that it was a life changing week for a lot of people involved. I know Jim and I are praying about some more things that we feel God revealed to us through this week, that we would like to share but need to talk to our Board of Directors before we share a whole lot. God is Good and He is continuing to work miracles here at Miracles Can Happen Boys Ranch.
Thank you all who helped with our first year of Got Guts, I'm sure we will have another Got Guts camp in the future, we were blessed with some great volunteers for the week. We are sure God will bless you for the tiring week you put in giving of your time, your family life, and your hearts to help young men GET ON TRACK and GROW UP TO SUCCEED. Thanks!
I will post pictures later!