We had another excellent, but exhausting day at volleyball camp. Based off of last year, the (younger) campers tended to fade in energy on the second day afternoon session and we definitely witnessed that today. Last year they also rebounded strong for the third and fourth days, so we are hoping that is the case tomorrow! Let’s get into day two!
Our whole team had an increase in sleep quality Monday night, which made day two even more enjoyable then day one. This was probably due to us being extra tired Monday, as well as a less aggressive amount of squawking from the local hoard of seagulls, which I affectionately call “rat birds”. Normal morning routine with Erik, Marci, Carol and I having breakfast and chatting ,then our team walking to the Olympic Center to have breakfast with the campers.
The campers inhaled their food like they did the day before and we immediately spent 45 of the 60 minutes dedicated to breakfast/camp prep having free time in the gym. Again, even though this part of the camp is not officially planned for in the program, it is a crucial time to develop better relationships with the campers.
After the warm up we did a refresher on ball control that we had worked on the day before. The campers seemed more competent in their ball control skills. Today’s goal was to practice serving and spiking, which are very similar movement patterns. The kids seemed to really enjoy and pick up the spiking drills, which was great because of the “day two sandman” described in the beginning of this blog. If we were to work only on skills like digging or setting I’m not sure we would have been very efficient with the attention span/energy of the campers.
The campers also seemed even more relaxed today then yesterday. The first day last year they were very hesitant and warmed up about the third day. This year, we started off day one like day three last year. We are entering uncharted waters with the comfortability and depth of the coach-camper relationship.
One of the local pastors interning at Matthews Church, Matiss Babrovskis, has been doing an amazing job of organizing a pretty long break in between sessions of a full two hours. Besides games to break up the times spent in a chair, he has also been showing some short videos (I Am Second) which opens an opportunity for Matiss to share some more in depth challenges for the kids to think personally about.
During lunch we probably had/will have the best lunch of the camp (TBD). We brought in a local magician/illusionist who has connections with Matthews church. None of the Americans could understand him, but the kids were laughing and he had some pretty impressive tricks up his sleeve (pun intended).
Immediately after the performance, Carol Schaudt shared her testimony. The main message of her talk was relating athletes to Christians. As athletes we have coaches that we trust even if we don’t understand why they are doing something, we know that they are doing it to make us better athletes. The same logic applies to our relationship with God; it is impossible to fully understand God, yet we know that He is doing it to make us better.
The afternoon session consisted of more progressive serving drills and then 6 v 6 volleyball games. I’m not sure how the other groups did, but I was impressed with the volleys that came from the group that Marci and I were with. I also had campers tell me that they really enjoyed putting their skills together to play some actual volleyball games.
Of course, since this is camp, it means that volleyball isn’t the only skill taught. Tayla and Laura can teach and entertain in almost any fashion.
When camp concluded we were invited to eat dinner at one of the camper’s houses. A good Latvian friend of ours, Roberts, drove us probably a total of an hour and a half to and from our dinner invite location…Thank you, Roberts! Once we got there we were immediately spoiled in multiple ways. Their house was beautiful, they had an awesome family, served us an absolutely delicious multiple course meal, and most importantly had a drum set which myself and one of the boys thoroughly enjoyed thrashing on. The generosity and hospitality of time and resources that the Latvian people have blessed us with last year and this year continues to amaze me.
That about does it for day two! Thank you for supporting us and the campers by reading this blog…we are very blessed to be here and hope to make even more lifelong friendships and continue to spread joy and the opportunity to know Jesus a little bit better.
- Brian Schaudt
- Erik Update: Erik Simmons furthered the conquest of his “special project” by spending the day with Laima (who was actually at suburban Christian church in March of this year). The bulk of the day was spent attending the Latvian national art museum, which they covered head to toe. After the day’s immersion in Latvian art and history, he had a very productive meeting with the leaders of Matthews church to discuss the entire scope of the project and a project plan on how to achieve it.