We signed Ellis up for soccer camp this year. Initially he was a little apprehensive about it, but after talking to him a little more we found out it was because he thought we were shipping him away for a week. His dad is a youth minister after all, when he hears the word camp that is usually what it means!
The camp was held at the Christian High School here. A friend from church told me about the camp because her son is on the H.S. team and they are the mentors for the campers. They spend time playing with peers, practicing skills with their mentors, and even have a devotion time together. Camp ended each day with awards for the kids that showed character throughout camp that day.
When we arrived at camp on Monday morning we found out that Drew, our friend from church, was assigned to be Ellis' mentor! It was such a sweet surprise for him!
Ellis really could not have loved camp more. He has soaked every second of camp up and now he is living and breathing soccer. He asks to play at home in the backyard almost as soon as I pick him up and he wakes up about an hour before normal and appears dressed and ready.
Today was our last day and Alaire and I ended up staying the whole time visiting with a friend and watching the kids practice. Ellis had told us that when the character recognition and prizes were handed out he would hide behind Drew so they wouldn't call his name. He hates attention on him. So much so that he would forfeit the prize to remain anonymous. I saw his hiding in action today even though we told him that kids were picked during camp and not by the coach looking out into the crowd during the last circle up. Hilariously I guess God has allowed his Anonimity to last a little longer because after camp was over they called for Ellis Oakes and his mentor to please see Coach Fugman. Ellis was supposed to receive the last award at circle up but there were two kids with the same name at camp. When one of those children was called right before Ellis the coach had to give the two remaining prizes to the two with the same name because he didn't know which was the actual winner. The coach goes to our church too so he met Ellis at midfield and told him the story and is bringing a prize for him on Sunday. When Ellis and drew explained it to me he said, " it's perfect mom! I got a prize and I didn't have to get up in front of everyone!"