A week before the Bundu camp Noeksie asked me to help as she was invited by the “Landsdiens” to attend one of their camps to see how they do things. We took 10 kids and they were soon known as Noeksie's kidz.
On arriving at Hoekplaas I was greeted by a very enthusiastic redhead. “Hallo oom Frans, kan ek oom help om die tent op te slaan” The tent was grabbed and erected in record time.
I noticed a commotion of a different kind as some kids came running from the rivers side, some crying and others covered in mud.
Leon came to the rescue and defused the situation in his own special way “Almal in n reguit ry!” When they did not respond quick enough to his liking “nie in ‘n bondel nie! ‘n Reguit ry!” Then he started talking, the worst punishment for a kid at that age.
At last I got time to greet Noeksie and she quickly filled me in on the events before my arrival. Our kids were in the forefront when the mud attack started and it was clear to me that this was going to be a long fun filled weekend!
I was quickly brought back from my dreams when I was that age when suddenly a whistle blew. All the kidz where once again ask to stand in a line in their respective groups. From there they were redirected in 3 other mixed groups. Our kidz did not like this reshuffling and some even wanted to go home. We convinced them that it was going to be fun. They played a couple of icebreakers before they were asked to get a group name and a creative team song.
Then it was time for dinner! After the prayer and the customary “Kos is op die Tafel! Smaaklike ete! Vrate eerste!” cries, every one was happy to settle down with a delicious hotdog and cool drink. It was then that my first duties of dad were called for. Pharmacist or that is how it felt when Noeksie gave me the medication for our kidz. I then realised the condition that some of them were in. Medication for depression, bed wetting to name a few!! What is happening to our Kidz of today!!
Again that whistle!! Every one gathered for sing-a-longs. Then it was time for the lifeline. Acting like a kid herself, Noeksie joined our kidz in the fun. Being blindfolded you need to follow a line through obstacles. Our team experts later rated this event as one of the best on the weekend. One little girl came up to me with droopy little eyes and asked “Oom kan ek nie maar gaan slaap nie ek is baie moeg!” We again gathered in the lapa for sing alongs that was closed of by Kumbaja my Lord. A bit later the kidz went to bed and the ooms and tannies sat at the fire having coffee. Then the rain came and we rushed to keep our kidz dry.
At 4o’clock we were woken up by kidz talking first in a whisper and then louder. It did not take long to realize that this was going to be a long day… very long.
Every one got up at his own time some tried to sleep in a bit when ....the whistle! First on the list morning prayer as well as Awareness. Then the whistle and Breakfast. This was the last time that Noeksie’s kidz were at the back of the queue as they liked the open spaces and made full use of the venue.
The rest of the day the 3 groups rotated between Herman (Leader development), Ruan (Games) and Karin at the T-shirt Painting.
Helping with the scoring on the leadership tasks was great fun. It took me back to the days when they evaluated me! What were they thinking J
I was impressed by the leader ship from our kids - if only they could keep there attention to the task at hand. But then again like father like son. In my mind I have already adopted them!
Noeksie was “helping” at the painting of the T-shirts. Our kids had all nice yellow shirts sponsored by AfriKing and enjoyed the painting very much. There were some great artists among the SOAP kidz and it was interesting to see what mission they were on. Some T-shirts read “Nike”, “Diesel”, “Ferrari” and my personal favourite, “sponsored by Me”
Ruan had his hands full trying to zap the Kidz’s energy. They played games they had to invent as well as the better know games like Softball.
The whistle. This time our kidz were there first for lunch but some not alone! Some managed to get a “friend” which they have to carry for the duration of the day with them. Some “embarrassing” punishment for not listening earlier that day. Hamburgers also topped the charts for the best meal.
The program continued with the groups rotating. This time they make crowns to go with their T-shirts from natural items they collect in the veld.
Evening arrived again with a whistle. They sang some songs before dinner as the main event of the evening started at 21h00 - lantern stalking! Special forces beware - there were some real talent. This was followed by a night march with a difference. Where did the Werewolves come from?
I think Ruan succeeded in his mission to tire the kids out because there were not a lot of complaints when the kidz went to bed that evening. Some of the adults even beat them to it. It was a cold night and everyone slept well.
I braved the cold to go for a shower. On arrival two boys told me that the water was very cold. I pretended that the water was nice and warm. When they left I could hear the one saying ‘I told you we should have waited for the water to get warmer“. I quickly jumped out and rubbed myself warm with the towel. I will not do that again soon!
It was great to be a Dad for these kids and I am glad that we could have the opportunity to have some fun with them. Kids will be kids we, as adults, should not take that from them.
It was difficult to say our goodbyes. When they left, my thoughts were dry and my eyes moist. It does not take a lot to make them happy. I know that they enjoyed it thoroughly as not one of them ran to the bus when it arrived. They also learned of the love of Jesus.
Thanks Noeks, it was great to share this weekend with them and we will do so often in the future so come join us!! - Frans
Some of my thoughts and feelings: Noeksie
A Big thanks to
- Elise for inviting me to join their camp.
- Andre for arranging the sponsorship and then for Anita, Ettiene, Alma and Freddie for the sponsorship – the kidz loved it!
- The kidz – Alex, Attie, Arnoldus, Branden, Boetie, Leon, Jason, Jaques, Wayne and Wesley - you were super!
- Frans – who really looked after the 10 kidz as if they were his own
The river crossing had some in tears but Little Leon couldn’t stop talking after the two of us got back
The kidz really had a ball – and all it took was nature and some people with huge hearts who gave their time.The river crossing Saturday afternoon was my favourite. Big eyed Leon (Picture below) never said a word before that – but afterwards he couldn’t stop talking.