More Performing Arts!

The performing arts program at SPEC is expanding!

If you have a talent (playing an instrument, singing, theater, dance, improv,) we have a place for you!  We would love to have as many campers participate as possible so bring your gifts to the stage and participate in the awesome performing arts program at SPEC!

The Musical—–SPEC Presents: Space Pirates!

(Auditions: Sunday)

This fun musical tells the story of Gabby, a kid who gets picked on during a school trip to the museum. Everything quickly changes when an alien space ship accidentally beams Gabby and her classmates up to outer space. Things go from bad to worse when the alien space ship is suddenly attacked by SPACE PIRATES! A whirlwind of fun and adventure that connects us across the galaxy.

Talent Showcases—Extravaganza, SPEC Recital, and new this year…SPEC’s Got Talent

(Auditions: Monday afternoon)

Come audition for a spot in one of these talent showcases that will be held on various evenings throughout the week. Singers, dancers, jugglers, concert musicians, comedians, etc. Bring your act and share it on stage at SPEC!

Connect – Daily Themes

This year’s theme, “Connect” has led us down all kinds of paths that have intersected at interesting points along the way. Current events and the 24/7 media cycle can make it seem like everything is coming apart at the seams.

Fear, worry, and a desire to separate ourselves from that which make us uncomfortable can shape our daily interactions in subtle ways. As we explore ways to “Connect” this week, we’re taking a stand against fear and hate and bigotry.

The only way forward… to peace… to love… to community is by connecting to God and to each other to form real, lasting relationships.

  • Sunday: Connect
  • Monday: Have Courage
  • Tuesday: Show Compassion
  • Wednesday: Live Authentically
  • Thursday: Embrace Vulnerability
  • Friday: Connect

2016 Daily Schedule

Below is the daily schedule for 2016 SPEC,  as of June 21. 


July 23 – SATURDAY

10:00–2:00      Delegation & Staff Registration, Sports Sign-up (MSC America’s Rooms)
2:00–4:00        Adventure Class Sign-up & Performing Arts Information (Quad Tent)
3:00                  All Staff Worship-Delegation Leaders Meeting (Shaw Auditorium)
4:00                  Sports Staff Meeting (Closson Multipurpose)
4:30                  All Camp Orientation (Amphitheater)
6:00                  Dinner (Quad) eat as a delegation
6:30                  SPEC TODAY Facilitators Meeting (Walker)
7:00                  Delegation meetings
8:00-11:00      Opening Ceremonies (Amphitheater) and  SPEC Ice-breaker
11:30                 In Dorms – Devotions (every night)
12:15                 Lights Out (every night)


July 24 – SUNDAY – “Connect”

6:30–8:00         Breakfast (Commons)
8:15                     Camp Photo (Amphitheater)
8:45–9:30         Morning Celebration (Gym)
9:40–10:30        “SPEC Today”
9:45                     Delegation Leaders’ Meeting (Commons)
10:40–11:00      Delegation Meetings
11:10–12:00      Adventure Classes I
12:00–1:00        Infirmary Open
12:10–1:00        Adventure Classes II
1:00                     Lunch (Commons Lawn)
2:00                  “We are ALL Connected” (Various)
5:30–8:00         Dinner (Commons)
7:30                  “Let the Games Begin!”
9:30–10:00        Infirmary Open
10:30                  Campfire  (Commons Lawn)
11:30                   In Dorms – Devotions (every night)
12:15                   Lights Out (every night)


July 25 – MONDAY – “Have Courage”

7:15–8:30         Breakfast (Commons)
8:45–9:30         Morning Celebration (Gym)
9:40–10:30        “SPEC Today”
9:45                     Delegation Leaders’ Meeting (Commons)
10:40–11:00      Delegation Meetings
11:10–12:00      Adventure Classes I
12:00–1:00        Infirmary Open
12:10–1:00        Adventure Classes II
1:00–4:30         Lunch (Commons)
2:00                    Sports & Activities
4:30–8:00         Dinner (Commons)
9:00 – 10:30      Sean Bott – Mentalist (Shaw Auditorium)
9:30 –10:00       Infirmary Open
10:00                  Soccer, Track (Stadium)
11:30                   In Dorms – Devotions (every night)
12:15                   Lights Out (every night)

 


July 26 – TUESDAY – “Show Compassion”

7:15–8:30         Breakfast (Commons)
8:45–9:30         Morning Celebration (Gym)
9:40–10:30        “SPEC Today”
9:45                     Delegation Leaders’ Meeting (Commons)
10:40–11:00      Delegation Meetings
11:10–12:00      Adventure Classes I
12:00–1:00        Infirmary Open
12:10–1:00        Adventure Classes II
1:00–4:30         Lunch (Commons)
2:00                    Sports & Activities
4:30–8:00         Dinner (Commons)
8:30 – 9:45        SPEC Worship (Amphitheater)
9:30 –10:00       Infirmary Open
10:00                  Soccer, Track (Stadium)
11:30                   In Dorms – Devotions (every night)
12:15                   Lights Out (every night)

 

 


July 27 – WEDNESDAY – “Live Authentically”

7:15–8:30         Breakfast (Commons)
8:45–9:30         Morning Celebration (Gym)
9:40–10:30        “SPEC Today”
9:45                     Delegation Leaders’ Meeting (Commons)
10:40–11:00      Delegation Meetings
11:10–12:00      Adventure Classes I
12:00–1:00        Infirmary Open
12:10–1:00        Adventure Classes II
1:00–4:30         Lunch (Commons)
2:00                    Sports & Activities
4:30–8:00         Dinner (Commons)
6:00                     SPEC Recital (Carol Hall)
8:00 – 9:30       Extravaganza (MSC)
9:30 –10:00       Infirmary Open
9:45 –10:45       Marcus Monroe – Comedian/Juggler (Shaw Auditorium)
11:30                   In Dorms – Devotions (every night)
12:15                   Lights Out (every night)

 


July 28 – THURSDAY – “Embrace Vulnerability/Be Present

7:15–8:30         Breakfast (Commons)
8:45–9:30         Morning Celebration (Gym)
9:40–10:30        “SPEC Today”
9:45                     Delegation Leaders’ Meeting (Commons)
10:40–11:00      Delegation Meetings
11:10–12:00      Adventure Classes I
12:00–1:00        Infirmary Open
12:10–1:00        Adventure Classes II
1:00–4:30         Lunch (Commons)
2:00                    Sports & Activities
4:30–8:00         Dinner (Commons)
8:00 – 9:30       “SPEC Presents” (Shaw Auditorium)
9:30 –10:00       Infirmary Open
9:45 –10:45       Communion (Amphitheater)
11:30                   In Dorms – Devotions (every night)
12:15                   Lights Out (every night)


July 29 – FRIDAY – “Connect”

7:15–8:30         Breakfast (Commons)
8:45–9:30         Morning Celebration (Gym)
9:30–11:00        RetroSPECtive (Gym)
11:00                   Delegation Meetings
11:00–12:00      Infirmary Open
11:00–4:30        Lunch (Commons)
1:00                     Sports & Activities
4:30–8:00         Dinner (Commons)
5:00–9:00         “Art in the Park” (Zimmerman Tent)
8:00–9:30         SPEC’s Got Talent and School of Rock
9:30–10:00        Infirmary Open
9:30–11:30        Dance Party on the Quad
11:30                   In Dorms – Devotions (every night)
12:15                   Lights Out (every night)


July 30 – SATURDAY

6:30–7:45         Breakfast
8:00–9:15         Delegation Worship
9:30                  Closing Ceremonies (Gym)

 


GU Schedule Highlights

1:00–7:00         Daily – Escape Room Open
2:00–5:00         Daily – Fun Activities under the Tent
1:00                  Tuesday – W.B. Smith Applications Due\
6:30–7:30         Tuesday – New Student Reception
4:00–6:00         Wednesday – W.B. Smith Reception

2016 Dates and Fees

We’re getting really excited about SPEC 2016 this summer! We had a planning meeting last night via video conference and there are some really great things emerging around our theme this year.

Some basic info that will be helpful for all of us! 

Dates: July 23-30

Fees: All fees remain the same as 2015. See detailed info on the Registration page.

Theme: Connect

If you have questions or need more info about a specific topic, please contact us at spec@CofChrist.org.

Maybe…maybe there IS hope

Maybe I’m watching too much news. Maybe I’m not watching enough. Maybe I’m paying a little too close attention to the events around me. Maybe I’m not paying enough attention. I’m definitely not doing enough. I’m anxious. I worry. And if I’m truly honest with myself, I’m a bit fearful. Ok, I’m more than a “bit” fearful.

Sarah wrote a great blog last week about Mary’s decision to let go and follow God. Even though Mary didn’t quite understand, was worried and apprehensive, she still put her trust in God.  This is the beautiful season of advent – preparing for the birth of Jesus. (For real, this is one of THE biggest events in Christianity. Imagine being told you’re going to meet your favorite celeb. Think about how you’d prepare for that meeting. What would you wear, what would you say, can you do it without fangirling out but still make a lasting impression, will they like you, what if you become friends, omg omg omg. Ok, so preparing for the birth of Jesus is a little different. But hold on to that excitement. That’s the shared experience here.) So this time of year is supposed to be joyful and exciting and light and all the feel-good warmth and hot chocolate with marshmallow sweetness of “the most wonderful time of the year.” Right? At least that’s what I’m told. This year, I’m sort of experiencing all of those things, but they’re mostly whispers. My anxiety is speaking louder. I’m doing my best to keep the season alive for my young children, but in the evening when they’re in bed I check out the news and I’m saddened about this world they’re growing up in:

Fear. Hate. Anger. Divisiveness. Racism. Bigotry. Aggression. Terrorism. Lies. Selfishness. Vengeance. Shootings. Loss. Grief. Death…

…Birth…Hope.

In Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People, Lutheran minister, Nadia Bolz-Weber (See her picture at the end of the post. I’m pretty sure I’d fangirl out if I met her.) retells the original Christmas story in a way I’d never heard before. It  was “a story of alienation, political tyranny, homelessness, working-class people, pagans, and angels…. [The leader, king Herod is a] scheming, frightened, insecure troglodyte who puts a hit out on a toddler…. The story reveals a God who has entered our world as it actually exists, and not as the world we often wish it would be…. We often behave as though Jesus is only interested in saving and loving a romanticized version of ourselves or an idealized version of our mess of a world, and so we offer to him a version of our best selves…perhaps so we can escape the Herod in ourselves and in the world around us…. The story of Christmas is as much about comfort and joy as it is about how messed up our world actually is.”

Ok, I’m with you. Our world is definitely messed up. (If I’m totally honest, I don’t care to think about the Herod in me.) So, where’s the comfort and joy?

This week, Jenn Killpack (Spec Director, extraordinaire) sent out another take on the season from Bolz-Weber from a recent sermon, “Bullies, Terrorists and Anxiety: A Sermon on Defiant Hope.” You can find an audio to the sermon and the transcript at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2015/12/bullies-terrorists-and-anxiety-a-sermon-on-defiant-hope/   Here is an excerpt:

“As a society our anxiety is at a fevered pitch as the powers and principalities rage around us.
And yet…it’s Advent. A time when we are supposed to be finding hope and peace.
So in the cacophony of other messages from the rulers of this world…in the midst of this, I wonder if maybe we are quiet and tilt our heads a certain direction, if we can again hear the word of the Lord – who skips over all that crap and comes instead in the promises from John the Baptist saying ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
That’s right – not ‘all shall see tyranny’ or ‘all shall see terror’ but all shall see the salvation of God.
I want to claim that promise as our own. But it’s so hard right now….
So if you too are anxious and can not pray maybe we can all take a note from an Advent message from Brother Curtis of the Society of St John the Evangelist: who suggests that maybe what we can do is to pray for the conversion of our anxiety. Because, he says, when anxiety is converted, you know what it becomes? It becomes hope…If you have anxiety now, you are almost hopeful. You’re like, superclose.
So here’s a word from the Lord to an anxious people praying for the conversion of our anxiety: Here is what pushed me that tiny distance between anxiety and hope this week. It was when I realized this:
You know that list of powerful men at the beginning of our reading? You know, the ones whose power at the time must have seemed insurmountable? – the names of these emperors and rulers and governors and power brokers who were so feared and powerful at the time- you know what? The only reason anyone knows their names…the only reason anyone even says their names – the only reason these tiny, pathetic so-called powerful men are even remembered at all 2,000 years later is as a footnote to Jesus of Nazareth. Those who were caught up into the powers and principalities of violence and empire and greed – whose power at the time they were alive felt so absolute– are only a footnote to Jesus. Jesus – the prince of peace, the man of sorrows, the friend of sinners, the forgiver of enemies.
So my prayer this week when I just didn’t know what to pray was simple. I named every single thing and person that seems so powerful right now as to feel inescapable – rulers, tyrants, my own sins, societal forces etc. and I named them and then said ‘footnote’.
Pontias Pilate – footnote
The Islamic state – footnote
My own participation in the things I say I don’t believe in – footnote
The gun lobby – footnote
Your depression – footnote
Your boss – footnote
Student Loans – footnote
Xenophobic violence – footnote
Don’t mistake me – all of these things are very real and the horrible effect they have on us and on the world is also very real. But in the big picture I defiantly believe that God can redeem it. All of it. Our God will be victorious turning swords into plough-shares and anxiety into hope. I will cling to the promise that ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

What feelings, big or small, are preventing you from living hope, love, joy and peace?

Take a moment to list them out as Bolz-Weber did and next to them give them their proper label – footnote. (Feel free to list out some of those in the comments section or on our Spec Facebook page.)

Let the idea of “footnote” sink in.

Defiantly let God redeem all of it!

Know that in the world you and I and my kids are living in, there is hope. Love. Joy. Peace.

Know the promises from John the Baptist, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall me made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

My hope for you is that you reflect upon how the Christmas story relates to what is happening around us today. May you find comfort and peace in that. May you know the excitement of Advent. May your anxiety morph to hope. May the rest of this year and all of next be full of God redeeming your footnotes.

With love,
Callie

 

nadia-bolz-webber.jpg

Nadia Bolz-Weber (Alex Baker Photography http://www.christiantoday.com)

 

 

Get Ready…Get Set…

by Sarah Steinberg

Stores have been preparing for months. Children start scoping out toy catalogs and lists are being made. In my house the day after Thanksgiving is the day that the boxes come out of the basement and the decorations start going up. Christmas is coming!

Last Sunday was actually the start of the advent season. Advent is the few weeks before Christmas that we start preparing for the birth of Jesus. There is a lot of preparing that happens at Christmas. We prepare decorations and gift lists, for parties and festivities we only do once a year. These are all things that mark the season. They are a big deal and we spend time getting ready. But recently I keep thinking, am I really prepared? Not just for the decorating and parties but am I really ready to say yes to this amazing thing- when the Christ comes a little closer to this place again this year.

What do you do to start getting ready for the birth of Jesus? Do you think about mangers and sheep and what it would have been like to be born in a stable? Kinda gross probably- not my first choice. Do you think about what a dangerous time it must have been? All those people with such great expectations? Some who want Jesus to save them- be their king and yet they stare into the face of a child and are confused and doubt. I think I would too.

I often think about the already but not yet-ness of Christ. We know he’s come and is coming and will come again. That he’s here with us now and will come again, both in our celebration and remembrance of the gift of the Christ child born in a manager but we also prepare for the coming of Christ in the future as we continue to prepare his kingdom here on Earth.

It’s all a little confusing and yet- I sometimes wonder if I just go through the motions of Christmas. If faced with the same challenges as Mary and Joseph- would I let go, and say yes?

There’s Something about Mary

So… here we have a girl, likely 13-15 years of age. She’s a peasant and she’s engaged to a pretty religious guy. An angelic figure visits her saying that she’s found favor with God and is going to conceive a son by the Holy Spirit.

I’m not sure about you but I think I’d be a little freaked out. We don’t think a lot about Mary until it’s time to dust off the little figurine for the nativity. This week I started thinking about Mary and what she had to say ‘Yes’ to and what she had to let go of.

I think Mary deserves our attention for at least a moment because in her we see what casting our lot with and being blessed by God really looks like. Namely that being blessed means seeing God in the world and trusting that God is at work even in things we can’t see, or understand, or imagine.

Mary saying “God, I’m yours. Let’s do this thing.” She said yes.

She didn’t say yes because she thought by doing so God was going to shower her with cash and prizes. No. Here’s where this girl had some serious chops. She got something I really struggle to understand: that getting a blessing is not the same as getting a present. She said yes not based on the expectation of things being awesome for her but based on the expectation that God can create something out of nothing.

“Ok, I don’t understand what’s going on and I know that my life isn’t going to end up looking like one I would choose out of a catalogue but I trust that God is at work in all of it.”

Blessedness is being used for God’s purpose more than it’s getting what I want or things being easy.

That yes she gave was fierce!

Christmas itself isn’t about getting what you want, or making sure you’re giving others what they want. To experience Christmas is to trust that God can do this thing again. God can again be born in me, in you, in this broken mess of a gorgeous world.

 

A Meditation Moment

Shane and Shane- Yearn

 

Try Out A New Mantra

This week I will say YES! I am being used by God.

 

Sending Forth

May the God through whom nothing is impossible help you to be like Mary….saying a fierce, or timid, or quiet, or confident yes.