By the end of this week, almost all of the Bring Me Hope staff will be in Beijing, preparing for the arrival of orphans and volunteers. David informs me that, during the busiest camp week, there will be around 250 people in the complex, including 120 kids, 45 volunteers, 45 translators and 40 staff members. Between now and week 1, which begins July 16, the staff will be preparing the grounds to accommodate that many people.
“We are going to be building a water park, arranging the final details with transportation, testing out the bungee jump and the Great Wall, and getting the pillows fluffed for everyone’s rooms,” David said on Friday, the day before he left for China. “We’ll have a mint under your pillow for you—a Chinese mint that tastes like beans.”
Now that’s something to look forward to.
He said the staff will also be building a stage where our skits will be performed. There are quite a few more people working with Bring Me Hope this year than last, and David said he hopes to maintain the small-group camaraderie that began last year.
“That’s one of my favorite things,” he said. “Last year was amazing because it was a small-group environment and everyone got to know each other really well. The goal is to keep that going this year.”
He said this year’s trip will also be shorter, and he and the rest of the staff will be back in their respective homes on August 14: “It feels like a lot more packed into a smaller amount of time, so … there will be a lot more excitement.”
As the staff (or advance tactical strike team, as I like to call them) prepares for four weeks of summer camps, they will hopefully be able to provide the Bring Me Hope blog with some photos and first-hand accounts of where we will be living, playing and exhausting ourselves later this summer.
— Tom Pfingsten