there are two things that many don't realize about campfire:
- it's probably the most spiritually transforming aspect of the trip
- they are not planned before the trip
Over the past few trips we've in some capacity opened the fire up for the youth to share. This year the parameters we gave the youth for sharing was that it had to be something that in some way fit back into what we were talking about with our themes this year. Boy have we had some amazing times of sharing - the youth know this is a safe environment and have opened up and as Jeff would say 'shared out of their brokenness.'
As for the planning - well it goes without saying that God is in charge of all of the trip - however the amount of planning & preparation that goes into every other hour of the day does not compare. One might think that if this is the most transformational time that we would put a majority of our pre-trip planning into this time frame. However, we've found it doesn't work.
What does work is Jeff and I sitting down sometime late afternoon and start with a blank piece of paper. We write the daily theme across the top along with the Scripture and we start talking and writing. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes sometimes it's closer to an hour --but either way whatever is said at campfire was not planned more than 5 hours prior.
The fun part is when we plan a bit in the afternoon and then God comes in before 'showtime' and changes it up a bit. This process of planning one of our favorite parts of the trip allows us to 'feel' the mood of the trip, to adjust things as needed for what's happening within our group and to allow God a lot of room (and help us build our dependence & trust in Him) to make it work!
So, there you have it - behind the scenes on how we make campfires work here on the trip. As I type this it's about time to go get to planning for tonight.