Expedition Bible Guides
Guide 1

Camp Surprise

  1. Have you ever been to summer camp before?
  2. Are you an artist like Ava? What special talent do you have? 
  3. Can you relate best to Soraya or Santos? Why?


Santos stared up at the rocky ledges lining the road. He didn’t dare look out the other window. That would mean looking down. Santos’s stomach already felt queasy just knowing the drop off was there.


“Everyone’s awfully quiet!” Dad broke the silence. “I thought this trip would be filled with chatter about all the things you’ll do at Discovery Mountain Camp.”


Soraya looked at her big brother and sighed. “I’m thinking about how homesick I’m going to be,” she admitted.


“At least Ava will be there,” Mom encouraged.


“But she won’t be in my cabin!” Soraya gritted her teeth. Ava’s mom was the camp cook this year, and her sister had a job in the craft tent.


“Ava gets to stay in the cook’s cabin with her mom, remember?”


“I remember,” Mom said. “Still, it’ll be nice to have your best friend with you.”


Soraya shrugged. “I just don’t know anyone in my cabin.”


“You soon will,” Mom said with an encouraging smile.


“What about you, Santos?” Dad glanced briefly in the mirror. “You’ve been to camp before, so I know it’s not homesickness keeping you quiet.”


“Um, no . . .” Santos took his eyes off the jagged rocks for a moment. “But the camp in Texas was so much more . . . um, flat!”


“Don’t worry, son.” Mom leaned back with a smile. “Discovery Mountain is nestled in a valley. You won’t have to cross any canyons to get from your cabin to the cafeteria.”


“Now that would be an expedition!” Santos said with a half-hearted laugh. “Mom . . . I did something dumb.”


Mom scrunched her eyes and tilted her head. “What is it?”


“Well . . . Daniel talked me into signing up for rock climbing. I just couldn’t admit to him that I’m afraid of heights.” Santos sighed. “What am I going to do?”


Mom nodded. “I see,” she said. “Do you think this is a commitment you can keep?”

“I . . . think so. I just don’t want to look foolish in front of my friends.”


“Thank you for telling me,” Mom said. “What’s exactly involved in rock climbing?”


“Um . . . They make you wear this harness and a helmet . . . Uh, there’s a rope . . .”


“I see,” said Mom. “It sounds like there are several safety measures in place. Do you think you can enjoy climbing knowing they’re there to protect you?”


Santos held his chin. “I . . . Maybe.”


“Well,” said Mom, “whatever you choose, we’re proud of you. Just remember—one of the best ways to overcome fear is to face it!”

“Hey, there’s Ava!” Soraya hollered as the car pulled into a parking spot. She flew out the door and ran toward her best friend.


Ava grinned at Soraya and held her hands behind her back. When Soraya got closer Ava’s hands sprung out in front of her, revealing her surprise. Soraya skidded to a stop. “Th . . . th . . . that’s a painting of my mom and dad! Wow, Ava, that’s amazing. You’re so talented!”


“Well,” Ava shared excitedly, “I’ve been hanging out with my sister in the craft center, so I decided to make something for you. I know you’re worried about being homesick this week. Maybe this will help.”


“Oh, yes!” Soraya exclaimed. “I’ll hang it right by my bunk!” Ava beamed. “Hey, this gives me an idea,” Soraya said. “I know someone else who’s nervous about this week. Is your sister still in the craft center?”

Ava nodded.


“Let’s go!” Soraya and Ava locked arms.


“Soraya!” Dad called out, waving his arms to get her attention.


“First, I’d better register,” Soraya said. The friends skipped over to Soraya’s family at the registration table.


“Ava,” Soraya whispered. “We’ll need some small rocks for our project.”


Ava gave Soraya a quizzical look, but Soraya glanced at her family and kept quiet.


“I’ll explain later,” she whispered mysteriously.