If It’s from Chick-Fil-A, You Know It Has to Be Good!

Taken off of Google Images from a Chick-Fil-A in Texas’s website.

He’s a good kid, really. He still loves cuddling up to his mom to watch Phineas and Ferb and he’s not embarrassed to be caught hugging his dad. He takes his dishes to the sink after dinner, gets good grades, and usually remembers to say please and thank you. Yep, if I do say so myself, he really is a good kid.

The last few months have been tough, however.  I’ve learned he can go from sweet to surly in 0.13 seconds. He has perfected the art of eye rolling. Sometimes I think he would rather choke on his own tongue than say a kind word to his brother and sister. My friends who have kids older than mine nod their heads and say with empathy, “Sounds like you have a tweenager in the house.”

Really? Ten is tween-aged? I thought I had more time! I was not at all prepared for this stage! So, I’ve cried and cajoled, prayed and punished, looked up “surly, eye-rolling, back talker” in all of my parenting books….All to little avail. But last week I saw the first real glimmer of hope I’ve seen in a very long time.

Since this is the first summer in four years that we aren’t moving, I’ve arranged several camps for the kids. Last week they went to C3 Day Camp. I’d never heard of it, but a friend mentioned it to me and so I did a little research online and registered the kids to go.  C3 is sponsored by the WinShape Foundation, which was started by Truett  Cathy, the founder of Chick-Fil-A. Everything I’ve known that was associated with the Cathy family has been done with excellence, including and especially the Chick-Fil-A IceDream cone, so I felt like this would be a good camp. I was impressed by all the different activities the kids could choose: archery, basketball, drama, digital photography,  and wacky science, to name a few.

Every day all three  kids came home excited to talk about what had happened at camp. I was glad they were having a good time, but I also noticed a real change in my tweenager.

When my answer was “no” to something he wanted to do, his response was, “Yes, ma’am” and he didn’t ask again. He looked for ways to help around the house. Instead of arguing and calls for mom to referee, I heard laughter coming from the living room each evening. I knew they were spending some time at camp each day learning how to live life the way Jesus did, but good grief, what were they saying that could cause such a noticeable transformation at my house, and most specifically from my tweenager?

Friday was Family Fun Day at camp. Parents were invited to see what the kids had been doing at camp and then we were treated to lunch from Chick-Fil-A. As I followed the kids through the different activities they’d been involved with each day, I was impressed with the way the camp was organized and what the kids were learning, but I also saw what was probably a big factor in my son’s attitude adjustment.

The camp is staffed by college students from across the country and as I watched them interact with the kids and the parents and with each other, I couldn’t help but be impressed. They asked for and received respect from the kids, and in turn, they respected the kids and made each one feel important. I especially watched the college guys as they interacted with my son. These guys weren’t just passing time at their summer jobs, waiting for their next paychecks, they were actively and enthusiastically investing their lives into my son’s and into the other campers entrusted to their care. I stood behind one of the guys who was talking to a camper as we stood in line to get our Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. This young college man was crouched down to the camper’s level so he could look him in the eyes. He wasn’t speaking in that condescending manner that we grown-ups often use when we’re talking to kids. In fact, he wasn’t doing as much talking as he was listening….really listening. Every now and then the staffer would ask a thoughtful question that would give the camper an opportunity to tell him more.  I couldn’t help but look at him and pray that my boys would continue to grow into Godly young men like the ones I’d met that day.

My son is fast approaching an age where what his peers say will begin holding more and more weight with him and what grown-ups say may seem less important. Last week, that group of college guys who represent his idea of “cool dudes,” spent time with him and modeled what Godly young men look like. They had fun, played hard, laughed, yelled, and sweated together.  But those guys also took time to be Jesus with skin on in front of a bunch of kids who are learning what it means to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

I don’t know if one of the C3 teams is doing a camp near you, but if they are and you have school-aged kids, I highly recommend that you take a look. This was our first C3 experience, but we’re already planning to sign up to go again next year. Also, I was interested to learn about the WinShape Foundation and the different programs they have for everyone in the family.  No one from WinShape or C3 asked me to write this post. They don’t know me. In fact, I stole that picture from a Chick-fil-A restaurant’s website. I was going to say that I’m not affiliated in anyway with the Cathy family or Chick-Fil-A, but as many chicken nuggets and IceDream cones as my family has consumed, I’m not sure if that statement would be entirely truthful. It’s just that whenever I find a good thing, I like to share it. Unless we’re talking about my waffle fries, in which case you should just order your own.

Thank you WinShape Camps, Chick-Fil-A, Cathy family, and especially the C3 Red Team. C3 Camp Staff, this mom wishes she could hug each one of your necks, cook you  all supper, do your laundry, and send you off to your next camp with a care package of homemade goodies. Since I can’t, I hope you’ll accept my prayers that God will bless you and reward you greatly for giving of yourselves and making a difference in the lives of my kids.

*************************************************************************************************

I didn’t forget about the e-book contest. Stefanie? You’re the winner! In the morning, I’ll email you with instructions on how to claim your prize. Congratulations!

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “If It’s from Chick-Fil-A, You Know It Has to Be Good!

  1. Gretchen

    So glad for all your kids, & super glad for the surly cure! I think the key really is in having other godly adults model for our teens & Tweens. Goodness knows, they’re “done” listening to us. 😉

  2. I’m checking into that camp because I read the first paragraph and said, “Oh, she’s dealing with 10, too.” It has been miserable — M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E — at our house. It is not fun, but I still love my no-so-little guy. So glad your guy had a great week. I hope it lingers. 🙂

    • whimzie

      We had a great week. Well, at least two of my three loved it. My youngest son came home sick Wednesday afternoon with a weird fever virus and I can NOT convince him that camp didn’t make him sick. Maybe he’ll forget about it by the time camp rolls around next year.

      P.S. I’m not glad you’re in the throes of ten-year-oldiness, but I do take heart in knowing I’m not navigating these weird, choppy waters alone. It’s crazy, isn’t it?

  3. carpoolqueen

    We need to eat cookies and discuss this time of parenting life.

    Eesh.

  4. Lamarr

    Thanks for posting- well said! As mom of a 15, 13 and 10 yr old girls as well as an 8 yr old boy, I fully agree! The College kids who work these camps are LIVING for the LORD! It was also great to see them as models for future boyfriends and spouses for my girls – to be able to point them out and say “wouldn’t you want to date someone who loves the Lord that much?” And know they’re out there!

    • whimzie

      You’re exactly right, Lamarr! I have a daughter, too, and I would pray she’ll bring home a guy like that some day. Not some day very soon, mind you, but some day! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  5. Hey there!
    Thank you!!
    I am the children’s minister for the host church for C3 in Lakeland, FL. Our daycamp is in August and I have just plastered your blog link on as many pages of FaceBook that I can….what a great testimony for what I believe to be the BEST camp experience for kids around.
    Stay in there mom and keep fighting for their hearts!
    God Bless,
    Pastopher

    • whimzie

      Well, thanks, Christopher! I hope you get C3 Red Team! They’re my favorite team! (Actually, they’re the only team I’ve ever met, but they were great!) I’ll pray that you guys have a wonderful week.

  6. Isn’t summer camp the best? 🙂 I still love it and I’m not even a tween-ager anymore!

  7. Wow! A camp like that sounds wonderful!!!

    Ten is still young…enjoy!

    sandy toe

  8. Alex

    Being a current staffer on C3 green team, it is a blessing to see what my Winshape family on Red team is doing in other parts of the United States.
    This post is certainly a blessing to read and gives all of us affirmation that what we do is impacting lives for Jesus. It is a Joy and privilege to help point these campers to a Father that loves them dearly.
    I marvel every day that we get paid to become a child’s hero every week, and play games all day long. It certainly isn’t a job but rather a family finding ways to show Jesus to children who have never heard of him before.

    • whimzie

      So, Alex, I’ll bet when you took this job you had no idea you were going to get to be a superhero for the summer! Thanks for all you and your other team mates do. You’re no Red Team, but I’m sure you pretty amazing, too! 🙂

  9. halosmama

    My niece is on the Red Team and she is having a BLAST showing Gods love to the younger kids. SHe lives for Jesus and for doing His work. Going into this, I don’t think that she knew what an impact she would have on the lives she would touch on this journey.

    • whimzie

      I wonder if we met her! Please tell her thank you from me and my family. And hug her neck for us next time you see her. I didn’t mention the girls but I was just as impressed by them and was glad my little girl had the opportunity to hang out with Godly girl role models.

      Let me tell you, that staff works HARD!! It was hotter than the sun here last week but they were faithfully and enthusiastically doing their thing!!

  10. Oh, I’m so thankful your son got to find some Godly heroes. You’ve given me a whole new way to pray for my kids now: that they’ll find kids like the Red Team to look up to someday.

  11. Teresa Smith

    I agree completely. My son is now 14 and has moved on to “Olympic gold medal eye-rolling” but he just came home from his 4th visit to Winshape’s residential camp at Berry College in Rome, GA – two weeks every summer and the changes in attitudes and making new friends can’t be replicated. He got to attend two years of C3 day camp before he was too old – so know that once your kid is too old for C3 – there’s always residential camp! You’ll never regret it!

    • whimzie

      Olympic gold medal-eye rolling! That is impressive. We should be serious contenders in that sport before too long!

      I was looking at the residential camp online! Looks fun! I’m not ready to send any of mine to spend-the-night camp just yet, but I’ll probably be looking into that before too many summers.

  12. Connie

    Love that you published this. I get to spend 2 weeks working at the residential camp (2nd session). I LOVE watching those college guys giving so much of themselves for our kids. They impress me when I see them on their time off and they are reading their Bibles! Those guys are really spending their summers investing in the lives of the children and pouring every bit of God into them that they can. I can only pray that my son will grow up like them. WInShape is definately a place like no other, no matter which camp experience you get through them!!!!!

    • whimzie

      Thanks, Connie. Several people have mentioned the residential camp to me and they’ve all given rave reviews. I may have to look into that one in a year or two.

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