Brad, 11, spent last week at church camp in Decatur, IL along with 200 other Jr. Highers. The camp allowed campers to bring along skateboards and rollar blades so of course Brad took a couple unicycles. Evidently, his unicycling was quite a hit because it sprouted into a major racing series all week between Pastor Bamba in his golf cart and Brad on his uni.
Attached is a collage they included in Brad’s yearbook sort of thing from camp. The book has pages of pictures of parts of the camp like worship, freetime activities, fun and games…all general camp stuff. Then there’s the Great Unicycle Challenge page featuring Brad and Pastor Bamba racing. From what we’ve gathered, the little race challenge turned into a full week thing with teams and alliances forming, trash talk (fun-type) challenges at the evening get-togethers, etc. From the kids we’ve talked with since, the races were one of the big highlights of the week. Our pastor’s daughters told their parents that they had never laughed so hard in their lives. Must’ve been really something.
Pastor Bamba is evidently quite a character (and well over 300 lbs). We hear it all started when Bamba walked up to Brad and said, “You’re the unicycle kid, right?” “I challenge you to a race.” So they raced and Brad beat him. Of course there had to be a re-match. That night, Bamba accused Brad of putting a 50 lb. brick in the back of his golf cart. So the next morning, they had an official inspection of the golf cart complete with a striped-shirt referee. When the inspection team was satisfied, they set up to race again. Again, Brad beat Bamba so the whole camp picked Brad up and carried him around on their shoulders in a victory march.
Finally at the end of the week, they had their final race. They lined up for the start and took off at the gun. Suddenly, about three other counselors ran out, grabbed Brad and stole his unicycle so Bamba could win. At the end of the race, the kids tried to pick Bamba up but weren’t successful. That night, the counselors claimed that in the interest of safety, they had rushed out and saved Brad from hitting a piece of bark in the raceway that was sure to send him to his doom. Bamba was not aware of Brad’s experience in unicycle racing so I just sent Bamba a picture of Brad holding his National Champion Racer plaque.
The Church of God puts out a video presentation advertising camp every few years that churches play for their congregations. Pastor Dan from our church was a counselor at the camp last week and said they’re planing on using clips of the race in future videos.
Sure wish we could’ve seen all the fun. But then again, it was Brad’s first time away on his own and he deserved to make the time his and not Mom and Dad’s. But in spite of all his fun and growing up, it sure is good to have him home again.