The forecast was Rain for 2 days heading into Rendezvous after a month of record rain fall and still 2 more days of rain!  Phew!  Yup. I knew it was going to be muddy...but it exceeded my expectations!  GRIN!
                                                     A short video on just how much of a mess we had with mud in our tent... GRIN!


As always it's a chore to get it all loaded up and down there to the Big camp.  After we registered we headed down towards the FCF Village.  Hang on boys were going to do some 4 wheeling.. on 2 wheels..  As you get up enough speed to make it through the first string of mud holes into the pasture and going sideways in a church van is always fun.  Boys hooping and hollering as you try and find the best traction you can.  Phew we made those two yet 200 feet from our campsite were not going anywhere, stuck.  Push boys push... pretty soon here comes Caretaker with is tractor to give us firewood and a tow out of the mud.  FCF is men being a blessing.
Those boys that make you wonder if they will ever get out of neutral and get to moving.  Yup their pulling their weight and the Marquee is up and the the trailer is unloaded lickity split.  Tarp is laid down on the wet floor.  Cots are setup and we all settle in,  7 in the marquee with just a narrow path through to the cots...that narrow path was a tarp with 2" of mud under it. It was fun.  We had folk coming in to see the squallier we was living time 2 bales of hay come with us.. GRIN!
I have been looking forward to the Big Riverman Territorial Rendezvous.  5 days off work and a time to rest, fellowship, sit around the camp fire and relax and poke around and listen to tales and discover new things about the early years of our country as frontiersman went.
Each outpost seems a bit different.  Our group were mainly interested in just camping and hanging out and eating, horsing around and just hanging out.  Competitions didn't seem to inspire our group.  Yet I could see other groups going out and heading out for the competitions.  In other camps sometimes just the men came with no young bucks and still they enjoyed the events and the simple yet harsh life of the frontiersman. 
With the rain and the mud and the really cool nights most of the services were held in the new gym.  Services were held each morning and night and the competitions changed as the weather permitted.  Some went through their Wilderness vigil.  A all night long all by oneself time with them and God, Keeping the fire going to stay warm and praying. 
Some groups did their own cooking and I will say they ate high on the hog while other groups paid for meals and at 7 am, 12pm and 5 pm would hike up to the pavilion for hot grub and eats and treats.  Food was all good and the first night out was wild game night.  It's fun and interesting to try different foods.  When your camping it all tastes great!
This year has been full of wet FCF events.  From Spring outing 5" of rain, Fall Trace 5" of rain and then this event..we were all off the ground and stayed dry.  We all learn lessons often the hard way.  At spring outing 5 of our boys didn't have cots and found sleeping on  the ground in FCF tents meant you had a soaking wet sleeping bag and experienced the worst night of sleep in their life... yet they learned the value of a cot and learned a life lesson. 
For our group the best time we had was sharing our hearts around the campfire one night about what we liked and didn't like and how to deal with it as we grow up.  Often our young bucks don't have the wisdom that we glean through the years.  They see things in a very narrow perspective.  This camp with God's help we were able to break through some of that and build bridges towards Christ.  When a little light shines through it's Glory shouting time.  I praise God for the FCF and the quite times it provides to hear God's heart. 
There is so much.  I could write for many pages on this one campout.  Yet my challenge to you is to bring boys to these events.  It's not easy.  It's a lot of work. Yet it's what we are called to do in the FCF.  To give and to serve.  I thank each of you for sharing in those gifts.
Mark Jones
p.s. I didn't take a single picture this time.  I did put out a plea to send me your pictures and we will get them posted ASAP! 

Pictures from Bob Wenneker (Thanks Bob)