• John Howard

Epic Water Fight.

Rebecca’s blog about cat pee inspired me to talk about something more lighthearted. This is a story from a high school summer camp long ago. In 1996, to be precise. To put that in perspective, Pastor Jordan was 5 years old then. Sean Daley, Jr.’s dad, Sean Sr., was in high school along with his uncle Joe Keller. We were staying in two cabins just outside Pine Summit Christian Camp in Big Bear City that were owned by the camp, one cabin for boys and the other for the girls. The youth pastor was Johnnie Achord and the other leaders were his then-wife Holly, Kathy Daley (Sean Jr.’s grandma), Judy Beesing, and me. Holly’s friend Lorie was along to help cook.

On the final night, Johnnie took all the guys into town for “bonding” (aka ice cream and video games) while the girls stayed back at the cabins. When we returned we found our cabin trashed. All our luggage had been dumped out on the floor, sliced onions and raw rice had been put in our sleeping bags, and a line of our underwear had been strung up at the front door with messages written on it like “girls rule, boys drool”. After they had trashed our cabin, the girls withdrew to theirs and filled dozens of water balloons. Then they locked all their doors and waited.

The guys were incensed and began to throw out a lot of unchristian ideas for revenge. I told them we needed to keep it safe and have a plan. Johnnie prayed and decided to trust me and to let it happen. So we filled up all our Super Soakers and other squirt guns and set up a multiple garden hose ambush for their front door. Then I went to the load center on the side of the cabin and shut off their power. This was followed by screams of terror inside the cabin all out of proportion to the lights going out. Later they told us that Lorie had said “John’s a Marine. The first thing he’ll do is cut your power and then he’ll find a way into the cabin.” While the guys were being taunted by the girls through their windows, I went around the cabin looking for that way in. I noticed a second story window that looked partially open so I climbed up and opened it all the way. Then I gave Sean Jr.’s uncle Joe my Super Soaker and told him to climb into the cabin but wait a couple of minutes while we created a diversion in front of the cabin. Then he was to burst out of the bedroom, run down the stairs, and unlock their front door.

We went to the front and shined flashlights into the picture window there. All the girls rushed to the window and taunted us. Joe deviated from my plan by coming out of the upstairs room and, standing on the balcony, and shouting in his best Ricky Ricardo voice “Lucy, I’m home!” I thought “so much for the element of surprise.” But the girls were so stunned by the sudden appearance of Joe in their cabin that they were paralyzed for a moment. That let Joe come downstairs and open the door. We all poured in, squirt guns blazing.

After a few moments of panic and chaos, one of the girls shouted “the water balloons!” and they retreated to the kitchen where they had put them. The kitchen was separated from the main room by a counter instead of a wall so they began to lob water balloons at us from behind the counter. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t know to burp the air out of a water balloon before tying it off. So the water balloons just bounced off without bursting. They would only burst if thrown really hard. Which we were happy to do. After a short melee of water balloons, the women leaders shouted that we were destroying the cabin and to take it outside. So all the guys backed out the front door while girls loaded up with water balloons. Then they came running out the door straight into the garden hose ambush. Best Water. Fight. Ever.

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