Summer 2015 – #Tweet4Jesus
Another summer has flown by.
Campers arrived and departed. Stories were told. Songs were sung. Water was splashed. Paint was splattered. Canoes were launched and returned. Arrows were loosed (at targets). Campfires blazed. S’mores were roasted and eaten. And through it all, the story of Jesus was shared.
Over 1,100 campers were served this summer. In addition to the 372 campers enrolled in overnight programs, we experienced our largest Day Camp program yet with 83 campers enrolled, many of whom attended a few days every week. Another 63 campers and 30 volunteers attended our Shepherding Sheep program for campers with disabilities. Several local organizations partnered with us again this summer, providing experiences for campers with disabilities, campers working through sickness or the loss of a loved one, campers with cancer, campers experiencing family difficulties or living in foster care, and campers attending confirmation retreats with their youth groups. Several pastors, nurses, former staff and high school students volunteered their time, while others supported camp through scholarships and other means to provide these experiences to our campers.
Amidst this flurry of activity, the greatest successes were moments that might seem small. Campers from the city seeing an owl while on a nature hike. A vicar and a cook volunteering time to act as “villains” for Spy Camp. A camper with a physical disability hitting an archery target for the first time. Summer staff acting like ninjas to keep retreat houses clean. A child having a conversation with an adult who treats them as an equal. A counselor sharing their faith story while sitting around a campfire.
It is these small moments that we live for. The time to build and encourage healthy relationships with God and with others. The time to rest and to be refreshed. The time to explore and to be surrounded in nature. A time and a place to simply relax, have fun, and grow closer to God.
The stories do not end here; they are too great to hold in. Like songbirds, our campers leave Camp eager to share their stories of adventures, of joys and struggles, of friendships, and of a faith newfound or strengthened by their time at Camp.