This blog is coming to you late because we are still reeling from the incredible July we have had. So much happened! Both good and bad, but we are choosing to focus on the good. While this was one of the hardest summer camp years I have ever experienced, between struggling to find staff, issues with campers, and the constant fear that something will go wrong, a lot of amazing things came out of it.
We'll start with Senior High Camp which was a small but mighty group of future leaders. And when I say future leaders, I mean it. More than 50% of our high school aged campers stayed on for an extra week as a CIT or kitchen volunteer this year. I cannot express how incredible it is to watch our youth grow into the future of camp or how excited I am to continue to see them grow over the next few years. They spent the week learning what it means to put their faith in action for themselves by finding places to volunteer and ways they can represent Jesus in their day to day lives.
Junior High Camp was both our most difficult and most rewarding week. It was also our largest camp of the year tackled by our smallest staff.
Unlike senior high camp, junior high featured a lot of kids who had never been to camp before and did not regularly attend church, giving us the opportunity to show them what faith in action means by putting our faith in action.
The difficulties of the week did not stop us from having a lot of fun. Zach, Tim, and Pastor Gordy, put together an amazing program featuring walks to the river on our newly reclaimed river trail, old camp favorite and new activities. We can't wait to see how the seeds we got to plant that week grow over the next few years.
Our next largest camp was elementary camp. Featuring another small but mighty staff who more than lived up to the call to put their faith in action. After a covid scare took one of our cabin leaders out of the game, a senior high leader jumped in for a second week of camp and teaching our youngest campers and CITs how to represent God in our daily lives.
We had the opportunity to teach a whole new generation about who Jesus is as well as show them the fun that is camp. One of our elementary campers even developed our most popular evening event for us, with a little help from the directors.
Over all, one of the best summers yet! We're so glad we got to spend our 65th summer in operation with each and every one of these kids and can't wait to see how they grow and change camp as leaders over our next 65 summers.
So what's coming up now that it is August and Summer is coming to a close? As a retreat center we are getting back to our normal off-season work with two back to back quilting groups coming out to spend a week with us but that does not mean we are finished with camp stuff! We are excited that this month is going to feature our first ever CAMP PROM!
Sweet Valley High! What's camp prom, you ask. Well, it is all the whacky shenanigans of our summer programs with a fancy twist.
On Saturday August 20th we will be opening our doors at 3:00 to all of our high school students. You'll have the chance to come out and get dressed up in Fanciest and most fantastical outfits (Yes, there will be cabins for you to move into and chaperones to keep an eye on things). Then, you'll have some time to go out and play lawn games or hang out in the courtyard until 5:30 when our chef will have a fancy dinner all prepared. After that, there will be music and dancing until our 10:30 campfire at which we will say goodbye to summer and take some time to be together and prepare for the start of a new school year and all the changes it will bring.
Since we do not want anyone driving home late at night, there will be cabins available with cabin leaders and a breakfast and a short devotional the next morning. Cost is $50.00 per person and you can find the registration on the retreat page. Hope you can make it.
We will also be celebrating our 65th summer on September 3rd! This is a big milestone that it sometimes felt like we would not make it to and we refuse to let it pass us by unmarked.
What do you need to know about the 65th?
It will start around noon on Saturday September 3rd with snacks and games and all the things we love about being at camp available for you and your family to enjoy. If you're lucky, there might even be a river walk and some craft time available.
We'll have our celebration dinner at 5:30 followed by an evening of silly songs, fellowship, and worship at the campfire.
If you need to stay the night, there will be some rooms available for our standard rate and a strong possibility of breakfast in the morning.
Cost for the celebration dinner is $20/person (to cover cost of food).
We can't wait to celebrate with you.