This was a great summer camping season. Our speakers did an excellent job and we saw many great decisions made by the campers. The weather was great until rain and thunderstorms the last week. The only negative thing was that our overall numbers were down from last year.
For the first two weeks we had the Mikesh family from Minnesota. They are missionary appointees with Biblical Ministries Worldwide to Ontario, Canada, where they will be ministering to Canada’s First Nations People, the Ojibwe Tribe. “Uncle Rick” did a wonderful job with the campers. He knew all of the campers by name and learned most of their parents as well.
Rick used Magnavision Bible Lessons which, for those of you who remember, are like flannel graph. Every day’s lesson had a theme, statement and a memory verse. Rick also shared a missionary story, That Kid Buck, throughout the morning chapels that was about a First Nations boy in Canada. His two oldest daughters helped in chapel with music and did a “Good Job, Good Job, G – double O, D, J, O, B!” a phrase that was chanted several times throughout the week as was a two and a half claps.
Testimony time for 3rd & 4th grade week was an exciting time as the campers shared things that they had learned during the week. Several shared about learning to shoot archery, where Mr. Brian went over with them again how archery is a picture of God’s holiness and that we have all missed the mark and sinned. Several of the campers shared memory verses that they had learned. There were also four campers that shared that they had accepted Christ has Savior.
Testimony time for 5th & 6th grade week was quite different as it turned into a prayer request time. Some of the things that the campers shared were very heavy and difficult things opening up a lot concerning decisions that their family members have made. It was exciting to see their openness and concern yet difficult to see the burdens they are carrying at such a young age.
For 7th & 8th Grade Week and High School Week we had a former youth pastor from Grand Junction, Mike Moore (Brother Mike), who we were able to bring in from Louisiana. We are very thankful for the people that helped us financially to fly Mike and his family in. It had been seven year since Mike was last at camp as a speaker. This was the first time for his daughters, Hannah and Hadassa, to be at camp and it had been many years since Mike’s wife, Julie, had been back. The family was also able to attend a youth group reunion on the weekend at Calvary Bible Church, where they ministered when they were in Grand Junction in the early 1990’s.
It was exciting to have two former campers for our missionary speakers. Jasson and Kim Farmer are missionaries with UIM, United Indian Mission, serving through aviation. Jasson grew up going to camp as a kid, in fact, there are some great stories about Jasson’s adventures at camp. His wife Kim, is the daughter of Rich Stepanek who is with Alpha Omega Institute and has been one of our speakers.
Jasson and Kim will be working in Mexico. As a pilot Jasson, will be playing a vital role in helping missionaries get to tribal people in Mexico and bringing supplies. The pilots also help with getting tribal people and missionaries to medical help. They shared with the campers their testimonies, how God has directed them and what they will be doing.
During High School Week we had Shea Houdman and his wife, Melissa, for missionary speaker. Shea is a former camper, and his wife, Melissa loves camp since she grew up in a camp in Nebraska where her father was director. Shea is the founder and director of the internet ministry GotQuestions.org. Using the website, Shea has a group of pastors that help him answer any question asked through the website with an honest, integrity filled, Biblical answer with a confidential email. They also have articles and answers to questions, cataloged on the website. The website is a great tool for people to be able to use when trying to talk with their
friends. Shea and Melissa also shared about different ways to use technology for ministry.
Shea and Jasson were also members of the youth group in Grand Junction when Brother Mike was there. It was a
bit of a reunion at the camp when you consider that Brother Mike was formerly Aaron and Seth’s youth pastor as well as Pastor Keith, who lead music at camp for 7th & 8th and high school week.
Overall, it was a great summer season. We had 213 campers this year, twelve of whom accepted Christ as their personal Savior. There were some great decisions made: to read the Bible more or on their own, witnessing to friends and/or family, and several recommitments to decisions made last year.
For our high school banquet this year, we turned the dining hall into a Great Hall for a “Viking” theme and wore costumes of horned helmets and animal skins. Our meal consisted of roasted chicken, broccoli, carrots and potatoes in large pieces, rustic loaves of bread and fruit pie for dessert. For the dining entertainment there was an homage to the Muppets Swedish Chef via the Viking Chef.