A Look Back at Summer Camp 2017


Laughter; sounds of kids playing crazy games, both in a pool and on the field; leaders and Jr Leaders smothered head to toe in chocolate; kids and grownups gathered around the camp fire making s’mores. These are just a few of the crazy fun activities that we enjoyed at Kids Camp and Camp 56 this summer. Let’s not forget Jr High and High School camps.

The same laughter with crazy cheers also came from the lake as the high school students had to navigate their cardboard boats (yes I said cardboard boats) in a race to the finish line, only to find out that the race didn’t end there. After the boats finished the race, an all-out war ensued to see who’s boat would be the last boat floating. It was an epic game of life size cardboard boat battleship.

And how about those same cheers when the Jr High students pushed through the obstacle course, climbing ladders and running through tunnels, shooting the target with a paintball guns all before finishing the race in a people-drawn chariot. They also played a life-size Hungry Hippo game in the pool, using rubber rafts and mini pool balls. Yes, bringing back the old games from the 80’s was a hit!

But wait that’s not all. How about worship and the songs of praise as we all gathered for chapel. We were challenged to the core by our great Heavenly Father through awesome speakers. There is nothing like students and kids singing and worshiping their God. The results? Joyous tears as we celebrate the restoration of broken lives and those that found new life, for the first time, in Christ. It wasn’t just for the students and kids, but also for the adults that were there as leaders.

From finding our identity, that we are Gods children, to the cleaning out of our old and new wounds. These were a few of the things talked about. Discovering that God’s grace covers all things no matter the circumstances and that he loves us no matter what, are some of the truths spoken into our lives this summer.

Over all, lives (both young and old) were restored. Those that went to camp were able to encounter our Heavenly Father in some way. Both students and adults walked from bondage to freedom. Some received a call to ministry.  Some found Jesus for the first time. Bottom line is we can all celebrate that Jesus is at work in the lives of our young people. I have been blessed and God is working on me (I guess you could say restoring me). God uses all kinds of different tools to help us see Him on whatever journey we are on. As I have wrestled with God over this past year, He has used Camp and kids to remind me of who He is and what He has done for me. Two verses in Lamentations 3:22-24 talk about how God won’t give up on me. I remember talking to students about this and reminding them that God will not give up on us. Funny, this was the message that I needed to hear as well. I also found a couple of verses in Peter 2 that talk about how we are His (Gods) chosen ones. How God the creator of the universe cares enough about me to choose me to come alongside Him and work with Him. To tell others about the difference that God makes in my life. That he loves me. I was able to share that message with students and kids at camp. The cool thing was that as I shared that message with them, it was also the message for me.

As I come to the end of this Good News Story I want you to know that camp matters. This is a ministry that works in the lives of the young and old. Without the support of our church family both financially and through your prayers we couldn’t effectively do camp. This is a great way to minister to our young people and us older folks as well. Continue to support camps and help us share the message of how Jesus loves us and wants to restore us to Him.  Camp is Cool!


Bud Englund