Tuesday, September 23, 2014

" I hope this precious boy felt God’s love for him..."

Camper and Counselor in prayer at summer camp.
Many people have influenced and shaped our lives. We are formed by a vast number of people. Who are those people in your life and what would you say to them if you could? Who has shaped your life?
Two specific counselors that impacted me were Johny when I was 13 and Ken, my counselor when I was 17. The deposits they made in me were life-long.
Quite often I will hear from adults that camp counselors made a significant investment when they were young—challenged them, brought them closer to a personal relationship with Jesus, wept, laughed, and walked alongside them as a trusted adult role model.
If you could thank those people that influenced your life, what would you say? And, if you could help provide the opportunity for kids to come to camp and experience a week with some wonderful adult mentors and role models, would you do it?
Thinking of the people that have helped form you should be inspiring. It is a great thing to help provide the powerful relationship that counselors can have with campers. It is an awesome investment. I'd love for you to help provide this invaluable experience and make a donation today?
There are many GREAT STORIES from camp every year that have yet to be heard. This is a great one from one of our counselors this summer that we were privileged to hear:
“A radio call from David notified me that one of the Pathfinder campers, who I’ll call Paul, was very homesick and refusing to leave the cabin. Arriving at Winter Lodge, I found the boy cowering under a bunk.

“Hunkering down on the floor at his level was unsuccessful, so I decided to pull the bed away from the wall and remove the mattress so the camper was no longer hidden from us. We still could not get him to open up to us. 

“It seemed that this camper was possibly afraid of being punished, so he was hiding in a place he felt safe. This boy wasn't in trouble, and I kept telling him that we were just trying to help him out. Eventually we moved the camper to the meeting room of Winter where he wasn't able to hide from us anymore. When we got him to the meeting room, he started to try to fight me because he had nowhere to hide. As a martial arts instructor, I have no problem letting a kid pound on me, so I let him continue to punch me knowing that eventually he would wear himself out. 
“As he struggled with me and David, trying his hardest to beat me up, he eventually wore himself out and cried on my shoulder for a while. I asked David to bring a storybook for me to read to him, and after reading through a couple stories, he finally calmed down enough for us to talk to him. 
“He never completely opened up to us about why he was so upset, but he told me that he felt better and was ready to go play with other campers again. 
“Something that we did while we sat with this camper got through to him and calmed him down. As I sat with this camper, all I could think about was how sometimes we treat God the way this boy was treating us. We hide from him and refuse to talk with him, but he is always there waiting for us. We try to fight him, and sometimes, we just sit there and cry on his shoulder. But through it all, he wants us to know that whatever we are going through, he will be there with us, listening and comforting, no matter what.
I just hope this precious young boy felt God’s love for him, maybe, hopefully, through the love we felt for him.
What a wonderful story! Your support will help give kids like Paul the powerful encounters with Christian adult mentors. A relationship that is truly a reflection of God. You can make a significant difference in a child’s life when you make a contribution to support this aspect of camp. 
The Christian Camping and Conference Association (CCCA), in their online effort www.ThePowerofCamp.com to promote the benefits of camp ministry, includes “Adult Mentors” as one of the biggest benefits of camp. CCCA reports that:
“According to researchers, kids spend on average less than 40 minutes in meaningful conversation with their parents each week. At camp, caring adults, counselors and mentors come alongside campers, helping them think through decisions and experiences in a way that will prepare them for their future. Many campers point back to a positive role model they met at camp as one who helped shape the direction of their lives.”
Camper learning archery from his counselor. 
Will you help make it possible for kids to grow and meet their God and Savior through the loving, caring, and passionate experience campers have with their counselors?
You are needed to help change lives. A gift of $100 helps us hire, train, and equip an outstanding group of young adult counselors to lead, teach, and mentor kids like Paul.
Thank you for being a blessing!

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Your gift will help make it possible for kids to meet their God and Savior through the loving, caring, and passionate experience campers have with their counselors. Please give today.

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