Bethel Camp News — 10-17-11
Thirty-three campers descended on Bethel Camp Friday evening as the Fall Junior Retreat commenced. The campers ranged in age from 10 to 14 and were as individually unique as the leaves falling off the trees. John McFarland the camp speaker for the weekend challenged the campers to realize: 1) that God designed them uniquely, 2) God wants them to use their gifts, 3) God designed them to be holy as they use those gifts, and 4) that a close relationship with God makes the first three possible. Justin Kurtz and Caleb Combs used their gifts of music to lead the campers in worshiping God with songs. They were helped by Katie Driskill and Anthony Gonzales. This group of campers could really sing.
The fun didn’t stop after chapel. The campers enjoyed the snack shop and ate a whole can of nacho cheese with their chips. I think that was because they had worked so hard on the treasure hunt which led them all around camp searching for clues as to where the treasure was hidden. Later, after snack shop, the campers got to know many of the other campers as they took a night hike ending in a really dark clearing where we could watch the stars.
A small group of campers got up early and walked in the dark up the Larkin Holler trail to the 4-M strip mine area and watched the sun rise over the misty mountains of Breathitt county. The changing colors of the leaves never look as brilliant as they do 5 minutes before the sun comes over the horizon. The beautiful reds, oranges and yellows paint a powerful picture pointing to the Glory of God.
The campers filled up on Breakfast Casserole and cereal before spending Saturday with activities, a craft project, more singing and spiritual imput, a hayride, swinging on the new swing and free time to relax with friends.
The counselors and staff are always a big part of camp and do such a good job of spending time talking with the campers. The relationships that are built during the fun times give “emotional stability” to the more serious times of sharing about important decisions we are making in our lives. As the camp director I couldn’t ask for better staff members. They are volunteers (meaning that they don’t get paid to come to camp) but they sacrifice their time and energy (and often their sleep) so that the campers can have a special weekend to remember.
As for other Bethel Camp news, we will be hosting family members for the wedding of Hans Stutzman and Kimberly Miller (Daughter of Tommy Miller) this coming weekend. It is really nice to have nice rooms that can accommodate the guests. Also during the following weeks, there are a number of hunters (both deer and Elk) who will use our guest rooms as their “base camp” while they are hunting on or near the Paul Van Booven wildlife refuge.