God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18).  So He formed Eve from Adam’s rib.  Thus began the first marriage and eventually the first family.  As history has shown, we were not meant to be alone, but we were created for fellowship, both with God and each other.  From an evening watching the fireworks as families, to an afternoon of horses and wagon rides at the farm, to learning about God’s creation through nature programs, kids and adults of all ages enjoyed a time of intentional fellowship at this year’s family camp.  

According to one family who had never been to camp before, their experience was one they would definitely recommend–a time of refreshing and connecting.  Meet the Kappels.  Recently moved to the area, Ryan Kappel has taken on a Pastor of Equipping role at Grace Church in Viroqua.  Ryan and Amanda have two children, Selah, who is five and Toby, who is three.  (Also pictured is Lydia Jackson, their Kid Caddy).  We asked them to share a little bit more about their first time at Living Waters, and here are their answers:

What were your first impressions of camp?

“Welcoming and friendly. You could tell that the staff, both full time and summer staff, enjoy what they do and are there to serve for the Glory of God. It felt comfortable, like a big family” (Amanda).

“My first impression was of the cleanliness of the camp” (Ryan). 

“The desire to keep God and his creation at the center of all aspects of camp was so evident and refreshing. It was clear that the desire was for us to relax and enjoy time as a family but above all to learn more about who God is as the creator of the universe” (Amanda).

Did you learn something new?

“Yes. The (Waters of the World and Extraordinary Animals) programs were really neat and interesting. It was really fun to “build” with the wooden blocks the way that Noah would have built the ark, and amazing to hear the detailed info about the different types of lizards, turtles, and snakes. It showed us that God is a God who cares about the details that we may not even know are there” (Amanda & Ryan).

In what way did the week leave you feeling refreshed?

“Being in an environment where you can unplug and be in relationship with other like-minded families was refreshing. It was really great for us to have a break from the busy pace of life and spend intentional time with our family. We were created to be in relationships and it was great to be able to do just that for a few days” (Amanda).  “God designed relationships and circumstances (in order to) lead us to himself” (Ryan).

What were some of the highlights for you as parents, as well as the kids?

“(We) love that the kids get to have their own classes where they are learning about God and his creation, not just being “entertained.”  (We also) really appreciated the intentional thought and planning that goes into camp. Parents’ night was a highlight and also the kid caddy! We also enjoyed Dave’s talk…so pretty much all of camp was a highlight!”

Finding enough Kid Caddies for nineteen families was a challenge, but thankfully through many prayers and the willing volunteers, each family that requested one was able to have an extra helper for their kids throughout the week.  

Highlights from the kids:

Selah, age 5: Spending time with Lydia, the Kid Caddy, and also archery and horseback riding.

Toby, age 3: “God made the little pony I rided and he maked snakes and I held the little snake.”

Family camp is a time for all ages to enjoy learning new things about God and His creation and take a step back to intentionally wonder at all that the Lord has made.  We were created for worship and fellowship, as well as a deep relationship with God, and Living Waters strives to provide that environment.

Our next family event at camp will be the Marriage & Family Retreat on November 11th-13th.  We will provide sessions for couples on strengthening your marriage.  Parents are encouraged to bring their kids along to camp where we will provide nature programs and activities for all ages.  Come to be refreshed in the Lord!