We had such a great and fruitful summer serving at Living Waters this year. From helping campers check-in, to having the summer staff over to our house, to leading music at Family Camp, to directing the Little Squirts (1st-3rd grade) camp, and much more. Overall camp had a great summer serving 600+ campers over the course of 8 weeks. Kids Camp 2 hit a record by starting the week with 109 campers and 10th-12th Sr High Camp grew to 95 campers this summer.
Of course, camp ministry is not about the numbers, though numbers are nice, it’s about cultivating opportunities to present the gospel and encourage people to grow in their relationship with the Lord. With our theme “Firmly Planted,” based on Psalm 1, we wanted campers to encounter God and become more deeply rooted in His word. We had a camper come this summer who comes from a tough background where the parents are not in the picture and struggles from early childhood trauma and depression. This is the second year the camper has been to camp, and during Kids Camp 1 he professed faith in Christ. He was able to come back for Kids Camp 2 and said he enjoys coming to camp and will tell others about it because “they take care of you.” It’s so exciting to hear when campers profess faith and encounter the love of Christ when they attend camp.
As directors of Little Squirts, we focused on helping the teachers take the lesson plans and make it understandable for this age group. This is probably one of the hardest, but best things we do at camp; sharing God’s word in a way that will help a 1st-3rd grader make their relationship with God their own. This year we looked at David’s life and his relationship with God. Hailey, as 1st grader, learned in her Bible time at camp that, “God can see our hearts.” Lydia, 3rd grader, writes, “I learned that God loves us all.” Amen, right? We pray that this seed of God’s love to Lydia will be able to be watered by other Christians in her life, that she will more deeply grasp the love our Heavenly Father has for her, for the other campers, for even you.
With this year’s theme being about trees at camp, the campers learned about: the process of sap to syrup, eating edible plants, taking data of how big and old a tree is and learning about the DNA of a plant and what all those scientific facts tell us about God. “I leaned about DNA this week,” said Liam, a camper from Dubuque. Many other kids put down what they learned about the plants and trees God created. Our prayer as directors, and as camp staff, is that the campers see how these discoveries about creation directs them to worship the Lord and directs them into a deeper personal relationship with Him.