Ladies Shower Make-Over

On the feedback forms that we hand out to campers, the showers in the ladies restroom were pointed out to be “scary” and perhaps needing a bit of TLC. Yes, there was a large gaping hole in the ceiling above them wherein shower users could view the various and sundry bits of plumbing. But if one is not fascinated by plumbing, a shower user might imagine all kinds of terrors descending upon her whilst she is bathing. Spiders or vampire bats or horror of horrors, a live squirrel.

And so the ladies showers went onto “the list.” Now, this list of needed improvements is quite lengthy and the showers remained upon it for some time. 

But then Indy, one of our old old old, really old counselors from bygone days (ie, he was a counselor back when Boo Boo was counseling) took the project on.

Indy brought his young family along and promptly began a weekend long attack upon the large and unsightly gap that loomed above the shower stalls.

This involved some sheetrock and loud sawing noises and some painting, but most importantly, it involved an exploding Mt. St. Helens amount of dust!

But all of that dust was not raised for naught. Behold, the non-scary ladies showers!

They are complete with not only an entire ceiling, but new blue paint as well, which seamlessly blends with the rest of the freshly-painted wall in a totally non-creepy manner that does not invite shower-users to fear any kind of creature that may or may not be lurking within the walls.

Which is good, because last time I was over there, I totally saw a squirrel eyeing me with its fierce little black beady eyes. No, the squirrel was not in the shower, it was frolicking elsewhere. But you never know with squirrels, they have proven to be more trouble than one would imagine.

Thank you so much, Indy! This just makes us all want to give you a hug … oh, wait. You’re really quite terribly dusty! Maybe later …

 

 

Boo Boo

 

Septic Tank Surgery

 

It started out as a roof problem. The roof in the Bobcat building was inexplicably pulling apart. Then the propane tank simply rolled off the hill where it had been sitting happily for decades. Praise the Lord, the gas had been turned off the day before it took that unexpected tumble. The ground was swollen where the tank had been. Strange, so very strange. 

Jon Torrence, one of our board members came up to assist Choco in fixing the roof. During the repair, they noticed water pooling by the Bear’s Abode stairs near the water spigot. Choco tried shutting off the water and it began leaking under the sidewalk. Only the main valve, closest to the reservoir would shut off the leak. Something was definitely going on. The next day, Jon brought up his excavator and they delved deeper into the problem. 

A broken pipe led to more broken pipe which led to a new sinkhole which revealed a septic tank that had been completely crushed by the force of the leaking water. Consolidated Supply donated a septic tank.There was much digging, moving of gravel, the earth opening up and consuming the dearly purchased gravel, more digging, and the acquisition of still more gravel, followed by additional digging. One dark and stormy night stands out in my mind as I watched Jon and Choco drenched and freezing as they dug in the darkness as a rainstorm rattled the forest around them. There’s nothing like rain in November to show you the meaning of cold.

But praise the Lord, the ground finally dried out (after swallowing an entire load of gravel) and they finally got that septic tank installed and all the surrounding pipe fixed and in good working order. So yeah, the next time you wonder what everyone does up at camp during the off season, now you know. Stuff, there’s just always stuff going on.

 

Boo Boo

Fall CamasCon-2017

The first weekend in November saw our 11th Fall CamasCon come and go and a vast number of board games were enjoyed by one and all.

Including a recurring game of Princess Ryan’s Star Marines. 

We had old veterans 

Young whipper snappers

Love birds

And even girls!

Although few in number the female gamers held their own as our resident Doctor was one of the final four in the Settlers of Catan tournament and of course we cannot forget the year that Meesook played and won a game of Settlers in under twenty minutes! Was it eighteen minutes or thirteen?  

Both deep strategy and lightning fast decisions were employed and of course the roll of the die, which is supposed to be impartial, but everyone agrees that Scruffy does better if Boo Boo rolls for him.

 

Some games may have run a bit long, Middle Earth Quest lasted about five hours, but the truly dedicated gamer never balks at such a paltry time spent in his chair … unless he is nine, of course. Considering that the aptly named History of the World can run seven hours and more, this was more than managable. Especially since no one had to get up to cook as the lovely Sweet Tea provided all the amazing meals.

So, whatever happened in the big Settlers of Catan Tournament?

Played on this fancy smancy board that Scruffy won by trouncing his good friend at his friend’s own birthday party … 

The Settlers Tournament is a highlight of the weekend

And Judah Wilks made Scruffy and Boo Boo very proud by continuing that tradition of Settlers victory in his very first tournament. 

The awesome Settlers-themed trophy was kindly provided by our very own Brian (Pyro) Herling.

Even Princess Leia Freyja got a paw in on the gaming action.

CamasCon was also a time of spiritual refreshment and encouragement. Though our camp speaker had to stay home with his sick family, the interim speakers both stepped in with messages about casting our anxiety upon the Lord. Such an important message to remember as people leave the mountain meadow and quiet forests of camp and return to their hectic lives. It was amazing to see the Lord working in a situation that we didn’t see coming, but that He knew was about all along. 

So until next year, when yes, you will get a chance to beat Judah, God Bless!

 

Boo Boo

 

The Mountain Muse

 

Our inaugural Mountain Muse Christian Writer’s Retreat was held on the first weekend of October.

Although we did pause for meals and a few learning sessions and a chapel or two, pretty much we just wrote. Ah, the writerly bliss. We wrote and wrote and wrote. Then brainstormed together for a bit and then wrote some more!

A quick hike was needed when our eyes began to blur, but don’t worry, after briefly being inspired by God’s lovely creation, we got right back to writing.

So that was how the weekend went.

Walking in the gorgeous fall color.

Writing

Autumn leaves and crisp fall sunsine

A dash of worship

Some mountains, some mirth

A little more writing, or a lot … .

Then finally having to bid each other goodbye until next year! A huge thank you to everyone who came and made this such a delightful time together.

 

 

Boo Boo

 

The Mysteries of the Camp Bible Cupboard

At our Labor Day work retreat I strove to organize the Bible Cupboard and realized that the Bibles contained therein tell the story of the many years that the camp has been a place to rest, be inspired, and learn about the mighty power and inexplicable love of God. The camp has purchased a few copies here and there, but most of the Bibles in the Camas Meadows Bible Cupboard arrived here naturally, ie. in the hands of forgetful campers. 

Camas Meadows Bible Camp was founded in 1973 and a few Bibles attest to the presence of those earliest campers. Bell bottoms, hair parted in the middle, and bubble letters adorn them, but the word of God contained within is the same.

Next came the 80’s with Precious moments and Cartoon Jesus.

Then the 90’s, brought us The Adventure Bible, rock climbing Bible, Hand’s On Bible, Lots of calming wheat fields, and the Teen Devotional Bible.

Finally, the 2000s left us with an assortment of leather hiker’s Bibles, the chrome diamond plating Bible, and of course a Bible decorated with torn purple scrap book paper.

Whatever decade brought them, these Bibles remind us of the campers who have come and gone and perhaps come back as counselors, speakers, dishwashers, cooks, and the amazing group of hard workers that fuel the camp work retreat weekends. The Bible covers change, but the Word of God remains powerful and fresh. The camp experience remains essentially the same as well. Friends and fun, indoor and outdoor games, learning from God’s word, and delighting in the beauty of God’s creation. After cleaning out the dust and any copies that were too torn to use, I returned the Bibles to the cupboard. It is good to remember our past as we press forward and I love that when a camper forgets his or her Bible at home, the campers who came before have left plenty of Bibles to choose from.

 

 

Boo Boo

Fall Work Retreat 2017

Labor Day work retreat is a weekend where volunteers young and old, first time helper or veteran, skilled or just enthusiastic all come together to make the camping ministry of Camas Meadows Bible Camp possible.

The big project for this fall was to replace the twenty-something-year-old metal roofs. A huge endeavor which would not have happened without a whole lot of help and many many safety ropes! In fact, we are still working on it. So if you are bored … .

 

Scruffy made sure that everyone knew where to go and where exactly to find that mysterious shovel, hammer, or pick-up truck that had wandered away.

Felling trees, trimming and cutting up the logs, splitting the rounds, and hauling and stacking the firewood necessary for a winter of delightful warmth was another important job.

Rolling rounds to the splitter was accomplished by our strong young teens.

“Enthusiastic” middle grade helpers assisted the seasoned wood crew in stacking the newly split firewood into the camp truck.

Everyone did their part.

Including supervising and instructing and spurring on our young helpers to wood crew greatness.

There were many jobs available.

Something for both young … 

… and old. Yes, Dean, that means you. The young, I mean! Yes, the young.

From washing a plethora of fingerprints off the many windows 

to holding the ladder so that Momma doesn’t fall to her doom.

Most people found a whole lot of dirt, sweat, and the joy of a hard day’s work done well.

Although, some found true love.

And Scruffy found that sharp objects are always sharp, even through gloves.

 

 

Boo Boo

Jr. High 2 Camp–2017

The theme for Junior High B was “Seen, Heard, Known, Loved.” Our speaker “Warhammer” used the song “Invisible” by Disciple and spent a lot of time in Psalm 139.

Psalm 139:1 –“Oh, Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”

These twelve to fourteen year olds are at such an amazing place in their lives. They are still children, and watching them laugh and play in the meadow and at the lake is such a beautiful reminder that there is good in the world.

But they are also on the cusp of growing up and are at that moment when their young adult minds are capable of the great searching and questioning and seeking of adult faith. They must decide if they will choose God for themselves or let it simply be something that their parents or pastor taught them to believe.

Psalm 139:3—“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.”

Warhammer said that “The whole week was full of great questions from the campers. Questions that challenged me as a speaker and showed a maturity that adults often don’t realize middle schoolers possess. In fact, I rewrote 2 of the mid-week chapel messages based on these questions! I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me that these kids needed to hear something different from what I had prepared ahead of time… .”

Psalm 139:4—“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”

Warhammer: “There was one time, I was sitting in on one of the girls’ cabin discussions and had 15 hands shoot up at the same time when I opened the floor for questions about the message or the Bible in general!”

Psalm 139:5—“You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

Warhammer—“ A girl from that same cabin brought tears to my eyes when she said her favorite part of chapel was hearing for the first time in her life that Jesus loved her so much he would have still died on the cross for her sins even if she was the only person in history who would believe in him!”

Psalm 139:9-10—“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Sometimes ministry doesn’t look like one expects. Sometimes it looks like singing worship songs in the bright morning light of the outdoor amphitheater, searching through the Bible during chapel, or memorizing scripture with the whole cabin. Sometimes it looks like jumping off the dock at Lake Chelan with friends, paintball wars, or a counselor who is willing to help you build a house for an interesting caterpillar. Warhammer reminds us that: “Sometimes, ministry looks like listening to a young man who was sitting alone in the grass at the lake as he tells you all about Pokemon for 30 minutes. Because that same young man, later in the week, just might be willing to open up to you about why he has struggled with going to church for the past couple years… .”

Psalm 139: 13-14—“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in y mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

It was a delight and honor for me to see my own son growing and learning, laughing and finding joy in both the activities and the chapel sessions this week.

Psalm 139:12—“even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Thank you, everyone who prayed for us and supported us this summer. Thank you to the wonderful counselors who showed their love in games and listening, midnight pranks and diving into God’s word, cutting off their hair and allowing the campers into their hearts. 

Camp is such an amazing place. A place where there is forest and beauty of the kind that God Himself created. A chance to play and learn with people in a way that has become so terribly scarce in our lonely, digitalized world. A place where questions can be asked and God can be sought with the honesty and bravery that is such a part of the Jr. High heart.

Psalm 139:23-24—“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

 

 

Boo Boo

Jr. B Camp–2017

I walked down to the meadow in the near dark on Friday night with just the outlines of the trees black against a darkening sky. The pale glow of lamps along the path lighting my way before I came out of the thick trees and into the open meadow.

I saw firelight outlining the campers and counselors who were huddled around the circle of the fire pit. Some lounging on the ground in the grass, some smooshed together on the benches, some standing quietly behind. The dog, sprawled in the grass, watching. Children jumped up and took a stick. Some were thankful for their counselors, a fun board game they played at the lake, or the new friends that they made.

For some children, just standing up in front of 60 people and saying “I’m thankful for Jesus!” is such a huge thing. No, it is not a particularly articulate expression of faith or the kind of apologetics one would expect from the mouth of C.S. Lewis, but this is huge for a child.

That first moment of standing before peers and trying to express how God has reached out and touched your life. Enormous.

How did you come to God? Bible stories read to you at night by a loved one. An understanding adult who always listened. Maybe that good friend who never laughed at your problems. Or that camp counselor who loved you even when you interrupted prayer with loud toots…for the 27th time.

It’s the little things that matter in the long run and for junior campers, they celebrate those little things with unabashed joy.

Yes, we hear about the tooting at campfire as well. As I said, unabashed joy. And I rejoice at these gentle beginnings of faith. At the camper who got to step away from the boredom of summer at home with parents at work. At the camper who was introduced to the beauties of the forest, the one who hiked for the first time in God’s glorious creation. At the camper who got to feel safe as he stepped away from pain and stress for a week. At the camper who finally found out where the book of I Timothy was and that Jesus is God. At the camper who asked crazy questions all week long, just because they wanted to know. Do not discount the gentle beginnings of faith. I watched children stretch and grow and be loved all week in such amazing ways.

I saw a little girl sitting next to Scruffy on the porch, pouring out her heart, sharing her hurts and her pain. Hearing from him that she was important and precious and loved.

I heard a little boy say “I get campsick when I go home,” as he waited for his parents to come and pick him up.

Then there was the camp counselor who had to pull a boy aside and have a chat about his behavior. But their talk ended with the child saying, “This has been the best week of my life.”

And who could forget skit night and that camp counselor who had to whisper every single line of their skit into the ear of every single camper in his cabin. He was zooming around the stage at the amphitheater, wildly whispering as the audience laughed. Priceless! Don’t let the fact that no one remembers their lines keep you from performing a skit. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

As I watch my own children take those small and vital steps toward God, I can’t help but be thrilled. Yes, Scruffy and I teach them about the Lord at home. Yes, we read to them from the Bible, take them to church, and show them how to pray. But there is something special about camp and when they are there, I see their hearts and minds seeking and open to the things of God. Techie, our speaker, did such a fabulous job of teaching the children about God. 

When I see one of them carrying his Bible to chapel for the first time or fighting to memorize another scripture for cabin points or raising his hand to ask his counselor a tricky question about the Bible, I rejoice.

What an honor to be a part of these little ones’ journey to God. To watch each of these campers taking one more step closer to Him. Not every moment holds a first time decision to follow God. Yet every act of love, every song and scripture, every skit and late night prank, every hug and honest look into the Bible is a part of their journey. It is such an honor to serve God here at camp, the honor of a lifetime.

 

Boo Boo

Middle School Camp A–2017–Splat!

The speaker’s theme during chapel sessions this week was SPLAT!

 

We spend a lot of time teaching Christian kids what to do and what not to do. Read your Bible, don’t kill anyone, pray, and avoid soul-squelching hatred. But we don’t always spend much time telling them what to do once a mistake (a splat) has been made. Believe me, the Bible has a whole lot to say about this. There are some epic splats, contained therein. Even better, there are stories of redemption and victory despite those splats. 

During the week Faramir, the speaker, told the campers about several famous people in the Bible who experienced major SPLATS. There are so many examples of epic failures in the Bible, failures that should have sidelined those individuals forever. Then God stepped in to take an impossible situation and actually wring some beauty and good out of the whole mess. The apostle Peter came up a lot. 

I interviewed one camper who said that his favorite things about the week were paintball and the final chapel.
During paintball, he and a cabin mate joined Dauntless, one of the counselors, in an epic battle. Their team only had three players left and the other team had six. This camper was out of CO2 and Dauntless was out of paint. The camper gave Dauntless a few of his paint balls and together all three of them rushed in to face a team that doubled them in numbers. With their last few shots before being overwhelmed, they took out the other teams top three players, making them even and earning a draw. The camper said that they considered it a victory, for though they were outnumbered and low on resources, they faced the bigger team and came away with a tie.

Then during the last chapel, Faramir gave Scruffy a chance to share one of his personal SPLATS. Not a Bible story, but a SPLAT from someone that all the campers knew. Scruffy told the story of how he attempted to impress his girlfriend. He convinced her to ride double on his mountain bike. Then he zoomed wildly down a hill toward the highway, sure that she would be deeply amazed. She was. After they spent the afternoon in the emergency room getting a bunch of stitches for the incredibly nasty hole in her knee that allowed one to view the various gears at work as she moved that limb, she even forgave him. In fact, she even married him. However, Scruffy cannot say the words “Trust Me” without getting “The Look” as those were the fateful words he spoke right before they crashed.

Four campers came to know Christ this week and many others learned the incredible lesson that God has offered us a chance to belong to Him even thought we will SPLAT. Even after we SPLAT again, He is waiting for us to run into His arms and accept His forgiveness.

 

Boo Boo

 

 

Jr. A Camp–2017

Jr. A Camp has come and gone. Princess Leia Freyja (the dog) made many many friends and so did the campers. 

Paintball Wars occurred

The campers had an amazing day in the sun at beautiful Lake Chelan

 

And Jesus Christ and His love was shared with these kids every single day.

What might just look like skits, meadow games, and racing to eat gummy worms out of a cabin mate’s toes to one person is in actuality love, poured out, all week long.

Campers step away from the TV and venture out into God’s creation. They have 24 hour access to a group of fun and amazing teens and college students, all week long. They are listened to, focused on, and challenged. Challenged to try new games and challenged from God’s word through chapel times and individual cabin devotionals.

Maybe they brave the dunk tank for the first time or learn where to find Luke in the Bible.

Perhaps they encounter the quiet miracle of kindness and new friendship or the amazing glory of meeting Jesus as their personal Savior. We had six girls and one boy pray to become Christ’s children this week and many more who were encouraged in their faith and enjoyed a week full of friendship and fun. 

At campfire, the children were given a chance to stand up and share what they had seen God doing during the week. Campers told of accepting Christ, seeing God in the little things, and having God help them overcome their fear of the horseback rides. Little things and big things, done well, done for His glory. This is what we strive to accomplish here at camp.

God is gracious. He uses our efforts, both big and small, for the glory of His kingdom. 

 

Boo Boo