Spring Break Survival Camp-2018

Over Spring Break, Camas runs a day camp that gets kids into their Bibles, out into the beautiful forest, and learning an abundance of skills from knot tying to how to safely start a campfire and sterilize a can full of water.

Choco began the week with teaching various kinds of knots and when and how to use them, but soon the campers progressed to that much-anticipate skill … fire starting! With snow still on the ground in many places, it was a perfect time to learn how to clear the area of debris, build a campfire, and both feed it constantly and watch the flames like a hawk lest they spark out of control. 

Just getting that little fire going was a Herculean task in and of itself.

But survival is always made easier by the help of a friend.

Next came shelter building. With a drizzle of rain falling, the campers were even able to test exactly how waterproof their survival shelters were in real life.

Of course, the children of a certain unnamed camp photographer and blog person always love being photographed!

Some members of each team worked on watching the flames of their campfire while others gathered a few dry branches.

Of course, sticks are incredibly useful for many different projects.

Not only does this shelter appear cozy and dry to young boys …

… but young dogs seem equally interested.

Choco, demonstrating how to boil water. No, really, it is harder than it looks. I encourage you to get out there and try doing so without a stove. Fun times!

There were many different knots for various situations and jobs. This particular knot is useful for whipping around a log or branch in order to drag it to a new location.

Finally, time to learn how to use a compass. Do you know how to properly us a compass? A huge thank you to Choco and our other volunteers as well as Bald Eagle who provided the wonderful devotionals from the book of Daniel. Survival, friendship, and fun in the great outdoors. It was such a delightful week. Thank you, all.


Boo Boo


Spring CamasCon-2018

Let me catch everyone up concerning the last few Camas camps on the schedule this Spring. At the end of March, Camas Meadows once again hosted our Spring CamasCon.

Hundreds of games, a room full of dedicated board game enthusiasts, and the entire weekend to play long into the night, pause to connect with our Lord Jesus, and meet other Christian gamers.

As you can see, the selection of games was wide and varied. Do you enjoy co-ops, deck builders, worker placement games, dungeon crawls, games that involve a giant praying mantis attacking either New York or Tokyo, area-control fighting games (my kids call them”face smashy” games), or quiet games about Japanese art that have adorable little paint pots as game pieces? Well then, CamasCon is the right place for you … especially if you know what all that jargon means. But even if you do not, there is always someone willing to teach a newcomer and cultivate a love of all things competitive … or cooperative, depending on your choice of game.

There are games for rivals, families, and games for good friends.

Then again, you might find that the words: friend, family, and rival can be used interchangeably more often than not.

The game above is full of all three.

As well as fun gaming and chapel sessions digging into God’s word, CamasCon also hosts a raffle benefiting the Camper Scholarship Fund. This young gamer won a copy of Stuffed Fables. An RPG wherein a troupe of lovable stuffed animals battle nightmares in order to save their little girl. Which honestly, is just about too cute for words. Adorable!

And that, my friend, is what CamasCon is all about. Connecting Christian Gamers: to God, some amazing games, and each other.


Boo Boo

Jr. High Winter Blast–2018

I’m a little behind, but in March was the Jr. High Winter Blast up here at Camas. Sadly, I missed out on Faramir’s wonderful chapel sessions and cannot elaborate upon them, I thought that everyone might enjoy a few pictures. Yes, of course we have snow for the tube hill in, March. Why do you ask?

There’s nothing like having your mother sneak up and take a picture of you when you’re playing games at camp. At least he got to wear his beloved bathrobes to soothe his soul.

How many Jr. High girls can you stuff onto a single couch? I bet they could fit at least three or four more.

The famous “darting out of your chair while wildly fighting off a friend before charging across the room game.” Does it have a shorter name? I’m not sure. 

Hiking to Inspiration Point

Is that Donkey Kong’s cabin?





Dauntless and Mini Van are in deep thought …

Princess Leia is always eager to join Partake’s cabin … or any cabin really.

Hiking attire at its best! 

Leia is making sure Captain ‘Merica’s cabin doesn’t get too close to the edge.

Finding fascinating snow chunks and other hobbies.

Will he make it down?

Um … .

Time for a break.

What’s so funny?

Snow games.

See you next year!


Boo Boo




Walking With

God is so baffling. 

Deep inside, I think all of us really would like Him to simply swoop in and take care of business. I mean, do we really need to live through that toddler having a diaper explosion in the restaurant? Couldn’t he just nudge us past the calls from the school principal, the stomach flu, losing a beloved grandma, or holding that old and faithful dog in our arms as the vet puts him to sleep?

Goodness, I’ve been a Christian since I was four years old. I know that He can. I’ve seen miracles, I’ve lived beside miracles, but for some reason that is not God’s usual modus operandi. 

On most days, He simply walks with us or rather, draws us into walking with Him.

Our family experienced just such a moment this week. The terror and the beauty of journeying through something we absolutely did not want to experience and yet being struck by God’s undeniable presence throughout it all. 

Last week was the Camas Spring Break Survival Camp. A day camp where kids get to learn how to (safely) start a campfire, tie knots, boil water, set snares, build survival shelters, and use a compass among other skills. Scruffy was sidelined with a fever and chills and so Choco took up the slack. I stepped in to help as well and things were proceeding despite his illness. Our camp nurse asked if we needed any help, but we couldn’t think of anything for her to do and declined.

Then we got the news from our mechanic, our car was on its final lap around the track. Yikes! So I jumped online to see if there was anything in our price range. A vehicle, 2.5 hours away, that seemed perfect. Scruff was feeling good enough to car shop, but we were needed at Survival Camp. So we called up that camp nurse and said that yes, we needed her help after all. 

Right before she arrived, Scruff began to experience chest and jaw pain. I went to camp and had a chat with her. We found out that jaw pain was a huge red flag and so I called our Dr. who recommended an ER visit. Scruff didn’t want to go in, but said that it was my call. We sat on the couch, trying to decide and I looked back over the day. Everything just lined up too nicely, enabling us to get to the ER, now that the nurse had arrived to help. Was God nudging me to take him in? I didn’t know, but told Scruff that we were headed to the ER all the same.

At the ER all his tests came back great. He figured that we were wasting their time and the nurses and Doctors told us that we would be on our way home as soon as Scruffy’s blood work came back. Then our room began to fill with medical professionals. 

There is an enzyme released when the heart muscle is damaged. It only shows up 4 to 6 hours after heart damage. We arrived at the ER 4 hours after his chest pain, they drew blood for the test at 5 hours, perfectly within that window. That test came back positive for heart damage. Something had happened and we arrived exactly when we needed for the Doctors to discover it. 

As Scruff was talking to the cardiologist, another heart episode occurred. “You are having a heart attack,” she informed us in stern tones. “Sign these consent papers!” As various nurses were stealing his pants and putting nitro pills under his tongue, he signed on the dotted line and they rushed him away on a rolling bed.

We had plans for a 7.5 hour drive the next day. In case you are wondering, Nitro is not readily available at your average gas station or greasy spoon. 

Another heart event occurred in the night. It required a Nitro drip and an hour and a half to resolve. We should have been in Oregon, far away from home and doctors and all those powerful medicines that saved the day.

Scruffy did not have a blockage, however. It was inflammation of the heart muscle and lining. With a good diet, calm exercise, and taking it easy for a few months, his heart should heal just fine. We are heading into the summer camp season where diet is extravagant, exercise is extreme, and taking it easy is unheard of. But now he knows to guard his health and get the help he needs rather than just pushing through and doing everything on his own.

Sure, God didn’t swoop in the save the day. Yet, in a way He did. He was so clearly with us, every step of the way. So I want to encourage you, just because the path is dark and the obstacles are horrendous, that does not mean that you are forgotten by your Creator. He walks beside His children. He tugs at their heartstrings and draws them to walk beside Himself. He loves, He moves, He is there in all His Glory and Grace. It just doesn’t always look like what we would have chosen but is no less real all the same.

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. –Psalm 23


Boo Boo