The Summer Staff Winter Retreat is one of our very favorite Camas-run camps!
Scruffy started this camp in 1999 and over the years we have seen so many staff and potential staff form strong bonds of friendship and grow in their relationships with the Lord as they get the chance to be campers!
Yes, our counselors and the support staff that keep camp running behind the scenes work incredibly hard. This camp is their chance to be campers and to just enjoy being together as friends after a long summer of focusing on work and ministry.
Princess Leia Freyja is always thrilled to see the staff she remembers from the summer come back to give her pets and belly rubs. If this were a painting, I think it would be titled “Leia Rampant” as she gives a little hop before charging into the game of hockey.
Princess Leia Freyja is a puck hog and whenever she plays, she bursts straight through all of the whacking hockey sticks to grab the puck and spirit it away. We usually leave her in the main lodge, but she occasionally escapes and rushes to join the fun.
Scruffy was our speaker this week and between hockey sessions, snowball fights, and games of King Elephant he led the campers in thoughtful discussions about living in the tension of following God.
Yes, this is a game of King Elephant. It is harder to play than it looks!
What did Scruffy mean by the tensions involved in following God?
Have you ever read Bible verses that say we should be smart with our money and talents? Have you ever read Bible verses that say we should trust God completely to take care of us?
Another one is God’s call to selfless sacrifice and God’s call to Sabbath rest and self-care. Jesus Himself urged His disciples to get away from the crowds to eat and rest and Jesus Himself urged His disciples to pick up their cross and follow Him in a life of sacrifice.
We are uncomfortable with God’s word when it is confusing. But what if God wants us to live in that tension?
Yes, it is 100% true that He calls us to live faithfully.
Yes, it is also 100% true that He calls us to rely on His grace.
We had some amazing discussions as we dug deep into God’s word and the confusing but amazing ways that He shows His love, power, and care to His people.
There were also some amazing snow forts built and a spectacular snowball fight!
Rowdy games of chair basketball.
Quieter moments of board games, crafts, and time spent sipping cocoa and talking around the fire.
It takes an incredible team of volunteers each year to make our Camas-run camps happen.
Taking the time to pour into the lives of those volunteers and potential volunteers is vital.
Yes, they need to be strengthened and have the chance to grow closer to their Lord just as much as the non-staff campers do.
Time to rest and talk.
Time to enjoy Princess Leia Freyja snuggles or a raukus game of Grog in the dark.
Time to boldly guard a piece of firewood from the attacking team.
Or dig snow tunnels together with friends.
Yes, even time to be amazed that this tree fell a whole inch away from this camper’s truck and not flat on top of it!
Scruffy and I are always exhausted this time of year. We go straight from Christmas to Summer Staff Winter Retreat the day after, to a rental camp that arrives the same day that our summer staff campers leave.
However, this camp is so important. An important time of learning, connection, and just plain fun together in God’s creation. The camps this summer will be all the better because our staff had a chance to grow and connect during the winter months. Yes, God has called us to both carry our own load and to bear each other’s burdens!
Confusing … but beautiful nonetheless.