Junior High Winter Blast!

The Junior High Winter Blast is one of our very favorite camps!

But so many times when I talk with people about this amazing thing called camp, this crazy life God has called us to, folks want to simplify the camp experience and break it down to the bare numbers.

“How many kids chose to follow Christ?” they ask. “How many rededications and baptisms?”

As someone who has sat with teens on the day they chose not to give up, chose to trust God with something impossible, chose to open the Bible again after a dry stretch, chose to forgive, pray, change, grow, or just get up in the morning one more time . . . this hurts so much to hear.

God is at work in a myriad of ways during a weekend of camp.

His transforming power is so much more glorious than what a handful of numbers can express.

What about the weekends where we water those tender seeds, planted in the hearts of children by their parents and Sunday school teachers? What about the weeks where campers simply get the joy of being children in the forest with new friends in a place where they feel safe? What about the kids who are already Christians, already following their Lord with everything they have, but they are discouraged and tired and sad? What about that camp that brings them a moment of joy, a taste of courage, and new forever friends for the hard times when they go back home? All the work that God does here is Holy. Please, don’t forget this truth.

That being said, this was a weekend of joy, of children making tough decisions with big smiles on their faces, a time of beautiful and glorious harvest. But please don’t forget, God is bigger than numbers, my friends. His work is so much more.

Faramir returned as our speaker to talk with kids about how Jesus is our example.

Ephesians 4:32 -”Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Here, one of our hard-working kitchen helpers demonstrates the expression on her face as she (and many others) were falling on the ice in the camp parking lot! It was pretty exciting!

This year we were thrilled to have a whole passel of middle schoolers who were brand new to ideas like church, faith, and Jesus. Faramir is such a great choice for a group like this. He is a substitute teacher and soccer referee as well as a youth pastor. In the first session he assured campers that they didn’t need to know it all, that just learning one new thing was awesome, and that God is so patient and understanding with us as we grow!

Then Faramir taught about how Jesus encountered a leper and touched him. Because Jesus was willing to become “unclean” by reaching out to a leper, Jesus spread healing and life and the leper was no longer unclean and ostracized from society. Even more than his physical healing though, God met him and showed him He cared.

What a picture of God’s love for us!

Just like the leper was separated from society by the ravages of disease, each of us is separated from God by the festering of sin in our lives. But Jesus reaches out, takes what is unclean in us upon himself, and gives us his healing and His life!

Now, Junior High Winter Blast also has some amazing activities to go along with the amazing chapel sessions!

Campers enjoyed some fabulous trips down Camas Meadows Bible Camp’s famous tube hill!

Fresh snow, a sunny day, and time with new friends flying down the mountain side brought kids together in ways that a day inside in front of the computer just can’t!

On Saturday, Faramir spoke about how following Jesus has a cost.

How it often means having less in this life or even suffering for living like Jesus did. Even so, those who follow Christ are called to trust God anyway because of His great love and kindness.

On Saturday, Scruffy led a hike up to Inspiration Point.

It was such a gorgeous day to soak up the beauty of the things God has made.

Part of our mission at Camas Meadows is to make sure that children get the chance to be outside in the beauty of God’s creation.

Scruffy leads the campers in a moment of silence so that they can truly enjoy the landscape.

And then he leads them in a moment of snowball warfare!

Which is also an important part of nature appreciation!

In the third chapel session, Faramir spoke about how Jesus gave His life so we can truly live.

Ephesians 2:8–For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

How God works and shows His love through each person’s uniqueness.

Well, as I was taking photos of snowball fights and other Inspiration Point fun, these unique girls gave me a very unique photo, ha!

Wet and cold and laughing, the campers were nonetheless full of smiles by the time they hiked back to camp.

For the final chapel session, Faramir spoke on how each one of us can make a difference wherever God has put us.

And these children wanted to do just that! Ten campers chose to follow Jesus this weekend and fifteen rededicated their lives to Christ.

But Junior High Winter Blast cannot be boiled down to a few simple numbers, my friend.

God works with power amoung us, in His own way, and in His own time.

His work is beautiful to behold.

From friends working together to make a snow bear, to snowball fight extravaganzas and tube hill adventures, children raising their hands to follow Jesus, or folks pausing a moment to soak in the beauty of God’s handiwork. God is at work. He is kind. He forgives. He changes His children and does mighty works both big and small. Rest in Him and rejoice!

Ephesians 4:32 -Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Boo Boo