The Lord of the Rings Camp: Fellowship of the King, of course!
There were fun costumes and action figures the campers used to make amazing stories and LOTR adventures!
Even Princess Leia Freyja dressed up. Clearly, she is a warg, complete with her grim warg rider buddy.
As well as leading us in many amazing Lord-of-the-Rings-themed activities, Van Helsing taught several chapel sessions that took the themes from LOTR and then explored scriptures that reflected those same themes.
Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien was a catholic believer and that his friendship was instrumental in C.S. Lewis’ journey to God?
Not only did he write some pretty amazing books, but Tolkien’s faith shows in the themes, characters, and storyline of his fantasy epic.
Of course, there had to be some rowdy hobbit songs to dance to before chapel began.
Plus time to spend hanging out with good friends and even the chance to make new ones!
During the crazy LOTR obstacle course, participants had to build their team.
There were dangerous safety cones to battle with the sword.
As well as “the mines of Moria” to traverse …
… and the giant squid to battle!
Of course, what is a LOTR obstacle course without the Bridge of Khazad-dûm?
The giant squid went totally berserk when Van Helsing approached the obstacle course.
Was it his Aragorn costume … perhaps the wig?
The campers jumped into the theme with gusto and learned something about Jesus’ legendary sacrifice for them in the process.
This is a camp that many have repeatedly asked for over the years. Thanks to Van Helsing and his many creative uses of LOTR lore in both Bible teaching and costuming, Fellowship of the King was finally a reality!
Historically, we have always had our fall work retreat over the Labor Day weekend.
But for several years now, the increased fire danger in our area means that we cannot operate chain saws in late summer. The burn ban doesn’t lift until October and one of our main projects during the fall work retreat is to fell trees, split rounds, and stack firewood so that campers are toasty warm during the long, cold winter nights.
After several years of hoping that the fire danger would be better and we would be able to keep our Labor Day date, after attempting to have two fall work retreats one for wood and one for other projects, Scruffy finally chose an October date for the fall work retreat.
It was so wonderful to have the camp full of workers again!
There was a lot of work to do and God provided the hands to get it done.
The camp woodshed was almost totally empty.
Campers love to sit by the wood stove on chilly nights, chatting and drinking cocoa. This can’t happen without a dedicated wood crew toiling away to fill up that woodshed before the snow flies.
Everyone worked so hard.
From the people who felled the dead trees that had been killed by a pine beetle infestation, to those cutting rounds, hauling rounds, driving the camp truck, splitting rounds, and stacking wood, our crew got grubby and tired but accomplished so much.
Some of the rounds they hauled were so big that it took three people to carry just one.
Just getting them into and out of the truck was hard.
And it is a good thing our wood splitters had young backs.
Thankfully, Ragnar, our cook kept everyone well fed.
In the end, they got that woodshed filled up! We are now ready to host campers this winter. It’s a good thing too, we got over fourteen inches of snow all at once in November!
Thanks to all of these hard workers, when a camper comes in after tubing The Hill and grabs a cup of hot cocoa, there will be a warm fire for them to sit beside as they unthaw. Thank you!
People often tell me they wish there were camps for adults at Camas Meadows Bible Camp. Well, I have good news. There are! The Mountain Muse is one of those camps and I am happy to report that instead of getting dunked in the dunk tank or throwing mayo-drenched cheese at each other (please volunteer this summer if you are interested in these things) this camp involves sitting by a warm fire and creating worlds and words that honor our Creator!
We are writers and this camp is all about writing!
The goal of this retreat is to Escape, Renew, and Create. When writers can escape the pressures of everyday life that so often squelch the creative process, when we can be refreshed and renewed in God’s glorious outdoors, when we can learn new techniques and tools of the trade, when we can simply take some time to rest, then that is the perfect recipe for getting some amazing creative work done!
This year, we were incredibly blessed to be taught by award-winning Christian fantasy author Morgan L. Busse!
This is my favorite of her books, but I enjoyed them all!
For The Mountain Muse, we have just a small taste of teaching. At each meal, Morgan gave us about fifteen minutes of info on how to improve our writing craft. Then it was off to the races! Or rather, the chairs and couches. In the main lodge we enjoyed hours of silent writing time and in the small lodge we had space for those who love to listen to music or chat.
We got so much done and yet were also able to connect in deep ways about our writing craft and the God who gave us the ability and desire to write in the first place.
There was even time to sit and read quietly by the fire.
But lest you think that the entire weekend was a sedentary affair … behold! Proof that we went outside. In fact, this was a late night hike to Inspiration Point when the moon was so big that it made shadows and lit up the night so brightly that we could actually see pretty well even in the dark.
One of the best ways to help writers get more creative work done is to feed them! It is so wonderful not to have to worry about meals. Ragnar, Mithril, and Prism did all the work for us, leaving mealtime as a delightful opportunity to connect.
Then it was time to get back to work!
On Saturday afternoon, we took some time for creation appreciation. Princess Leia Freyja led the way as we took a short hike into the beautiful world God made. Mountains, meadows, and forests are all part of the environment at Camas Meadows and we got to see all three on our short, two-mile walk.
After a short break enjoying the autumn colors, you guessed it, we went back to writing!
And finally, after a full weekend of escaping, renewing, and creating … it was time to head home. Princess Leia Freyja sent us on our way with a bark and a wag. It was hard to say goodbye, but with any time of refreshment comes the strength to move forward with new energy and thoughtfulness. We made new writer friends, gained new writing tools, got down a bunch of new words, and are already looking forward to next year. Thank you so much, writer friends, each of you was a delight. I can’t wait to see all of the amazing things that you write in the year to come!
The first weekend in March is special. This is when we host our Junior High Winter Blast!
In 2020, Junior High Winter Blast was the last camp we ran before everything shut down. It was such a rambunctious time of laughter, fun, and learning about God together. Then we faced the heartbreak and pain of a long, quiet year without camps. That last Junior High Winter Blast was such an important reminder to us. It helped us remember the joy of serving God in a camp setting. To be faithful to God’s call, even though what He asked of us was so very hard. To continue striving after Him, no matter what that looked like.
Now, we have come full circle. A spring, summer, winter, fall, and another spring where we were able to host individual families, but not camps. An amazing summer of ministry. Yes that summer did include a whole lot of hoops to jump through, but it was so worth it. A delightful winter of hosting rental camps that wrapped up with us finally being able to run Junior High Winter blast once again!
It is so good to walk out of the desert for a moment and breath in the fresh air of victory! Yes, our walk with God travels some tough places, shadowed paths, and confusing seasons. God is just as close in the darkness.
However, the joyful craziness of Junior High Winter Blast provided an important time to celebrate, to remember that God also blesses us beyond what we deserve or can even imagine.
Hmmm … so what does one do at Junior High Winter Blast?
There is the all-important game … Oreo Face!
You guessed it. One must open an Oreo cookie and stick it to one’s forehead. Then through vigorous facial contortions, scooch that Oreo down to one’s mouth for eating! The first to eat their cookie wins!
There really are not enough times in life where one sticks a cookie to their head and makes faces to the acclaim of their peers. Perhaps our days would be a little more sweet, if adults adopted this practice! Office dispute, no problem! Oreo Face to the rescue.
Of course, not every activity can involve cookies.
What is winter camp without the famous Camas tube hill?
The answer well could be, “Less painful.”
It is very important to pace yourself as you charge into outdoor activities. A bit of adventure on the tube hill … followed by a mug of cocoa in front of the fire.
But the comfort of indoor activities can only take you so far. To build those truly memorable moments for sharing with your family and friends when you get home …
Means that campers rushed back to the great outdoors!
Then they recovered in the camp lodge with a fun board game.
And zoomed back outside!
Then back inside for building tornado-like-structures with Princess Leia Freyja!
Feast your eyes on this masterpiece, my friends.
Then remember that Radiant and Polaris built this Kapla block structure in a room teeming with exuberant middle school campers, staff, and even a 113lb dog.
Then, once the Kapla Tornado had stood victorious for some time … the campers played ultimate Janga, bringing the whole thing crashing down in epic fashion!
But not everything at camp is silly, for example, chapel time!
Well, I suppose there are one or two goofy songs. But then we get to the message …
Ha! I had you there. If you have ever gone to camp or served at camp, you will know that God uses absolutely everything for His glory! Even those things that at first glance, might just appear somewhat silly. Why are campers ready to raise their hands in quiet worship with their cabin? Because they have just been running around the room flapping their arms with that same group of kids singing “I’ll Fly Away.”
Why do campers listen during chapel, ask questions about God, and actually remember some of the things that they learned? Well, besides all of our many desperate prayers, camp speakers are special. They know and love kids and work hard to present the scripture in a way that children can gobble up.
This weekend the chapel sessions were just so amazing! I’ve been a Christian for a long, long time and they held my attention just as skillfully for me as for all those rowdy kids. Epona is a big fan of the Transformers shows and comics. There are a lot of different versions of the Transformers but one thing is consistent, Optimus Prime. The same actor has provided the voice from 1984 to the present and Optimus Prime has always been “Strong Enough to be Gentle.”
The joy just kept piling on higher and higher as we watched campers having a blast, meeting friends, and playing in the snow. But seeking God together during chapel was definitely one of the best things about this camp.
The more Epona has enjoyed Transformers over the years, the more it struck her that Optimus Prime reminded her of our heavenly father in a myriad of ways. Optimus Prime’s name literally means the best of the best–Exodus 15:11. Like God, Optimus Prime is a mighty warrior–Jeremiah 20:11, Exodus 14:14 and 15:3, 2 Chronicles 32:1-22. Optimus Prime protects, sacrifices himself for, and gently cares for the Autobots. He shepherds them. Ezekiel 34:1-16 (that passage made me weep as we read it again), Psalm 100:3, John 10:1-18 and 27-30. Just like both the old and new testaments use an image of a shepherd to show us what God is like, a simple children’s cartoon can be used to show just a glimpse of God’s power, gentleness, and love.
Just as Optimus Prime is always there, showing up with strength and caring when the Autobots need him, God is always there. Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 94:18-19, Matthew 11:28-30, Matthew 28:16-20. There are dark moments in the Transformers cartoon, tragedy strikes, friends are lost, evil appears to win. But Optimus Prime is always there, standing strong with those he loves. These beautiful campers were so attentive (I know, gasp!) as they heard again and again that God is strong, caring, and there to save them and make them His own. What an amazing weekend to be a part of!
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”
As I sat in my writing chair doing cabin assignments, I heard the sound of an acoustic guitar on the hillside above our house. Worship in the outdoor amphitheater, which is a fancy name for a collection or old log benches that circle the inner slope of a natural bowl in the land between Squirrel Cabin and Mountain Panther. The sound of singing filled the forest with energy as it drifted through our windows. This was the first time I’d heard camp-style worship since March of 2020. I am so grateful that the Lord has called us to serve once more through the crazy beauty that is called camp ministry.
It can be challenging to jump back into something that has been lost to you for a year. Yes, camp was still ministering to individual families in 2020, but we hadn’t hosted a large group for over a year.
But the call was so very clear: in the remarkable way that God provided speakers, nurses, cooks, and counselors. So many small and large miracles have made camp possible this year.
From the camp intern who started having specific chapel session ideas long before we told her that we needed a speaker for our last Junior camp, to the experienced guy counselor who surprised us and just showed up at staff training, the Lord has amazed us with His provision.
When the staff applications stopped coming in, I crunched the numbers. We didn’t have enough experienced girl staff. I showed Scruff and we both stared at the cold hard facts. Would I have to counsel cabins this summer instead of take photos, edit photos, post photos for parents, and write the blog? How would people react to not having the daily updates on life at camp that they had grown accustomed to? We prayed, again. Once more coming before the Lord in desperate need. Then Scruffy got a message from a girl counselor who had just finished her degree and felt inexplicably called to reach out and ask if we had enough girl staff. What we didn’t know, she’d had camp on her heart since February and finally sent a text that she’d had on her phone for a long time. God knew and God was preparing His people to serve in mighty ways.
Scruff could think of one more person to ask about counseling, but he knew she currently had a great job. He almost didn’t send a message, but in the end, didn’t want to say no for her. So he asked. She had just given her three weeks notice since she’d accepted a new position. The camp we needed her for most, well, that fell right between jobs. She was free for that precise week of camp.
There were two weeks of camp where we still required a cook. Out of nowhere, God laid our on the heart of someone we would have never asked and she volunteered to come and serve at camp. Choco, who has been working a different job this year and hardly ever has days off, suddenly had some time off. He and Partake dedicated a huge portion of that precious time to camp in helping us with worship, an unending string of maintenance issues, and the more complicated camper check-in and check-out schedule that Covid-19 guidelines require.
Again and again, we watched Him provide for the summer in a cascade of small but deeply-needed miracles. Finally, we were training staff at camp once more. Counsel staff and support staff, all learning together. The art of washing dishes, leading cabin discussion, unclogging a toilet, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Service of every kind, vital to camp ministry, this was the week where we gave them the tools needed for the job.
During staff training, something happened that reminded us of the long-lasting power of giving of yourself wholeheartedly in ministry. Epona, one of our interns, was teaching on how impactful small acts of kindness are to campers during their week. Years and years ago, when she was a first-time camper, she was super-excited about her horseback ride. Garmin, her counselor, drew a picture for young Epona of her horse. Epona still has that picture to this day. It was so meaningful to her, she kept it for twelve years.
Well, it has been a long time since Garmin was at camp, but on a whim, Scruff decided to text her about how that one sweet act both encouraged Epona as a girl and gave her a tool for teaching future staff about how to connect with their campers. Scruff was shocked to see that he hadn’t messaged Garmin since 2013, but he sent the text nonetheless. Well, Garmin messaged back saying that she totally remembered that week of camp. Not only that, but she was particularly discouraged that day and had asked the Lord for word of encouragement. Then, here was this text from Scruffy telling about how her week at camp so long ago is still having an impact in campers lives as Epona teaches the staff using Garmin’s simple act of love as an example.
Staff training is beautiful that way. Young staff learning from older staff. Stories of camps of the past retold for a new generation. That video on how to unplug a toilet being shown just one more time! It’s not just the older staff teaching either. The younger ones have things to say as well and are constantly challenging us and brightening our days with their questions and insights. As someone who just sent her youngest son to staff training to watch him listen to lectures on both the magic of working the camp dishwasher and the simplicity and power of the gospel, I am so grateful that my sons can receive this training. Watching staff both receive and give to one another as we prepare for this crazy thing called camp ministry filled my heart and reminded me why we do what we do. Thank you Father, thank you for giving us the chance to serve You in this crazy and lovely way!
1 Timothy 4:12–“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
After fourteen long months of being closed to groups, and having ministry change from eighty-person crowds to a quieter ministry of supporting individual families and personal retreats, we are finally gearing up for summer camp!
It’s been a long, confusing winter and now we are eager to welcome campers back to Camas Meadows.
However, this summer will not be the easiest or the smoothest. This will be a summer full of personal sacrifice—not a walk in the park. Then again, we are not located in a park. Camp is in the wild. We are used to things that are not easy. This summer is going to be hard. However, Princess Leia Freyja figures that we can do whatever is required, as long as we bring her some campers to love.
What is required of us in order to run camp in these crazy times? Camp will be running at half capacity. There will be masking and social distancing of course, but the more difficult task is making sure that folks don’t come to camp sick. The state requirements are that campers and staff must arrive with either proof of a negative Covid19 test within the last three days or proof of vaccination.
Well, as you can see, Princess Leia Freyja is clearly saying that it will be worth it. You know what? We agree. If we are being given a chance to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with children and welcome them into the wildness and beauty of camp, we will do it.
But despite the difficulties that these guidelines bring, we have been called to this ministry and that takes precedence. Plus, we have a lonely camp dog on the lookout for some kids and we would hate to disappoint her.
If you’re interested in the nitty gritty details, here is a link to the rules for operation that Washington camps must follow. (Guidance for overnight camping begins on page six.) We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we dive into this crazy summer. Thank you so, so much for your support over this quiet year and your prayers as we prepare for the beautiful rowdiness of children coming up to camp!
Philippians 1:3-6–“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
The mailboxes at the top of the hill, were in sorry shape. Someone had crashed their car into one side, so it slumped in a sad and broken manner. The package box sagged alarmingly, there was a wasp nest inside, and the door would occasionally fall off and hit you on the head as you reached in to grab a parcel from the far back.
A new mailbox structure was put on, “The List.” What is the list, you ask? Well, it is composed of all the many many projects that need to be done. It is quite lengthy and thus the new mailbox structure remained on, “The List” for some time. Then my brother, CamoMan, decided to lend his considerable carpentry skills (first honed during childhood as he constructed dubious watercraft made from old boards, inner tubes, and duct tape … and also a small log cabin that did indeed employ 12″ spikes pilfered from Del) to the cause.
The first step was to move the old mailboxes so that the new structure could be built.
With the help of a Memorial Day work crew, Camo Man built and poured some incredibly sturdy footings.
Why did he need such a large base for this project?
Well, you never know when an earthquake, exploding volcano, or horde of zombies might come through. A mailbox should be sturdy! It should be epic! It should be a force to be reckoned with!
Behold, the Camas Mailbox Structure!
This one should actually be able to handle the occasional vehicle sliding hither and yon on our icy winter roads and giving it a bump.
Massive structure complete, it was time to employ some enthusiastic teen volunteers. One of these is my middle son and one is his friend. Their hair color and style is so similar, that we confuse them all the time. Can you tell which painter is which?
Much enthusiastic staining occurred at this point … as well as no small amount of wrestling.
But eventually, our golden-haired workers settled down and completed the task at hand.
Thus the structure was preserved from snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night. Well, it is actually the sunny days and weather that damage the wood, but the postman’s motto seemed appropriate even though the mailboxes are pretty secure from gloom of night. But the fresh coat of stain will definitely help with the snow, rain, sleet, and beating sun.
And finally, CamoMan constructed a new package box. One without a hornets nest, where the door doesn’t ever fall off, or even hit you on the top of the head as you reach way inside to retrieve a parcel.
Princess Leia Freyja approved the project with a few happy wags.
But there was one remaining piece needed. Campers continued to get lost while driving to camp. To be fair, this was not entirely their fault. Yes, through the misdirection of various labor-saving-devices (phones, GPS systems, mapquest, Googlemaps …) they drove left instead of right. The took ancient logging roads with trees growing in the center of the trail. They turned onto roads covered in three feet of snow, or conveniently featuring impassible mud in a variety of depths. Finally, Jon Torrence presented us with the much-anticipated solution.
Two corona virus quarantine P.E. days later …
with a bit of wood shop thrown in for good measure …
The project was finally finished! Thank you CamoMan, Jon Torrence, Scruffy and sons, and of course Princess Leia Freyja for your skill and determination to see The Great Mailbox Project reach completion!
Phillipians 1:6–“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
This was our biggest Jr. High Winter Blast yet with 49 campers, 15 counselors, a big kitchen crew, and several hundred snow ducks! (Yes, this was before concern about the corona virus increased. I know you were worried about all those ducks, clearly not practicing social distancing!!!)
Parents and youth leaders urged weary vehicles up the snowy camp road and into the parking lot where the rowdy fun immediately commenced.
What was the very first game of the weekend?
The chair game, of course!
The goal is to keep the person in your chair from escaping when the person with the empty chair calls their name. This allows staff and campers to learn each others names.
It is also more than a little bit entertaining to watch.
Of course it isn’t camp if you are not outside. So Scruffy took the campers who were bold, brave, and had two working legs, on an amazing hike into Poison Canyon. Down, down, down … and then ALL the way back up!
Poison Canyon is just a wee bit steep. Hiking here causes Princess Leia Freyja to whine with concern and give everyone revitalizing slurps.
Here she is, looking worried for the health and safety of others. Which is actually a fairly common expression for our sweet camp dog.
During the amazing hike, some campers played board games in the lodge or worked on crafts.
Others built a tower of Kapla blocks that rose all the way up to the second story! Campers reached through the rails on the second story balcony to place the final block, until I got out my camera and the invisible power of its nearness seemed to cause the tower to fall right as I snapped a photo!
On the first evening, Scruffy dusted off that Watchamabob favorite of old, the Chocolate Marshmallow Drop.
The participants were ready and eager to go.
The chocolate was gooey and drizzly!
The results: stickiness overload!
The benefits: eating a marshmallow if you actually succeeded and of course the pure and unadulterated joy of having chocolate on your face!
Of course, Watchamabob naturally morphs straight into–all the camp people know the answer–worship!
Hand motion songs first, then quiet worship, and then the lesson.
Our speaker this week was Faramir, and he spoke about turning points.
Of course, he told an amazing story about the time that (although he is terrified of roller coasters) he let his youth kids talk him into riding a super scary roller coaster since he was trying to impress them. Then the operator saw that no one else was in line, gave them a cheery smile, and sent them around the track a second time! The point of no return. That moment that the front car on the coaster (yes, his youth group kids talked him into sitting in the very front) is hanging over the edge of the precipice and it is only a matter of time before the other cars follow. Sometimes we come to a point of not return in life. A time where we must decide the course that we will follow. Faramir did a wonderful job of urging kids to make a decision to follow Jesus when they come to these important turning points in their lives.
On Saturday, every cabin participated in an epic broom hockey match-up!
An afternoon well spent.
Although Princess Leia Freyja was quite dissapointed that Scruffy wouldn’t let her play. She totally understands the game. The first person to run through the gauntlet of smacking sticks, grab the puck, and wildly charge between people’s legs with it in their mouth as their tail wags happily … is the winner!
After hockey, snow duck production went into overdrive!
Sweet Tea, our wonderful camp cook, let campers use her new snow duck makers. They look like salad tongs with half a duck on each side. When you pack them with snow and squeeze the duck halves together, voila, a snow duck! It started with just a few ducks watching the hockey game.
Then two stern leaders in parlay were discovered having a serious discussion in the middle of the ping pong table.
But what is a king without his army? So, two opposing armies of ducks were born.
One side consisted of bald ducks and one side was made up of ducks with charming hair made of lichen. There was also a spy in the midst of one army and a few ducks who really loved Legend of Zelda and created this iconic monument.
Of course, after all of this hearty snow duck creation, it’s also nice to just sit on the couch with friends. A whole lot of friends! Which inevitably turns into a competition. Exactly how many campers and counselors can fit on these particular couches. And a dog … there should definitely be a dog on the couch. Don’t worry, Princess Leia Freyja was happy to help out.
We didn’t let them sit too long. There were still more strange and baffling games that absolutely needed to be played!
OK, these two sisters are ready to go!
What is this? Obviously, some kind of face off between two determined campers. But why?
Hmmm … not sure that this makes things any clearer.
Well, balloons are always fun.
OK, more balloons more fun.
Aha! A chase, a mighty battle!
The goal of this game was to hop after your opponent and pop their balloon without allowing them to stomp on yours.
Princess Leia Freyja seemed concerned.
But the campers had a great time!
Finally, it was Sunday and time to clean up the camp and present cabin awards. No, we do not normally ask the campers to mop with their cute toesies. But when presented with a mop, this cabin of girls begged for permission to mop their own way. They also charged out of the bathroom and seized the camp photographer so that their triumph could be captured on film!
While the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place cabins received bags of candy in various yummy sizes, the staff team got something even better.
A bag of russet potatoes!!!
Little did they know that in a few short weeks Scruffy would walk into Costco to find every single bag of potatoes gone!
Or perhaps they did know, deep down inside. Either way, the potatoes were received with great joy and were distributed among the staff while the candy was distributed among the winning cabins.
It was such an amazing weekend. Not only were many snow ducks created, wild games played, God’s beautiful forest enjoyed, and songs sung at a tremendous volume … but several campers raised their hands to follow Jesus for the very first time. And please do not discount the vital role that a weekend of camp plays in the life of a young Christian who already knows the Lord. Without the encouragement of fellowship, teaching, and the fun of being with a whole herd of rowdy young believers, their Christian walk would be much more difficult. Through the grace of God, we were able to provide a safe place for these 49 children to learn about their Lord and rejoice in the beauty of following Him.
Ephesians 2:4-5–“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”
CamasCon is our strategy board game camp. A way to connect Christian Geeks and Gamers with each other, some amazing games both new and old, and with their Lord through the awesome chapel sessions.
This of course necessitates the arrival of many games. So, so, so, many games! Games with beautiful cover art and massively thick rule books.
Games with fascinating miniatures and intricate pieces of all kinds.
Games with adorable Medieval villages and towering cityscapes.
Games with cool spacecraft.
Games with galloping camels.
Actually, there’s more than one game with galloping camels!
Games with fearsome lady pirates and their unique pets.
Games with intricate maps of the world, both realistic and fantastical.
And everyone’s favorite, games that employ both cute, wooden meeples and ferocious dragons!
Amidst all these games, are competitors of all kinds. New gamers, lifelong gamers, non-gamers who simply wandered in, and even individuals who work in the gaming industry. Though they employ many different stratagems and love many different genres, they all share a passion for table top board gaming and the way it brings people together.
In a world where our eyes are constantly glued to screens, a board game provides fun, competition, and a way to actually look another human being and see them for what they are, beautiful sons and daughters of the Lord.
This year our speaker was Chris Gwaltney of Love Thy Nerd fame.
With Choco leading everyone in some amazing worship
The campers took a moment to step away from the fierce competition, let go of the fact that Scruffy probably was a Cylon even through he swears to his humanity, and come together as the people of Jesus Christ, called to love in His name in a broken world.
After a beautiful weekend together, the CamasCon campers left refilled, refreshed, and ready to try out all the new games they learned on their unsuspecting friends.
Perhaps your passion isn’t strategy board games. But something that CamasCon always reminds me of, is that God made each of us uniquely. After creating us to be like none other upon His world, God then desires to use our passions and abilities for His kingdom. So what about you? How do you connect with others face to face? And are you willing to use that hobby, talent, gifting, or even geekiness for the Holy Kingdom of God?
2 Corinthians 4:7–“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
2019 marked our third annual Mountain Muse Christian Writer’s Retreat and this year brought us the fabulous (and award-winning) Becca Whitham to be our speaker!
I wanted the Mountain Muse to be similar to reading a great book on the craft of writing and then jumping right into the creation process immediately afterward. So Becca, brought us together for short sessions on the craft of writing and then released us into the wild to write or wander, whatever our creative process demanded.
For some, that meant rushing to the computer to get to work.
For others, it meant chatting with the speaker about their plot or characters.
And for others, it was a walk in God’s glorious creation to get those creative juices flowing.
This stunning view is only about a mile from the camp and was well worth the hike there.
Add in worship time with Choco
And the loving attentions of Princess Leia Freyja our Mascot
And the weekend was just what I had envisioned. A time for writers to gather, learn, encourage one another, and relish in some much needed quiet so that they could create.
Princess Leia Freyja is all ready for next year’s retreat! What about you?