What is Camas Meadows Bible Camp?

People can and do spend $1000.00 dollars a week to send their kids to camp. We are not that camp. Some camps have a vast complex of buildings with cabins for kids and married couples and adults with bad backs. We are not that camp. Some camps have their own lake or pool, jet skis or giant inflatables, climbing walls and cabins that are built right into the tops of trees. We are not that camp.

We are tiny. We are simple. We are a small cluster of log buildings hidden in the woods. We are some old weathered benches gathered around a campfire in the meadow. We are kids standing together raising their hands in worship accompanied by a teenager and a guitar.

But we have our place. God has called us too. And there is something lovely, a breath of the divine, in walking along with your master on the road He has prepared for you. 


Boo Boo

Clearly Seen


The Boys at Lake Valhalla


Our family just went on a hike to lake Valhalla last Saturday. We donned our packs and herded our three wild-walking-stick-wielders and headed up the trail. There were heavy rains the night before and a plethora of strange and lovely mushrooms carpeted the ground. Each mushroom was considered a photo worthy event and I took 28 fungus photos before I finally convinced the boys that we had properly documented that particular mushroom bloom.

This adventure did take away my blogging time. But it also reminded me of why we have camp. Well, one of the reasons at least. And gave me something to say.

Romans 1:20–“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made….”

God is here, right in front of us. He can be clearly seen in the shocking variety of mushrooms, in the cold rocky stream where the boys floated sticks, in the long lean mountain lion and the puffy whistling marmot. He is in the crisp alpine wind snatching through our hair as we topped the ridge and finally looked down upon lake Valhalla and His handiwork is spread out bold before us in the deep crystal waters that plunge suddenly into darkness two feet out from the rock where we ate our lunch.

And we hold in our hands a small bit of God’s glory, here at camp, to share with each camper who comes.

God is in the croaking chorus of frogs in the pond at night, the bright spread of stars across the sky, and in worship songs sung outside at Inspiration Point. His glory is clear in the soft rustling of meadow grass under a summer sun, the bright clean blue of the sky against ponderosa pines, and the elk that walk through at dawn.

When your world consists of the inside of a house, a school bus, a car, a classroom, a gymnasium, and the carefully fenced recess toys…it is hard to see God. At camp we are privileged to offer up some of His beauties, and to give campers just a glimpse of God’s many splendors. 


Bull elk during the fires last fall


Boo Boo

The Seasons of Camp

Camp has a rhythm. It has an ebb and flow like nothing else. Growing up here I’ve become accustomed to the strange beat of the world around me, but we are forever baffling others.

Most people are busiest on Monday through Friday with the workweek easing off on the weekends. In the winter our schedule is the opposite. Toward the middle of the week we are gearing up for another rental group, the group comes on the weekend, and we take a bit of a breath at the beginning of the week around Monday and Tuesday. From the middle of December to the end of March my husband does not attend church. He cant, he has work.

April is a slower month. Although, this is when we are reading staff applications and agonizing over our staffing choices for the summer to come. But we try to grab some time with friends and family before summer camps rush in full upon us. May is packed with rental groups and last minute craziness as we scramble to get everything ready for the busy summer season.

We have week-long rental groups in the summer and we also run our own set of camps. For these camps we must choose and train our summer staff and then it is full blast ahead with a workweek of five 17-hour-days, one ten hour day, and Sunday where we do spend the morning together going to church, but Scruffy needs the afternoon and evening to do cabin assignments and talk to campers and parents and counselors on the phone answering all of the important pre-camp questions that go with the week of camp that’s coming up.

When summer camp ends it is so bitter sweet. We hate to see the campers and counselors go. We hate to have them walk out of our arms and lives and back into a world that is so much more difficult than hikes to Inspiration Point, Smoore’s by the campfire, and Morning Jam (singing praise songs in the amphitheater) with Choco. But it is also good, because my husband hasn’t really slept for a couple of months and we’re all a little bit weepy and twitchy.

Fall is the time to recover, to rest and do the piles and piles of office work that has jammed up Scruffy’s desk over the summer, to work on our tree fort and float the river, and gather fire wood and get ready for the rental groups to come. Yeah, we have a few camps in the fall, but we also get to recover.

So if you were wondering what happened to us, why we disappeared off the face of the earth for the entire summer, don’t worry. We’ll be back in the fall. If you are confused about not seeing Scruff at church for three months, don’t be concerned. You will see him again on the fourth Sunday in March. We are here. We are just riding a whole different set of currents than most of the rest of the world, following the strange seasons of camp.

Work Retreat

This weekend is our fall work retreat. The boys and I will be outside with a bunch of other volunteers pulling weeds, scrubbing mattresses, washing windows, cleaning out “The Bat Cave”, and doing whatever else is required to get the camp ship shape for our winter rental season.

This may not seem like a big thing, but work retreat is huge. This camp was built mostly during work retreats. Where other camps have a denominational backing and the money that goes with that, we have a rag tag collection of dedicated volunteers from many different churches. These volunteers built our small lodge our three cabins, our large lodge, the shop where we work on camp vehicles, and the staff house where our family lives.

They give up a fun sunny weekend for a whole bunch of hard, thankless work and the things that God does here at camp, every glorious moment is made possible by their toil. So thank you. Everyone who is here, who has every been here, and who will someday be talked into coming up to sweat and hurt and bleed over piles of firewood and closets overflowing with skit costumes. You are doing Kingdome work. Camp couldn’t happen without you!


Boo Boo

Too Silly For God???

This is reposted from Faith Friends and Frappuccinos at where I blog once a week with three other writers.


There have been times that I’ve heard complaints about campfire at Junior camps. Junior campers are not necessarily very deep and spiritual when they share and they often get rather silly.

This week two of our kitchen staff girls sat in the house with the boys so that I could go down to the campfire. This is a last night of camp event where the campers get a chance to share at a campfire down in the meadow at night. Being a mom, I haven’t gotten to go to campfire for the past three years. But tonight my oldest was attending as a camper and the girls (thank you Toph and Zoey!!!) made sure I got to go.
Watching the campfire for the first time as a mom, seeing the kids get up in front of everyone, grab a stick, say something simple or silly or sweet or sad with the gentle glow of firelight shining on their young faces. I realized something.
Campfire is vitally important.
Not because all of the kids are deep or profound or even serious. But because they are kids, with a simple and innocent faith, standing up in front of their leaders and peers, and testifying for their Lord. Maybe they said—“Thank you God for my Counselors.” Or “I got closer to God this week.” Or “Sasquatch cabin totally rocks and Squirrel cabin is a bunch of rodents!”—but this is big for them.
And isn’t this what God sees when we testify for Him. A bunch of His children, doing their best to take a stand, even when they don’t know what the heck they are talking about. Oh, we don’t realize we are being foolish, but He does. And He loves us and knows how big the moment is for us even when we are confused and just a bit silly. God does not look at our outward appearance. He looks at the heart.
Just as Kristen-the-Mom looked at all of those young faces and saw what a huge thing each child was doing, God looks at us, all of us, and He knows.
Thank you Lord for seeing my simple faith and not just my foibles. Thank you for looking at me in love as I stumble along after you.
Boo Boo