Staff Training 2016



We trained our summer staff this last week. Staff Training is such an intense time. Somedays it feels as though we have crammed a year’s worth of information into a six day period and are then expected to remember everything. But it is so very good, too. It takes a special kind of person to give up their summer for others. Pictured here are kids who have given up summer employment, recreation, mission trips, educational and sports opportunities, we even have a couple who gave up most of their honeymoon to come up here to this little backwoods Bible camp and serve kids. Yep, three days after the wedding they were here and ready to work. Unlike the two dogs who are featured (Princess Leia and JJ) who are quite honestly having the time of their lives and whose greatest difficulty is rolling over so that they can receive belly rubs more effectively, the teens and young adults here will work their tails off all summer long. Pray for them. They will be beaten down with weariness of body and spirit, because when your campers are hurting, your heart breaks. There is no way around it. They will rise up as someone different than the kid who walked into the lodge on the first day of staff training. Because a challenge such as this requires growth. God will walk beside them and they will actually notice because they will be brought so low that only God can help them shuffle forward. And thus they will stand taller than they ever have before, because His strength will shine like the dawn in their weakness. Thank you, everyone who has left comfort and profit and a sensible summer behind to serve here at camp. Camas Meadows would not be here without you. You are our heroes. 


Boo Boo



It is raining today.

Our boys are playing a board game instead of building forts for their chickens outside. The light has dimmed as a bank of soft, gray clouds hover above. Drops slide down the metal roof, pinging on the swamp cooler in our living room window. The dirt trails that crisscross the camp are mushy and slick. The foliage is heavy with moisture, drooping under the weight and boasting a rich, verdant brilliance that only comes with weeping skies. 

This constant drizzle is exactly what we needed.

The wildflowers bloomed early again this year, responding to the heat and clear blue days. I saw a tiger lily yesterday, a flower usually found in July. The low meadow grasses are starting to crunch under my feet. Dust rises in a gritty cloud whenever a car approaches the camp.

I love the rain, not only because of its power upon the land and quiet beauty, but also because it reminds me to trust God.

My sons would rather play outside with sunshine warming their faces and a busy building project to fill the day. I was less than pleased as I loaded every single stuffed animal we own into the back of our car to bring them home after the big sleep over last night, with the cousins, outside, in the rain. The sleeping bags and blankets and stuffed toys and books were something less than dry and a few of them came back soaked. This is not the best weather for hiking or swimming or volley ball. It is not the ideal day to harvest hay, ride over Blewett Pass on a bicycle, or break a pole vaulting record. But the rain is good and valuable and vital all the same. It is a blessing from God and it reminds me of His love.

Rain is not always what we would choose. But anyone who has ever nudged the fading leaves of a wildflower or watched a flitting bird search the bushes for rose hips knows its incredible value. My grandmother tells the story of a child she met during the depression, a child who had never seen it rain and looked to the skies with such a longing that it made her want to weep.

When I watch the rain I remember that I don’t have to catch the entirety of the universe in my palm to dissect and completely understand. When I see the rain I remember that God loves me and that He watches and cares for all of His creation, even when we fail, even when we scheme and plan and forget. He is there, giving grace to all that is His. I see that God cares deeply, beyond our wishes of the moment and our childish tantrums. God looks beyond the thin crust we build about ourselves and into our inner self. He weighs and considers so much more than what is happening today or tomorrow or next year. When I watch the rain dripping steady and soaking deep into the earth I remember that my plan is not always best. I see the power of something quiet and gentle and soft. I see life renewed and second chances. I see His love.  

Matthew 5:44-45–“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”


Boo Boo

In That Place…


After the Jewish leaders tried to seize Jesus, He escaped their grasp and went back across the Jordan. I was struck by how much these verses reminded me of camp.

John 10:40-42–“Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here He stayed and many people came to Him. They said, ‘Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.’ And in that place many believed in Jesus.”

It wasn’t safe in the more populated areas and so Jesus went back to the wild sanctuary where John had been baptizing. Those seeking to kill Him stayed in their places of power, but the people followed Him. In that place many believed. Camp is a step away. Away from town. Away from the cares and concerns of everyday life. Away from struggles and fears. Sometimes all it takes for a soul to start to open, to begin to question and seek God, is a step away.

This picture was taken on our family’s mother’s day hike on a remote road outside the camp. The setting just shouts of the glories of God does it not? I can see why those ancient seekers, upon finding Christ in His remote retreat, placed their trust in Him. In the quiet of the Jordan River, they could finally hear His voice. They journeyed away and they found their Lord. This is what we seek to accomplish at camp. To provide just such an experience for modern day seekers.


Boo Boo