Summer Staff Winter Retreat

At Camas Medows Bible Camp, the day after Christmas isn’t for finding all the stuff you lost underneath that pile of Christmas wrapping or eating leftover pie all day long.

Nope. Here on this mountain meadow, the day after Christmas is when we welcome a group of rowdy teenagers (and older staff, too) to come into our winter wonderland and take a moment to consider if they are being called to serve God at camp this summer.

It’s time for the Summer Staff Winter Retreat!

For those who have already been on staff with us, it is time to hang out with the friends they made over the summer and be refreshed with Biblical encouragement.

For staff during our busy summer season, there is little to no down time.

Hard physical work if they are on the support staff team or the constant weight of being both spiritual mentor and 24/7 childcare for a cabin of campers if they are counsel staff take up almost every hour of their week of service at Camas Meadows.

And some staff members come for multiple weeks! They make it possible for campers ages 9-18 to rest, play, and grow closer to God in this beautiful setting.

However, some campers at the Summer Staff Winter Retreat have not been staff yet.

They are only considering what it might mean to spend their summer in service at an off-grid Bible camp.

We pause this blog for a vital announcement! An important addition to this year’s retreat, the goat trophy! Yes, this is based on a Bible verse. Do you know which one?

Obviously, this valuable commodity was greatly sought after and campers endured a variety of strange competitions in the hopes of making a tiny blond or brunette wig for the goat to wear for an entire year.

Yes, it was blonds against brunettes this year due to a random comment earlier in the year that sparked a fierce competition!

OK, back to our blog, folks!

For campers just considering coming to staff training for the first time in June, this retreat is a great time to get to know the current staff, soak up some great Bible teaching, and build an igloo or acquire a frozen nose while zooming down the camp’s terrifying tube hill at night!

Yes, runs down the terrifying tube hill are cushioned with calmer activities. Like this game played inside by a warm fire with cocoa and friends.

Scruff was the speaker this year and he focused on the questions Jesus asked.

He gathered them all into a document and printed them off. Then posted them on the big log pillars at the center of the lodge.

There was only time to cover a few, but simply reading over every question was an amazing experience.

Scruff’s plan was to “Enter into the encounters people had with Jesus and the questions He asked them and to wrestle with those questions ourselves.”

So, which ones did he cover?

Do you want to be well?

Who do people say that I am? Who do you say that I am?

What do you want me to do for you?

Will you also leave?

In between moments of thoughtful Bible study and beautiful worship, were opportunities to sing karaoke, play Grog, and see if the brunettes or the blonds could do the selfie scavenger hunt the fastest!

Yes, even Boo Boo; Bomber; Ragnar; and Partake did their fair share of karaoke singing!

Choco came back to the mountain to lead us in worship and it was so delightful to sing together with him again!

Something new this year, Scruffy didn’t have to run program, speak, host the camp, and do his camp director tasks all at the same time! Chiquita (former counselor and mom of one of our current counselors) took over program and did a fabulous job! Although, she did fall asleep during chapel one time!

Don’t worry, she made up for this by giving each camper a banana trophy that commemorated some element that they brought to the team during camp!

Whether it was a banana trophy or a goat trophy (yes, the blonds won . . . this year) or a spur of the moment snowball fight, this time spent forging friendships, growing closer to the Lord through teaching and shared worship, and just taking time to play was vital for our staff as they considered a summer of service a few months from now.

We would love for you to join us in praying for our staff. Young staff just considering training and older staff coming back. Tired staff who have done camp work for many years and every single worker who gives of their time and heart each summer.

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6

Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” Mark 8:27

“What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Luke 18:41

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. John 6:67

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