Next week I will be heading to the Hyalite Reservoir to lead camp with Yellowstone Presbytery. Due to flooding in Red Lodge, camp looks a little different this year. Rather than three weeks of camp separated into age groups, we’ve combined everyone into four fun-filled days! Right now, we have somewhere around 40 campers registered!
We are grateful that camp can still happen, even if in a different place and with a different format. And we’re grateful for the churches in Yellowstone Presbytery who have stepped up to volunteer, donate supplies, and pray for us!
Most of you know that camp has been an important part of my life. Growing up, my dad often spent a month running programs for Young Life camps around the country. Our family would typically join him for at least a week of each summer. Even though I wasn’t an official camper, I have great memories of being outdoors, trying new activities, and meeting new people.
I was in high school by the time I became an official “camper” for the first time. That camp experience was one of the most formative weeks of my life. Camp staff welcomed my hard questions about life and faith. My peers believed in me and helped me to challenge myself to try new things. I overcame fears and learned, in a new way, what it meant to trust others to lift me up (literally and figuratively). That week at camp was the first time that someone told me that I could be a pastor.
Given that experience, it’s probably not surprising that just a few days after graduating high school, I became a camp counselor. Over the years, I would spend six summers (and a year) working at camp. I am forever grateful for those years, for the friends and the memories, and also, for the ways camp helped me to become the person, and pastor, that I am today.
Now, I’m excited to create those same experiences for a new generation of campers. I think something happens when we disconnect for a week, when we find ourselves in a new environment, surrounded by new people. God works in powerful ways through those moments. And I remain grateful for the chance to be part of it.
Thank you for your support of this time to serve the larger church and for your prayers for me and for our campers throughout next week!
Grace and peace,