"Go. It is fun, exciting, and you learn so much about God and your faith. The activities are amazing and so fun."
These are a few of the ways that mid-high (ages 12-17) adventure campers at Suttle Lake described their experience earlier this summer. If you are an adult, when you consider how camp has made an impact on your life, doesn't this take you back to your own first summers at camp?
There are TONS of opportunities to have wilderness adventures and fun while at camp - and that would be enough to go, for sure. But the beauty of a week away in spiritually grounded community is in the transformation that takes place in a life opened up to God's love, perhaps for the first time.
Jane Petke, director of Suttle Lake Camp, shares a couple of stories from that adventure week which illustrate this so well (names have been changed):
Stephanie was part of our Mid-High Adventure Week. She had not come to Suttle Lake before but had felt like the previous camp she attended was not a good fit. Stephanie wanted to try something new even though she struggles with some anxiety issues. She chose Suttle Lake's Adventure Week because she enjoys climbing in a rock gym.
That evening after the campfire when the Mid High campers gathered to share their prayers for the day, Stephanie vulnerably shared that she had been nervous about coming to a new camp. But she felt affirmed in her decision after arriving to camp, being welcomed and having the day focus on Abram and Sarai, who also heard God's call and began a journey to a new place / setting out on a new adventure with God.
Phoenix was a new camper who joined us for the Elementary Adventure Week. His mom had written a note of concerns sharing that Phoenix was nervous about camp, and had been bullied at school and often did not fit in with other kids. He was very included in the camp community and activities and celebrated as an individual, as we do at camp. At the end of the week, Phoenix was quick to share that it was the best week ever and he couldn't wait to come back.