Epworth Forest CC - That Thing - July 5-10 (2015)

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Until next time!

We had an incredible week with your campers. It was amazing to see God working through each individual. Please check out our FREE First Thing Fall Event happening on September 13. Also, make sure to continue to check the gallery as more photos from the week are uploaded. We hope you have an amazing year and we look forward to seeing your campers next summer! Remember that you have the ability and the power to be better as a follower of Christ. He will never leave you and He will be with you every step of the way. Enjoy this video that sums up our incredible week.


Don't Push Snooze

It is hard for us to think about your campers leaving in the morning. We have had an amazing time serving and learning from each and every one of them. We had an amazing last worship session tonight. The Matt McCoy Band led us one last time...


Bryan shared one last message with us. He talked to us about sleep. Bryan shared that we can spend a third of our lives sleeping, maybe even more. Bryan shared Ephesians 5:14:

Wake up, sleeper,rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Not only can we spend part of our lives physically asleep, we can also spend our lives spiritually asleep. The question is, how do we keep ourselves spiritually awake? Bryan shared John 16: 7-13. Jesus was hanging out with His disciples. At this point, he had been with them for several years . In this passage, Jesus tells them that He is leaving. He tells them that it is actually good that he is going away because they will receive the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit guides, directs, and convicts. The presence of God dwells in our hearts and in our minds. Bryan discussed that we are often fearful. In fact, many campers may be fearful to go back home. Leaving the camp environment sometimes feels like leaving a spiritual environment. We need to realize that this is not true! It doesn't end here.

We have the presence of God with us everywhere we go. At your job...in your high school....on your sports team...the Spirit of God is there. What happens at camp doesn't stay at camp. The problem is that sometimes we hit the snooze button on the Holy Spirit. We sometimes feel the Holy Spirit prompting us but we hit snooze. After we hit snooze enough times, it will be hard for us to stay awake to what the Holy Spirit has for us. If we push snooze too many times, we will fall spiritually asleep. Bryan shared Hebrews 3:15:

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.

Is there anything that the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do or let go of? Maybe it's to start a Bible study, maybe it's to hang out with a better community. Don't push the snooze button. Who are those people in your life that the Holy Spirit is calling you to reach out to? In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), there are 40 stories of miracles. 34 of those miracles are friends bringing their friends to the feet of Jesus. Be that friend. Do it for those people who might have a different eternity because you decide not to hit snooze.

The Matt McCoy Band ended the night in praises to our Creator:


Seas the Day

Even though we had chillier temperatures today, campers still had a blast on the waterfront tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and playing on the aqua rocker.
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Check out more photos in our gallery.

Gettin' Crafty

It was a nice afternoon for some tie-dye time!
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He Shoots, He Scores!

We had an awesome afternoon of world cup today.
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Campers have been very impressive with their accuracy today at the archery course!

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Will You Join?

Towards the end of this morning's worship session, thirteen-year-old Hannah May Foust took the stage. Our Program Manager Stacy Hartman interviewed Hannah on stage.
alt Hannah is very passionate about a country named Burkina Faso, Africa. She learned that Burkina Faso is rated as the third most miserable place on earth due to scarcity of water, illness, and poverty. Hannah felt that God was calling her to build a well in this country. Since this realization, Hannah has been raising funds to build wells and is striving to inspire others to do the same. Hannah stated,

When you hear God calling you to do something, listen to Him.

Hannah is striving to make this world better by being the salt and the light of the world. Are you willing to join? Learn more about Hannah and see how you can help.

The Salt and the Light

Bryan gave us a very important reminder at this morning's worship session. He discussed that we are the salt and the light of the world. He shared Matthew 5:13-16 where Jesus stated,

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

This passage gives us two titles.

1. We are the salt of the earth.

Salt during this time period was extremely important. They did not have refrigeration. Therefore, they used salt to preserve meat. Salt kept the meat from rotting, spoiling, and decaying. It also was used to flavor food because their food was so bland. Jesus is telling us that He wants us to join Him in keeping this world from rotting, spoiling, and decaying. He is telling us that we have the power to be different. People will notice and wonder why we are the way we are.

2. We are the light of world.

During this time, towns were usually built by the water. It was more affordable. Towns that were on hills were more important. They were often made of limestone and shone bright for all to see. Even when there are small lights on a hill, they can often be seen for miles. Jesus wants us to be the light on the hill for all to see. He wants us to stand out.

This is our job. We are God's plan to keep the world from spoiling. We are God's plan to give light to the world. When you act different from the world, people will notice. People will wonder why you are the way you are. How is he so joyful in this circumstance? Why is she always serving others so selflessly?

We are where we are for a reason. At your job...in your high school...on your sports team..in your neighborhood...you can be the salt and the light. You don't have to be a pastor or a missionary to do this. We need salt and light in every corner of the earth. We need it in schools, banks, businesses, and so on. We have the power that raised death to life inside of us. Be countercultural and realize that you ability to truly be the salt and the light in your world.

Prayer is Powerful

At various times throughout this week, and also at learning lab this morning, campers have had the opportunity to participate in prayer stations:

  • Injustice Wall - This station's purpose is to open our eyes to the injustice and persecution happening in our world. The station has scripture to mediate on while praying. Students then mark a place on the map that they prayed for with a sticky hand. alt

  • Buttons - This station's purpose is to spend time in prayer for those in our life that have walked away from the Lord or have never known Him. After praying, a button is glued to the cross.

  • The Names of God - This station's purpose is to reflect on the various attributes of God. alt

  • Meditation Stones - This station's purpose is to spend time in the Word of God meditating on His truth and His promises.

  • 10,000 Blessings Wall - This station's purpose is to reflect on and share the many blessings in your own life and to pray a blessing for someone else's life.

  • Hammer Away the Lies - The purpose of this prayer station is to reflect on the lies of your heart and mind that you may be listening to and then replacing those lies with God's never-failing truth. alt

  • Prayer Board - The purpose of this prayer station is to place your prayers in the hands of the Lord as well as the camp community so that we can lift up each other's prayer requests. alt

Remember James 5:16,

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Here we go again!


Peace On Earth

We had an awesome worship session this evening! We had a little bit of a Christmas theme tonight. UPROCK started us off with a fun Christmas piece!

The Matt McCoy Band then led us in singing a few Christmas songs:

Bryan shared a message with us that connected with Christmas. Bryan discussed how we imagine Christmas being a time of "peace on earth". We imagine it as a happy, joyful time. However, there is a gap. There is a gap between the stories we are told from how things really are. There is a gap at Christmas between how we think things should be from reality.

Maybe you have experienced a divorce in your family. Peace on earth? Maybe you have lost a child. Peace on earth? The pictures we create in our heads are often far away from reality. We have shootings...bombings...child soldiers...peace on earth? I think not.

So what is the purpose of Christmas then? Jesus was born in a very oppressive time. Bryan shared Luke 2:1-6. Caesar Augustus was ruling at the time. He crucified people. He relocated and split people up. He implemented an advent where for twelve days people would have to celebrate his birth or else be killed. Jesus was not born during a time of peace like we sometimes imagine. We often miss this oppressive context.


The people of this time were awaiting a savior. There was a 400 year period of waiting for a messiah. Bryan shared Luke 2:8-15. Jesus brought peace. He brought peace at its fullest. Jesus brought hope, life, and joy into this earth.

Christmas is not a time about reindeer, christmas trees and cookies. Christmas is a story about Jesus coming into a broken world to bring true peace. Bryan shared Daniel 6:26-27. Jesus endures forever and His kingdom cannot be destroyed. He is the hope of the world.

Just as Christ was a beacon of light, we can be a beacon of light. Although your story probably hasn't always gone like you have imagined, Jesus can bring you hope. When in your life can you be a peacemaker? Who can you bring hope and light to? Challenge yourself to join Christ in being the peace in this broken world.

The Matt McCoy Band ended our session in song:


Important Directions for Parents!

We just wanted to give you a forewarning that a section of State Road 13 is currently closed. Here are some directions for you if you are driving to pick up your camper on Friday!

Directions heading South:

  • While on State Road 13, go South to 400 North (Brenspeed is on corner)
  • Turn left (East) to County Road 850 East (1st road on right side of road)
  • Turn right (South) to County Road 200 North (4 way stop sign at Jellystone Campground)
  • Turn right (west) takes you back to State Road 13
  • Go South to US 30

Directions heading North:

  • Turn right (East) on County Road 200 North (Loose Moose Motor Sports is on corner) to County Road 850 East (200 dead ends at 850)
  • Go left (North) to County Road 400 North (850 dead ends at 400)
  • Go left (West) takes you back to State Road 13
  • Go North

Tubing Time!

We had some great action on the water today!
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Check out more photos in our gallery.

Rock on!

Before morning worship session, three campers volunteered to compete against each other in a lip syncing competition! Our winner was Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood". Check it out!

They Will Know By Your Love

Bryan shared an impactful message at this morning's worship session. He began with Jesus' telling of "The Parable of the Good Samaritan" which is found in Luke 25:25-37. Bryan wanted to emphasize that the Jews hated the Samaritans. The two groups did not get along whatsoever. Yet, the Samaritan stopped on the side of the road to help his enemy.

Bryan talked about how this is similar to the modern day issue of the Israelis and Palestinians. They have so much hate for each other. In fact, they have a wall built in between them that is over 400 miles in length. Sometimes we also do this to ourselves. We build walls around ourselves for protection. In reality, this causes rage and anger to take over us just like it has with the Israelis and Palestinians. The walls we build around ourselves need to be torn down. Anger and resentment need to be replaced by love. Bryan shared a quote from C.S. Lewis:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

Love is the mark of a true disciple of Christ. Bryan wanted us to remember two key points in reference to scandalously loving like Jesus loves.

1. You cannot hide behind walls of anger, resentment, and rage: We cannot only love when it is easy. We need to love scandalously like Jesus loved. We need to strive to love our enemies. Building walls is really only punishing ourselves. When we tear down that wall, we can experience a better and more purposeful life. Bryan shared Philippians 2:3-7. We are to do nothing out of vain conceit; rather, we are to consider other's better than ourselves and serve.

2. Love sends you out. Love is not just a feeling, it is an action. It drives you. Loving others through our actions is the most distinguishable mark of a Christ follower. It is how the world will know of Christ's love. Bryan shared 1 John 3:17-18:

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

You think you are safe behind that wall..but you are only hurting yourself. It will rob you of a life of joy and purpose. Love and hate cannot coexist. Be like the good Samaritan and love those who hate you. People will know by your love...

Early Morning Stack Attack

Campers tried their best to beat the stack attack record of 18 crates during morning learning lab time.
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Worship Leading with the Matt McCoy Band

During learning lab this morning, members of the Matt McCoy Band led a discussion with campers. A plethora of the time was question and answer. Campers asked various questions about leading worship, instruments, and more. The band members talked about what it means to be a worship leader and how the campers can make worship a part of their everyday lives.


Illusion vs. Reality

One of our learning labs this morning focused on social media. Epworth staffer, Bethany Hastings, led a discussion about the reality of social media and the affect it has on our lives. The key verse of the discussion was Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Does social media cause us to think of things that are pure? True? Noble?
Social media causes illusions. Sometimes Crossfitters post pictures of themselves flexing before and after every workout. Pictures are posted of model-type beauties that cause us to feel discontent, jealous, and frustrated. Social media often gives us an unrealistic idea of what our lives should actually look like. Social media sets standards that we think we need to meet. We need to look to the Bible to find the true standards to live by.

  • Matthew 6:5 - This verse shows that we are not to be hypocrites. Do not try to look religious in front of others in order that they see you.
  • Galatians 5:22 - This verse shows us that we need to focus on the fruits of the Spirit such as love and self-control.
  • Micah 6:8 - This verses tells us to be humble.
  • Ephesians 4:23-32 - This passage tells us to be honest with our neighbors. It also tells us to stay away from bitterness and wrath and to be kind.
  • Proverbs 4:20-27 - This passage tells us to cling to the Word of God and to never let go. The more we are in the Word, the easier it is to resist temptation.

Do not get caught in the trap of making our lives an illusion. Ask yourself Relevant Magazine's five questions to ask before posting on social media:

  • Am I seeking approval?
  • Am I boasting?
  • Am I discontent?
  • Is this a moment to protect?
  • Is it kind?

Rise & Shine!


You Were Saved For...

The Matt McCoy Band led us in an amazing first set of worship songs at tonight's session:


Bryan then led us in a message. He discussed that it can be difficult to stay on track as a follower of Jesus. It may be easy at camp, but what happens when we go home? What can we do to make ourselves to stay on the track and not derail away from our faith? Bryan shared that when we make the decision to follow Christ, we need to know what we are committing to. Bryan stated that we are not only saved from something but for something. Bryan shared Jeremiah 29:11...

For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'

and Ephesians 2:10...

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God has saved you FOR something. Bryan shared three key pieces of advice when it comes to living for something.

1. Live for authentic community with each other. Bryan shared Mark 3:33-34. Jesus tells us that we are His brothers and sisters. We are a part of a family! If you really want to live for God, you cannot do it individually. Having a family of true Christ followers is crucial. We need to link our arms together and encourage each other to stay on the track.

2. To live for the world. We have the power that raised Jesus from the dead inside of us. We have spiritual gifts from God. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us to use our gifts as faithful stewards. We have the power to make an impact on the world. It can be overwhelming..how do we change the whole world? If every one of us plays our part, we can change the world. God has placed certain people in your world. In your high school...on your sports team...at your job. Play your part.

3. Daily life with God. The Bible describes you as beloved, a saint, and a child of God. God delights in you. You may think that you have made too many mistakes for God to love you or want you. This is false. No matter where you are at in life, God looks at you, smiles, and calls you His child. He wants you to walk with Him daily. Bryan shared Romans 8:15:

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba,Father.'

"Abba" translates to "Dad". Live with your Dad daily. He wants you. He is crazy about you. You are His child no matter what sins you have committed. You could never do anything to make Him love you any more or less. Surrender. He has called you to live for Him.

Before partaking in communion, UPROCK and two campers shared with us a piece titled "Senses" which praises Jesus for His sacrifice.


The Matt McCoy Band finished our session in singing praises to our King:

The Big Squeeze

Tonight's community space activity was a creative one! We had two cabins participate. Epworth staffers chose a shape/word/object/movie for the groups to form. We had anything from a boat, to a scene in The Lion King, to spelling out the words "That Thing"! We finished the activity with an interpretive dance to "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from Frozen. In the end, Embery took their place as champions of the activity!

THAT alt THING! alt Embury's Winning Frozen Interpretive Dance

Cartwright Takes the Win!

On Your Mark...

We had one of our favorite cabin challenges this afternoon! Cabins tried their best to make a boat out of cardboard and duck tape and any other personal items they brought. Who will be victorious? Stay tuned!

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Waterfront Fun

The rain didn't stop our campers from lakefront activities! Campers had a good time tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and playing on the aqua rocker.
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Waka Waka

Campers had a blast playing live PacMan! Watch this video game come to life.

Let the Games Begin!

Despite the rain, we are having various activities this afternoon. Frisbee dodgeball was a hit. Don't worry, the frisbees are made out of foam!

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View more of the action here.

He is With You

Bryan shared an important message with us at our morning worship session. He referred back to the scripture he discussed last night, Daniel 1:1-11. Bryan wanted us to pay attention to two key verses, Daniel 1:1-2:

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.

Sometimes things don't go as we plan. Daniel probably had great plans in mind. He didn't expect to be overthrown and conquered by Babylon. This happens in our lives today. We have plans in our minds of how things should be. Bryan shared a key question,

What is your Babylon?

Where is that place that you have been conquered in your life? Divorce? Health issues? Loneliness? Where in your life have you envisioned something that didn't happen as you had hoped?

We often wonder where God is in these situations. In our pain...in terrible circumstances...why doesn't He show up? Bryan shared a story from his childhood. He was taking swimming lessons and he wasn't very skilled. In fact, he would sink to the bottom of the pool. One day he sank to the bottom several times and his mom would retrieve him. However, after a few times, she simply let him sink. Bryan could see his mom. He could see that she was there so why wasn't she rescuing him? How could she sit there and watch his pain? Once he was above the water, Bryan's mom stated,

I never once lost sight of you.

God's most essential promise to us is that He will always be with us. God is with you in the midst of everything. Bryan shared Isaiah 43:2. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.

Jesus emptied Himself for you. He was ridiculed, mocked, scorned, and crucified for you. His last words on the cross were, "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" This sounds like pain...suffering..loneliness. He took our sins. He took our "Babylon" upon Himself so that we would not have to. He was alone in His pain. We are not alone in our pain. He is with us. Having faith and trust in Jesus does not mean that you will not face trials but it does mean that you will never be alone. Just like Bryan's mom stated, we are always in His sight. He meets us right where we are.

Let's Dance

Campers had the opportunity during learning lab time this morning to learn some moves from UPROCK! Check it out.

College Prep

One of our learning labs this morning was instructed by Epworth staffer Bethany Hastings. This lab was for older campers who are planning to attend college soon. Bethany opened the floor for campers to ask questions and make comments. It was a great time for campers to share their excitements and concerns about this new phase of life. Bethany shared Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Morning of Day 2


Fan vs. Follower

We had a very moving worship session this evening. It began with the Matt McCoy Band leading us in praises to our Lord:

UPROCK then shared with us a piece about searching for freedom.

Bryan shared an amazing message with us tonight. He shared John 6. An estimated 15,000 people were following Jesus because His fame was spreading. However, Jesus saw that these people were not following Him for the right reasons. In fact, they were fans, not followers. Matt shared John 6:26:

Jesus answered, 'Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.'

Why are you looking to Christ? To seek and know Him or to get things? Jesus sees that these people are there because they want something. They want to have easier lives. Jesus doesn't want fans, He wants followers! Fans improve, follows obey. Fans admire, followers surrender. Matt shared John 6:48 where Jesus states that He is the bread of life. He is everything. In Exodus 3 Moses asked God what he should tell the people what God's name is. God responded by stating,


There is no name that can describe Him. He is the center of all! This draws an imagery that shows us that we are not to go to Him simply for selfish reasons. He wants you to fully and humbly surrender yourself. Bryan also shared John 6:49-51. He is the only one that satisfies. He is the life of the world. We can only be fulfilled by being followers.

The Bible mentions the word "disciple" 268 times. The Bible mentions the word "Christian" twice. Be a follower. He has called you to an incredible life and you cannot experience this as a fan. When Jesus is the center of your life, He consumes you.


John 6:66 shows us that many left when Jesus said that there are costs as followers. Approximately 15,000 people left...the disciples perhaps thought about leaving. Is Jesus really worth it? Is he worth the sacrifices? Perhaps they thought about being a fan. However, they recognized who He was and continued to follow Him.

Bryan discussed Matthew 27:41-44. Jesus was not held to the cross by nails. It was His love for you that kept Him on that cross. Drop whatever it is that is keeping you from fully surrendering to Him. It's not okay to be a fan. Change your life, serve Him, and be a follower.

After Bryan's message, we had a time of prayer and anointing. We had campers who came to Christ for the very first time and also campers who rededicated their lives to following Christ. Praise God for his compassion, mercy and love! The Matt McCoy Band finished us in song:


Capture the Tiki

We had our first cabin challenge this afternoon! Leaders and campers were split into two teams in attempt to be victorious in this spin on capture the flag. The game was intense and the leaders ended up as the tiki champs!
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Faux Yoga

Campers were hilarious today during our lakeside faux yoga session! Check out the rolling armadillo move.

Let's Fly!

What a beautiful day it has been for some sky high action! The swing drops from fifty feet above the ground. Check it out!

View more photos here.


Campers had the opportunity to learn some new doodling skills this afternoon. We have some talented artists!
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Who or What is Your Nebuchadnezzar?

We had a nice start to our worship session this morning with the Matt McCoy Band leading us in worship. UPROCK also shared an inspiring piece with us to Casting Crown's "I Will Praise You In This Storm.

Our keynote speaker, Bryan Jones, then led us in scripture. He shared with us Daniel 1:1-11. Daniel was one of God's chosen people. This passage shows us that Babylon overthrew Jerusalem where God's chosen people were living. Babylon's king, Nebuchadnezzar, was trying to become like God. He wanted to take God's place and be worshipped. Bryan had a key question for us,

What or who is your Nebuchadnezzar?

What in your life is trying to take God's place? What are you bowing down to that is not God? What is taking God's place as most important in your life? Success? Winning? A relationship? Material things? Your image?

Sometimes we desire certain people or things more than God. The picture that the world draws for us is often corrupt. Culture has a way of training us to chase after certain things. Matt mentioned Ephesians 2:19. We are members of God's household. We are fellow citizens with God's people. You have a purpose. You are a masterpiece created by God. He has a plan for you to live differently than the way the world tells us to live. Stop bowing to your Nebuchadnezzar.

It cost something to stand up and put Jesus first. That relationship you may need to let go of...that computer screen that you need to block...Do whatever it takes to clear the path for Christ to be number one in your life. Don't put something else in God's place. Make God's opinion of you the most important. When God is in the right place in our lives, that is when we find our true purpose. God is calling you to something better. Turn away from your Nebuchadnezzar and realize that Christ needs to reign in your life.

How to use your gifts for God NOW

One of our learning labs this morning was instructed by Christine from Covenant United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne. Her focus was on spiritual gifts and learning how to use them for God. She had campers take a spiritual gifts quiz to give each camper an idea of what his or her spiritual gifts may be. She used scripture as a foundation to show the students what spiritual gifts are all about. She opened with 1 Corinthians 12:1-11:

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, 'Jesus be cursed,' and no one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit.There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.


Good Morning



We had our first evening session tonight. We are looking forward to many more sessions throughout the week to praise our majestic Creator. The Matt McCoy Band began our session in worship:

Our keynote speaker for the week, Bryan Jones, gave us our first message of the week. Bryan has been the Director of Student Impact, the high school ministry of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicagoland, since 2007. Learn more about Bryan here.

Bryan connected his message tonight with our theme, becoming better. He discussed that we cannot simply sit on the back of the boat. We cannot sit on the edge with one foot in the water saying that we are planning to jump in eventually. If we want to pursue Christ and become better as His followers, we have to jump. You cannot experience God partially. Matthew 16: 21-28 shows us that we must deny ourselves. He must be number one in our lives. Bryan shared Romans 6:8:

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

Following Jesus is about death and also about life. We must die to certain things in order to live fully in Him. Bryan wanted us to focus on two questions:

1. What are you going all in for? Genesis 1 shows us that God created the world perfectly. It was just as it should be. It was good. However, we learn in Genesis 3:4-6 that Eve fell for the serpent's lies and disobeyed God. This is when sin, destruction, and sadness entered the world. Adam and Eve had everything they could have possibly wanted yet they still fell for Satan's schemes. They still believed that they could have been missing out.

Sometimes we look past what God has given us and try to fill ourselves with other things. What is it for you? Do you think making a myriad of money will fill you? It won't. Do you think a perfect marriage will fill you? It won't. Only God can fill that space. Don't fall for Satan's schemes. Don't look back on your life and regret what you have chased. Chase God. Jump in the water.

2. What picture of God do you have? The wrong picture will cost you. Having the wrong picture of God could cost you your life. Matt shared Psalms 8:3-4. God is majestic. His creation is impeccable. We should be in awe of Him constantly. The fact that He cares and loves for us is absolutely incredible. What is your picture of God?

Don't sit on the back of the boat. You know Who's arms are waiting for you. Jump.

The Matt McCoy Band finished us in song:


Our program manager, Stacy Hartman, introduced our theme for the week at our first worship session tonight, BETTER. Our goal is to learn how to love God better, how to love others better, and to be better servants! Stacy shared 1 John 4:17:

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.

We are to strive to be better. We are to strive to be like Jesus in this world!

Stack Attack!

Campers are enjoying a new activity during check in. We introduce to you crate climbing stack attack! Campers try their best to climb and balance on as many crates as possible as they are belayed. The record to beat is 18 crates!

Check out more photos in our gallery.

Move In Time

Campers are showing a lot of excitement as they move into their cabins and unite with friends!
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View more photos HERE.

Welcome to Camp!


We are waiting in anticipation for your campers to arrive! We are looking forward to a week full of adventures and we are looking forward to seeing how God is going to work through this camp. Check the blog daily to see what your camper is up to! Photos and videos will be posted throughout each day. Here we go!