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Steve's Story

Executive Director Steve Collins reflects on life at Camp and how the ministry makes an impact through Summer Camp, Weekend Retreats, Outdoor Environmental Education, and Challenge Course programs.

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A Perfect Inconvenience

“Hey, Steve!” a cheerful voice called out behind me among the towering displays inside Walmart. I turned and saw a bright smile I had not seen in quite some time—one of our former summer campers from over a decade ago. I smiled and greeted her as she approached. The timing was both inconvenient and perfect. I was nine hours into my twelve-hour workday, feeling exhausted, but in a rush because I still had so much to do. Her joy and excitement, however, compelled me to stop and reconnect.

She joyfully shared with me how much the camp had meant to her during her childhood. She had recently been on our website, looking through our online photo albums from her summers at South Mountain and reminiscing about her experiences here. Now, she is a mom, and she is anticipating signing her son up for camp next summer. After we had talked for just a few minutes, we said goodbye, and I resumed my quest for camp supplies. I noticed, however, that I didn’t feel quite as tired or stressed as I had been before. In fact, an effortless smile spread across my face now. This encounter was inconvenient, but it was just what I needed. It served as another reminder why we do the hard work and put in the extra hours—because lives are being impacted forever as children experience the tangible love of God at camp.

Last month was a busy one as we were preparing for camp—hiring and training staff members, ordering and stocking supplies, and preparing the facilities for the 600 campers who would soon arrive. In the midst of this, we were very excited to have Mark and Jill Oettinger (along with their three kids) join our team. Mark is our new Facilities Manager and has already been a tremendous asset making repairs during our busiest season. In the midst of all the busyness, I'm so thankful for those perfect inconveniences that remind us why we do the work we do.

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#summercamp #encouragement #ministry

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