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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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The Strangest Thing

"Steve, the electrician is here. Did you call them?"

O.A.'s question surprised me. I followed his gaze through the office window to the parking lot. Sure enough, a truck from a local electrician service sat in the summer heat as a uniformed worker made his way toward the front door.

"What can I do for you?" I asked when he entered, moments later.

He smiled and said, "I'm going to tell you the strangest thing you've heard all day. Back in the late 80's, I was a troubled teenager, and this camp changed my life."

O.A. and I exchanged a quick, smiling glance as the worker went on to explain in great detail about his experiences here. He'd been sent to camp by his parole officer as part of a special group of campers who stayed in our tipis. He vividly remembered the camp activities, work projects, and group sessions.

"I was trouble all week long," he said. "Nobody knew how much of an impact this place had on me, but it changed me. Now I've got a great job and a wonderful family." He smiled as he looked around. "I never forgot this place, but I didn't know where it was located. I was out on a job just a half-mile down the road when I saw your sign. I knew I just had to come tell you how much this place means to me."

When he finally told us his name, O.A.'s eyes lit up with recognition. "I remember you!" O.A. exclaimed.

"You're kidding!" he responded.

"I really do," O.A. assured him. O.A. added a few more details about that week of campers, and we laughed about the unusual circumstances they created. As the conversation wrapped up, this former camper picked a few souvenir items off our camp merchandise shelf, paid for them, and added a generous donation too.

Moments later, he was out the door, leaving O.A. and I in awe of this beautiful gift God had just given us. In the middle of this extremely unusual summer, He gave us a face-to-face reminder how much the work here matters. That week back in the 80's was an unusual one too, but, unbeknownst to the camp staff, God used it to change a life.

I believe his is doing the same thing this summer. It's a beautiful story He is weaving together. Supporters have stepped up to meet the financial need. Volunteers have stepped in to create virtual camp videos (with over 26,000 views). And we have stepped out of our comfort zones to be open to anything God wants to do. We are a team, working together, and every part is essential.

If you would like to partner with South Mountain Christian Camp through your giving, you can use the Donate button below or mail your donation to PO Box 9, Bostic NC 28018.

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