The battle between good and evil took center stage at our annual open house and banquet last month. Our Star-Wars-inspired theme included decorations, stage props, and costumed characters, all correlating to the 2018 summer camp program, “The Faith Awakens.” We began with a drop-in reception and guided tours of the camp, followed by a free meal served in the gym. There was a dramatic presentation of the summer camp program, a message from camp founder, O.A. Fish, and an explanation of partnership opportunities.
The event was successful, but what really made it special were the attendees. Throughout the evening, I spoke with some long-time supporters and others who were just learning about the camp. I met those who have sent their own children to camp and adults who attended when they were children fifteen years ago. I discovered that some of the attendees live just down the road from us while others came from out of state for the event. It was a moving experience to speak with so many people, from all walks of life, who believe in what we do here.
A few days later, my wife and I were participating in an obstacle course fundraiser in the community. As we stood at the starting line, a young man there introduced himself and explained that he attended camp with us when he was a child. In fact, he was baptized at camp. He asked if he could run the obstacle course with us. We happily agreed, and Team South Mountain was formed on the spot. As we ran through the obstacles, we encouraged, supported, and helped each other. Afterwards, we reminisced about camp while we sipped on water bottles. It was then that he opened up about how much his experience at camp had impacted his life. He thanked us for the work that we do and for allowing him to run with us.
The two experiences might seem unrelated, but, to me, they amplify each other. The man I met at the obstacle course was a reminder of why our supporters contribute to the work of this ministry. And the way we formed one team to support each other through those obstacles beautifully illustrates the importance of our supporters here. Thank you for being a part of Team South Mountain. You might not be on the zip line this summer, but we couldn’t do this without you.