Archive for January, 2013

This past weekend Sky Ranch had the opportunity to be apart of the middle school youth gathering in Colorado Springs.  It was a weekend based around the theme “Let’s Eat” and a reading from Ezekial 3: 3: “’Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.’  So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.”  Over 700 middle schoolers participated in a weekend where they dove into what it means to “fearlessly live the life God intended them to live.”

Friday kicked off the weekend with Peter Gonia (a Sky Ranch alum) talking about his journey to Chico, California where he serves as a youth director and organic farmer followed by a Q & A with his father, Bishop Jim Gonia.  On Saturday, youth groups had the opportunity to attend break out sessions and serve in the Colorado Springs community.  These service projects ranged from building  to sorting clothes.  More than 700 people put their faith into action through community service and made a huge impact on the Colorado Springs community.  At large group that evening they shared some of their experiences.  Lauren Seyfarth, another Sky Ranch alum also shared her experiences of serving and discovering her vocation.  The youth again had a chance to ask questions and were curious about her experiences in Haiti to if she likes pumpkin pie.

Gatherings like these give us the opportunity to work with our sister camp Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in southern Colorado.  This gathering was a great opportunity to work with one another, catch up, share stories and do what both camps do best.  Together we put on six sessions of Team Building for the youth including activities like the human knot and a blindfolded obstacle course.   These activities were meant to not only challenge the youth but really get them thinking about the gifts God has given them and what they might be called to do, what their vocation might be.

At times it’s difficult to pay attention to what God is calling us to do.  Distractions of what success really means, feeling too overwhelmed to make a difference, or being embarrassed to share our gifts are things we all struggle with.  My hope is that throughout this weekend the youth were able to find that they have a community there to back them up.  They have people who want them to succeed, who are willing to push them but without judgment.  My wish is that they will fearlessly show their gifts and the incredible value they bring to the world and their community.  There will always be road-blocks and rivers to cross but as Romans 5 tells us “suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces hope.”  We may not see what’s ahead but that’s the beautiful mystery of faith.

This past weekend (December 28th-30th) Sky Ranch had our annual staff reunion at camp.  These reunions give staff from summers past the opportunity to come together once again to celebrate the joy of community a few months removed from camp, catch up on each others lives and of course have some fun in the snow covered mountains.  Many laughs were had, card games were played and bruised knees were acquired.

The weekend started out at Trinity Lutheran Church where hugs and smiles were all around.  Staff came in from California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Texas and of course Colorado.  From there we headed on up the snow packed road and arrived at camp ready to spend the evening in fellowship.  Saturday morning included a walk around camp that shortly turned into a walk down the frozen creek (with a few of us who fell through) and a sliding strip across the beaver ponds near hole 6 of the Frisbee golf course.  It was concluded that afternoon that the ice needed to be swept off and a game of ice soccer needed to be played.

While sweeping off the snow from the ice, we soon realized that soccer may result in a few minor injuries and instead chose to play broom ball.  This may have been equally sketchy however the amount of fun and laughter was worth it.  After 4 hours of playing broom ball, a breathtaking sunset, and a variety of bumps and bruises we called it quits and headed back for dinner and evening worship.

It was the perfect way to end the year.  It was a time to reminisce on the summer and look towards another.  It was a time to be reminded of God’s amazing Grace and the incredible community he has given us that will be there for all of time.  While it is fun to remember the past, even with all the adventures it brought, it is now time to look towards the future and how optimistic and exciting that future looks!  While many of the staff at this particular reunion were from the summer of 2012, this upcoming summer will be filled with staff reunions from summers reaching all the way back to the 60’s.

It was the beginning of many staff reunions to come- reunions where the story of Sky Ranch will be shared along with the different ways Sky Ranch has impacted each person who visits.  There is much to look forward to this summer but I find myself most looking forward to hearing the Sky Ranch story from past and present; how this place has continued to impact people’s faith and facilitate an Encounter with Christ on the Mountaintop and how it will continue to do so for the next 50 years.

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