Joining the high school Rendezvous campers for lunch during our second week of summer programming, I was greeted by a familiar face. Ethan was one of my first campers when I began at Sky Ranch in 2012. After a week of enjoying camp onsite, Ethan volunteered at his home congregation for Traveling Day Camp where I once again got to work with him. Throughout his week this summer, I watched him take part in Rendezvous as he and other campers hiked to Emmaline alpine lake, went rafting down the Poudre, and made candles by the campfire. At the end of the week, I was encouraged to hear that Ethan was considering joining camp staff in the future.
Out of the daily themes from this year’s bible study, I find myself most often contemplating connectedness. Ethan is just one example of the many familiar faces I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with at Sky Ranch. Seeing campers return and go on to become staff members, has caused me to realize the breadth of Sky Ranch’s community. While it can be challenging to observe the impact camp has made in the span of a week, the continuous community flowing in and out of this place is a testament to the rejuvenation and personal growth occurring at Sky Ranch. In meeting volunteers, sponsors and campers with deep connections to camp, I enjoy reminiscing on what makes their experiences distinct and what continually draws them to Sky Ranch. This summer, we are blessed to share this community with each camper driving up the winding dirt road. Even for those who only attend camp once, Sky Ranch offers a chance to live with a greater awareness of one’s connection to nature, peers they may not otherwise interact with, and God’s enduring presence in their lives. Each visitor, whether it’s their first or twentieth week at Sky Ranch increases my own sense of connection between Sky Ranch and the greater church community. I pray the heightened sense of connectedness I feel when visitors arrive is shared and dispersed down the mountain as they depart.
Written by Dan Chell, Offsite Coordinator