Everyone was holding their breath as 8 year old Owen stood up near the fireplace in the backpack center with one arm draped across a counselor’s shoulder who was knelt down holding the bible and the other using his finger to trace the words he was saying. Matthew 3: 13-17. Owen’s voice rang out clear and strong as he read the story of Jesus being baptized in front of not only his own family, but others who were gathered for the week at Sky Ranch as well as two service groups. I had tears in my eyes as he confidently read it, his young voice clear and strong as if he had all the knowledge in the world about the God who he was growing closer to every day.

The past few days have been full of wonderment, adventure, new friends, relaxation, and inter-generational connections as our family camp is up and running! Happening only once in the middle of the summer, family camp presents families the opportunities to come up to this place and experience God’s creation while learning about the power of not only each individual coming as they are, but also as  a family. This week also gives our staff the chance to share God’s word and our programming with various ages, pushing them to become more creative and opening up their eyes to witness camp from the perspective of many ages ranging from 1 – 75. One of our service groups, a high school group from Illinois, and another group, well over the hill from Texas, have come together to form their own kind of family and have enjoyed interacting with the families that are up here when they are not cleaning up some of the trails around camp.

It had been awhile since our staff had heard readings spoken from a voice younger than a 6th grader, and as much as we love our summer campers, there was a profound and overwhelming power to hear a young child of God speak the gospel. Owen reading for our worship service last night has been only one of the ways we have been caught off guard by the power of family camp. We look forward to an incredible second half of the week with our many families that are up here.

Hailey Johnson
Onsite Coordinator – Counselors