The latest information about camp!
Kids Camp I:
God gives you that extra spiritual and physical strength that carries you through to finish the work He has given you. At the close of this camp it was very evident that He has provided that extra strength. What a blessing for everyone serving here at Living Waters to see His handy work. To see children come to know Him as their personal Savior. There were eight campers that asked the Lord Jesus to come into their lives and four reassured their salvation. We pray that God would continue to grow in the hearts of all the campers. For our volunteer staff this was a rewarding experience. It is our primary reason for serving here.
The nature programs that were presented were very educational. Even for our staff they went away with a sense of learning something. All the programs provided a biblical view of evidence of our Creator God. We pray that God will continue to bless the ministry of Living Waters Bible Camp.
As a volunteer driven ministry, Living Waters depends on a steady supply of trained and committed volunteers to whom we can entrust the lives of children and the work of the gospel. Foundation Camp provides two weeks of intensive training that is mandatory for all new volunteers who are high school and college age (who constitute the majority of our front line staff). This year we were blessed with an exceptional team of 19 trainees from across the upper Midwest. While students learn a range of ministry related skills, the heart of FC is “humility training”. We believe that the key to effective service is growing in humility that unleashes the grace of God. Everything we do at FC is designed to cultivate humility: living in close quarters w/o air conditioning, working long hours, or serving others in ways that are often sacrificial or inconvenient. Every student undergoes an intensive individual evaluation that identifies areas of growth, which allows us to recommend strategies for growing in those areas. Most of our trainees go on to participate in on-the-job-training, which then qualifies them to begin serving as entry level staff under the direction of more experienced senior staff. FC candidates should be at least 15, with a clear testimony of faith in Christ, and experience in serving in some capacity.
Boys Camp 2016 experienced a nearly 50% growth in registration and a 200% explosion in adventure, learning, and fun! Completing the Tree Climb, taking a ride on the Giant Swing, floating Coon Creek in a tube, banding together on the paintball course, competing in the basketball tournament, and capturing the other team’s flag are just a few of the memories that Boys Campers took home this year. Morning nature sessions were focused on helping the boys to remember their Creator through adventures in God’s creation. Evening sessions helped the boys to see God as The Creator of; their world, their time in history, their whole being, their purpose on Earth, and their eternity. What a Creator He is!!
Record Breaking – this can be said about many parts of Family Camp this year. With 136 in attendance we broke the record for those attending Family Camp and with 18 families requesting Kid Kaddies we set a new record for that special area of camp. Although the camp was large in numbers, families were still able to enjoy the peaceful valley and the programs and activities that encouraged them to “Remember their Creator”. Dave Hart shared with the adults each morning, while the children enjoyed nature programs and age appropriate Bible lessons. Once again our Kid Kaddie program proved to be a highlight for many of the families again this summer. These young servants stepped into the lives of each family and provided much need support for the parents.
Senior High Camp:
We were challenged to "Remember Your Creator" by reflecting on the fact that we are each the main character in our unique story. Speakers Dave Hart and Jason Campbell asked us to consider our context, characters, development, purpose, and many important life choices; including the choice to Depend on, Believe, and Obey our Creator! Teachers Lori Felten, Phil Welch, Peter Rau, Kristin Campbell and Steve Richetto, shared their own stories and the principles from God’s word learned along the way. Campers connected through TAC, Tower, Kickapoo River, Art Classes, Front Porch, Music, Nature, Sports, and amazing meals. Daily themes like #tailgatetuesday, #worldwidewednesday and #throwbackthursday, gave unique ways to have fun - like serving chinese food in boxes with chopsticks, a game of big base, and reliving favorites from kids camp like “This Train” and the counselor hunt.
Throughout the week we focused on the word remember and considered the importance and impact of memory on various aspects of our lives. We emphasized scripture memorization and challenged the girls to memorize each of the daily verses. At the Friday night banquet, the girls were individually presented with journals and were encouraged to record evidence of God’s work in their lives.
Friday night ended with a campfire and the girls had the opportunity to share with one another the commitments they made to Christ throughout the week. Several girls told of their rededications to Christ and one camper shared how she arrived at camp thinking God did not exist but throughout the week came to believe that He is real and is worth seeking after! Thank you for the many prayers that were offered on our behalf… God truly moved in the hearts of both the campers and staff.
Kids Camp II:
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth. Ecc 12:1. At Kids Camp 2, 88 campers spent time in the valley doing just that as they were engaged in God’s beautiful creation. As many were reminded of their creator, there were several campers that found Him for the very first time and committed their lives to Him. God used a great mix of experienced and younger staff to share His word with the campers.
A few other highlights included a Dino Fair, 50’s and Hawaiian themed dinners, a hike to Jersey Valley and visiting the Felten Farm, which is always a camper favorite. It’s a privilege to serve with the full time staff at Living Waters as we together make an impact for God’s kingdom.
The joyful sounds of laughter could be heard all around camp during Day Camp this year. With 21 boys and girls enjoying activities like the Dino Fair, great crafts, a wagon ride and an exciting scavenger hunt, there was never a dull moment. The Day Campers sang songs and learned about the 6 days of creation and the truth of the Gospel as they examined the beauty of a fern.
Wow, we had a record breaking attendance this year at Little Squirts with 70 campers. That was almost a 50% increase from the previous summer. With that big of an increase brought some new challenges to the table like, which campers do we put in the cabins without bathroom attached or how the number of wet beds increased as well. Yet, these are things that we evaluate and make sure we proceeded in the best way. What's more important is that the dorm leaders have to work so much harder to find opportunities for one-on-one times to share the gospel with the campers because of the increase cabin numbers and only a couple days to do in, as opposed to a full-week of camp. Our amazing group of young men and women worked fiercely for the Lord doing battle against the lies that our society has too easily engrained into their very vulnerable knogans. With 70 1st-3rd grades there was loads of energy and excitement. The campers were able to have classroom time in small groups to keep the camper focused and interacting with what they’re learning. Between classroom time and nature programs our hope is that they will retain more of the bible teachings and have a more relatable application. Like all the other week long camps, we too wish for more time with the campers, but since Little Squirts is only a 2.5 day camp, we really come to the last day not ready for the campers to go back home. As we struggle with not enough time for proper relationship building between campers and volunteers, we can still trust God and give Him the glory in everything. We praise Him for the handful of campers who made a choice to follow Christ, which is the greatest reason why we do camp.
Horse Trainers Camp
This, our second, year of Horse Trainers Camp (HTC) had twice the number of campers as last year. What an exciting time it was to welcome 18 girls into two cabins filled with very capable dorm leaders to guide them through HTC. We were blessed by the chance to be at Ron and Carol Ann Felten's Plumfield Farm, for two full days and two half days of training. Our goal remained to illustrate for the girls how horse training can reflect the way the Lord trains us. We truly felt the Lord's care as we just released the horses at the end of our first day of training and a brief, but heavy, thunderstorm hit. It was a cool way to show the girls how our God cares about the big and small details of our lives. Our devotions each morning and debriefing sessions in the afternoon highlighted a different area of training which asked are you willing to: learn, serve, and seek. One highlight this year, that was a change from last, was Horse Olympics. The girls had a very fun afternoon competing in Olympic Events on Horseback. Our whole group enjoyed cheering for each girl. A special thanks to Joy Hadley for the amazing job she does in teaching the girls from a Christian Horsemanship training manual and to the wranglers and dorm leaders this year who made the week all that God had intended for the campers. Thanks also, if you were praying for a safe week of HTC. We were blessed!