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Summer Camp Reports
KIDS CAMP 1:
Our theme verse for this year was from 2 Samuel 22:2 “The Lord is my ROCK, my fortress, and deliverer;”
This verse conveys a great description of our Lord in who we put our trust and faith upon, a foundation that we can stand on. Our goal was to present the gospel of Jesus Christ using what God has given us by his grace. This was through His creation, based on the nature programs presented, the class times, dorm times and all the other activities that were done. Our joy would be that each one will come to the realizations that that they need Jesus in their lives. For those who know Jesus as there Savior, to grow in the knowledge of His Word.
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 five campers that accepted Christ as their Savior and several reassured their salvation.
At the start of our camp I read a devotional from Greg Laurie that asked a question, “Why are you here?” The answer was clear – “To Bring Glory to God” We pray that the Lord will continue to nourish the seeds that were sown in the campers, also, that the staff will be blessed by serving together. We give God the glory for the work that was done.— Rick & Shari Lucht
It would be easy to say, “Another year, another FC” - as if all FC’s were the same. But they aren’t. Each year is unique, with new challenges, different conditions, and a unique blend of personalities. FC 2017 was no different. This was our largest class in recent years, in fact so large we actually had to turn away students. For a ministry like Living Waters, which depends so heavily on volunteers, seeing so many young people wanting to be trained is a huge encouragement!
The Lord gave us a great blend of students from four states, from high school thru college age. New this year was a larger number of second-year students who participated in our expanded leadership track. Also students benefited from expanded training on teaching children and managing classroom environments.
I think the thing that encourages me the most is seeing how many of the students go on to complete their on-the-job-training (OJT) at later camps. I know some students made great sacrifices to do this, and they are capturing the vision for how God can use them to introduce young campers to Jesus as their Savior.
The best memory of all (for me at least, but I think for many) was the graduation ceremony, during which the students were unexpectedly given the opportunity to accomplish a TAC challenge that had eluded them throughout their two weeks. In that moment, with parents and other FC alumni watching, the pressure was really on. They planned. They prayed. And they did it. Words cannot describe the thrill of that moment! It captures the joy and the challenge of Foundation Camp.— Dave Hart
It's been 35 years since I was a boy camper. I have fond memories of running around playing capture the flag, competing in athletic events, swimming, and even committing my life to the Lord. I loved camp so much and only dreamed of one day serving as the director. Well, this year my dream came true. With the help of my good friend, Andy Douglass, we directed Boys Camp!
On June 25th, we welcomed 57 campers and 23 volunteers into the valley for an exciting week of camp. We played games, experienced nature programs, studied God's Word, and all around had a great time. Just like I used to when I was boy!
Directing was certainly full of challenges, joy, and personal growth. Our theme was 'Built On The Rock' and we learned about Jesus' parable of the wise man and foolish man from Matthew chapter seven. I must admit my own view of this parable was challenged and stretched. I had a picture, in my mind, of a small house built on the rock and a small house built on the sand. A little bit of wind and rain comes and down goes the house on the sand. Boy was I wrong! At the beginning of the week we showed the campers a video of a lighthouse built on rock engulfed in the ocean tide. It stood strong against massive waves! This is the new picture in my mind of what it's like to build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ and what it is like when the storms of life come.
In talking with the young men at Boys Camp it became evident that many of them live a life like this lighthouse being beaten by heavy waves. They come from difficult places and live hard lives. My heart is broken for these young men, but I rest assured that they heard the truth of God's Word, the only thing that will help them in hard times.
Directing Boys Camp was a true blessing. It was so encouraging to witness 57 young men beginning to build their own "house" on the rock. As they leave camp, I pray that they will continue to lay spiritual bricks on top of the firm foundation begun at camp. And, Lord willing, we will all return next year to learn even more.—Paul Thompson
SENIOR HIGH CAMP:
At Senior Camp 2017 we experienced God’s blessings in profound ways. Speakers Dave Hart, Jason Campbell and Ken Habel challenged campers to consider the difference of a life Built on the Rock. Not only does Jesus share our sorrows, but we share His life. Indeed we are WITH Jesus — already seated on His throne in Heaven. "How does this make you feel?” campers were asked. The most common responses included “Loved, humbled, unworthy, grateful, amazed, thankful, secure, free, and hopeful.” Teachers connected the theme to Jesus’ unexpected teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. The nature programming and TAC were inspiring. Campers enjoyed chilling on the front porch, caving, climbing, swinging, singing, and a very wet all-camp sleep-out. Ask a camper about the human hungry-hungry-hippo, the spelling bee, the “rawhide” lip synch, breakfast with Dennis, fishing, horsemanship, and, of course, the 8-minutes of silence. Special thanks to our amazing kitchen staff, dorm leaders, childcare team, sports and activities directors. We are already looking forward to a great 2018!—Keith & Sandra Hadley
We had the privilege of spending the week with 70 girls at Girls Camp this year! Throughout the week in the chapel and class times, we focused on the summer theme Built on the Rock by studying what God’s Word tells us about precious jewels. Our daily themes included:
- Built on the Rock: Christ, the Ultimate Diamond
- God’s Word (is to be desired more than gold)
- Godly Wisdom (is above priceless rubies)
- Godly, Not Gaudy (a Godly woman is more precious than jewels)
- Inner Beauty (the Lord tests hearts)
The week culminated with our annual Girls Camp Banquet where the campers were challenged to continually submit themselves to the diamond-making process - the process of becoming more and more Christ-like each day. Throughout the week several girls also participated in a challenge to read through and study Psalm 119 and at least one camper rededicated her life to the Lord during her time at camp. Thank you for your many prayers - truly God was working in the lives of both campers and staff! —Ana Bures, Joanna Schneider, & Leah Schneider
KIDS CAMP 2:
The Saturday before camp started, staff were asked what their expectation was for the week. It was not surprising to hear that each one identified to some degree how they were expecting and looking forward to seeing how God was going to work in the lives of the campers throughout the week. While there were several campers that either confessed the Lord as their Savior for the first time or reassured their faith in Him, the reality is that each child went home a different person. Each one was challenged, taught, or somehow impacted by the work that God was doing during the week, and we were so thankful for such a great group of staff!
A few highlights included a Treasure Hunt, a hike to Jersey Valley, visiting the Plumfield Farm, and cracking open our own geodes!
A special “thank you” to the full-time staff that put countless hours into the work that goes on at Living Waters. It’s a privilege to serve with them all as we make an impact for God’s kingdom.—Mike & Renee Melcher
Even though Day Camp 2017 was smaller in numbers, the opportunities to show the love of Christ were innumerable. During Day Camp we enjoyed a wagon ride, an adventurous stream hike, a treasure hunt, and some water activities. Campers learned lessons about Gold and finding real treasure in God’s word during the Gold Panning nature program, and they all enjoyed tasting salt with Mr. Dennis.—Andrew Jackson
The only thing little about Little Squirts Camp is the size of the campers. This year once again broke the previous record of campers; watching this camp grow exponentially over the past 4 years. The growth is a testament to our Lord and his goodness. It is a blessing having 79 campers down in the valley for 2.5 days. These campers were asking some great questions that had the teachers digging deeper themselves to find the answers. The hearts of these young believers are hungry for the knowledge of the Lord, whether it was in class time or in nature program. The kids were engaged with the material. The campers put their faith into service creating care packages for a ministry in Mexico, making handmade puppets as a part of the project. A couple campers expressed that they made a decision to follow Christ. Our God was showing up in big ways in the lives of campers and that was the director’s #1 prayer request. Everything is so futile, all the planning and training that goes on if we don't invite the Lord into our hearts and our lives. Praise the Lord for his continued protection over this ministry.—Brant & Heather Hougas
HORSE TRAINERS CAMP:
Horse Trainers Camp 2017 was such a fun time together. I can’t even share how blessed I was to get to lead this group of young women. We had a handful of returning horse campers, but also a good amount of first-time campers to Living Waters as well. We had 20 outdoorsy, animal-loving girls participate in our three-night camp. Daily devotions prepared the girls’ hearts to be open to God’s training in a similar way they were training the horses. We focused on a different spiritual theme each day and debriefed the learning and riding time before we left Plumfield Farm for dinner back at camp. The campers are truly blessed to have Joy Hadley teaching them from the Christian Horsemanship Association Beginner Riding Manual. She does an amazing job and is a calm, confident presence in leading the girls through basic horsemanship. This year’s rodeo was a blast, watching the girls control and compete with their horses. We also did a special craft at camp in the evening, as well as TAC, hayride, campfire, and a hike to the lake for swimming. This yearwe had four Godly women as dorm leaders, and I encouraged the campers to take the chance to observe and emulate them in their own walks with the Lord. What a treasured time! We had believers across the state praying for our Horse Camp and I feel truly grateful for their partnership with us in this endeavor!— Jenny Thompson
OMEGA CAMP- COMPASS:
Omega Camp is designed for post High school and summer staff age individuals. This year’s focus was Compass at Clear Lake. The main goal was to give campers an opportunity to think about how God is working in their lives. To see how He has designed them, along with experiences He has allowed, helping them to consider how they might see their lives directed; as they serve our Lord and Savior. To meet the goal we did spiritual gifts surveys, personality assessments, and a career strength survey. After filling out the forms we then spent a couple hours talking about how and where we might use our spiritual gifts. We also discussed where our personalities can help when serving in a group; and what are warning areas that we need to ask the Lord to help us work on, so as to not hinder a team. When reviewing our career strengths we talked about praying how the Lord could use our interests for His glory.
All the campers enjoyed a relaxing schedule, hanging out, learning about one another, great boating and kayaking on clear lake, the generous hospitality of the Niemeyer family, and great meals. There is one detail that was a nuisance - the mosquitoes. It reminds me of how thankful we are to have so few in the valley of Living Waters Bible Camp.
Next year's Omega Camp will be World Religions in America. We hope you can join us for this revealing experience in Chicago IL. — Dennis Siler