Dear Friends,

The mountaintop experience at Camp Colby, during the recent Elementary Camp, was very enriching and fulfilling. We explored the theme of God making “All Things New.”

After being inactive from kids’ camping for 13 years, and being away from Camp Colby for at least 20 years, it was a nostalgic and refreshing getaway. The idyllic setting is located above La Cañada-Flintridge in the Mt. Wilson area, with its towering pine trees, a brook running through the camp, and a scattering of black- berry bushes. We did notice on the drive up, however, the burnt trees and charred landscape from a recent fire.

What is involved in church camp? Imagine three meals a day around round tables with elementary kids, Bible input twice a day, spirited singing, high energy evening activities, small group discussions, and campfire with more rousing singing. Following the mandatory one-hour afternoon rest on bunks, free time was loaded with craft options and swimming in the pool. The ever-popular talent show and movie night also added extra enjoyment.

For Marlou, it was a first-time experience as she was recruited to oversee the crafts. It was nice that we were housed in a separate staff cabin so that we weren’t with the kids every minute. It gave me a cave to hone the Bible inputs, work on Sunday’s sermon, and retreat. There were no bear sightings although there was a sizable bear dropping pile.

There were ten of us from our church on staff, plus four other volunteers, and of course the paid camp staff. The kids numbered in the 30’s, but was reduced to 20 something as the first-time campers went home on Wednesday.

Upon further reflection, it was an intense discipleship of teaching basic Christian attitudes and behavior. But it was also a respite from the sheer crush of constant technology and city life. Hearing the babbling brook each day, listening to the warm wind rustle the trees, the chirps of birds, and simply hiking to and from the various activities was a whole different rhythm. Kudos to Leah W, Rachelle L and the whole team for such an unforgettable experience.

Let us work on our Campership Fund and make a better effort to bring kids to camp next year.

— Pastor Bob