Camp Summary 2015

Posted on 17. Jan, 2016 by admin in Camp Summaries

Work Weekend(S)

This year was very interesting when it comes to the “work week”. There is a church in Cotopaxi that offered to come up with their work team and bless our camp with some projects. Gary Caldwell and I went up to the camp early to do a walk-about with them and point out what we would like to have done as well as express our desire and thoughts for the chapel project. Would really like an engineer or contractor to take the conception art and descriptions of what we want and come up with workable/realistic blueprint for the chapel that can give us more of an exact plan and estimate so we know when we have raised enough money to start building.

They came in and did several great projects and also got the camp cleaned and ready to receive campers. They did quite a few things like:

  • The biggest thing they did was to lay linoleum tiles down on the floor in the Dining Hall! This has made sweeping and moping the floor in the Dining Hall so much easier to do! Not only that, but it looks so very nice. What a blessing! (This was done at NO EXPENSE to the Camp whatsoever!)
  • Did some cleaning in the Kitchen area and even painted the storage shelves in the pantry. Nice to have a fresh coat on for sure!
  • Cleaned and sanitized the cabins and moved the mattresses in
  • Put a partition wall and door in the Cook’s Cabin so we could have a secluded room for husbands to stay with their wives if possible without sacrificing privacy or beds. (They provided the door and we were able to use wood from the camp and some boards that were donated from the River’s remodel job. Hardware from Gary)
  • They put a cabinet in the Nurse’s station for the camper’s meds with the hope that it could be locked up. (The Goldings, weekend retreaters, bought and installed a hasp and it is now lockable and holds the meds the kids bring up to camp. Natalie summers brought some “boxes” to help keep them from falling out while they are sitting there in their Ziploc bags.)
  • They built us three more picnic tables, repaired the old ones, and then painted them all a dark green. What an asset, as there are more kids then we can seat in the dining hall right now at the same time. Also, the picnic tables are well used every day and are the overfill plan for our chapel which hardly has room enough for campers each week, let alone staff. (This was done with NO EXPENSE to the camp whatsoever)
  • They also mounted the new sign on wooden 4×4’s and installed it by the entrance, which is a big improvement to the classic wooden sign that we have had for quite some time. This one is much harder to miss for first timers coming to camp.
  • They even burned some slash piles down while they were there and cleaned up around the camp.

This team of servants really were a blessing to our camp, I know that Gary sure spoke highly of his time with them as he came up several times to help and get stuff done not only with the Cotopaxi group, but also with the other teams as well. Gary Caldwell functioned like a maintenance Host for the work crews that came up this year and this was a tremendous blessing to me personally. What a sweet servant for God, and a great asset to our camp!

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The Burhenn family (And Masons) came up the weekend before the scheduled Work Week to get things ready. The plan was to get the water on before the work crews arrived, but due to the Cotopaxi church coming earlier than we were originally planning, the Burhenns were unable to get it done before hand, but Gary Caldwell freed up and beat the work crews up to get the water up and running and get several things done before they arrived. He worked with Gill Romerez (our good neighbor) again and even though we thought we were going to have to get a new metering system installed to treat our water, they were able to repair and use the one we already had! Not sure if I know all the things Gary got done while at the camp several times. I am aware of him pulling out some shrubs around the girl’s cabins and such, bringing a mower and small loader to get some stuff done. I think the main reason the Loader was there was to get the propane tank that the Martin family (Patricia in particular)is letting the camp use, up to the camp and also get it installed behind the boy’s bathroom.The fuel truck came up during the Jr. Week to fill the tank up and get us on line for good! (Thanks to Ray Martin of High Plains Propane for donating propane to run camp again this year free of charge!) He also did some repairs to the trash trailer and got that ready to make trash runs to the dump this summer. The Burhenn group used it to get the playing field mowed, which is a real blessing for games all summer long. Of course the Burhenns got the store stocked and ready for the summer again, and some other jobs, like they usually do. Brian was able to get some foot-wash stations put in on the outside of the bathrooms which I am really excited about! (hopefully will reduce the sand in the showers, but will also make it easy to fill mop buckets)

There was also a youth group and leaders from the Crossroads church in Swink and its leaders came up for a day or two the weekend before camp to wrap up whatever cleaning still needed done and pray over the camp. They got the debris from the shrub puling cleaned up. They got the “blind” (wall) back up that blocks the view of the back door for the girl’s bathroom. They were a blessing!

Sr. HIGH WEEK

This was the biggest Sr. High Week we have had in recent history! We had 89 Campers and 32 Staff this week at camp. Every bed was filled and we had to turn away approximately 30 or so who called to get in, and some that showed up with a form in hand hoping to get in. Having the Sr. High Week completely full was one of the coolest feelings I have had at camp, and turning kids away to the Sr. High Week was one of the worst feelings I have had in this job. God is in control and I will trust Him with the ones who were not able to be up.

Our special Speakers this week were Daniel Fiester from Valley Community Church in Swink, for the evening sessions, and the morning Speaker was Greg Wise form the River of Life church in Ordway. God really used them both and most services ended with people hanging around in small groups, crying, praying, and encouraging each other. The camp fire testimonies revealed some of the themes we were pushing for, like the trustworthiness of God and God’s Word. The speakers seemed to have a focus on the relational side of that and the kids seemed to really respond not only by hanging out after the service to talk or pray with someone, but also their decisions came out in poems they wrote about purity, discussions in their cabins and testimonies around the camp fire. We did not have any Salvation testimonies that I am aware of, but there was a lot of response and movements in the right direction.

My perspective of camp this week was more that of a Maintenance guy. We had a near catastrophe one day early in the week when I was filing the water tank. A ladder I had leaned against the tank fell in a gust of wind and must have landed on the outgoing water line that feeds the whole camp. It broke the threaded coupler that adapts the 2” line to the 4” outlet on the tank, between the tank and the shutoff valve. So, when I went up to the cabin to grab a jacket, I saw it spraying water everywhere and ran with my son to see what was broken.  He went to get some help and parts, and Austin Callahan, one of the counselors, came by and helped me hold water back while running to look for parts and grab tools. By the mercy of God we were able to dismantle the line and thread it in farther until it was fixed without using any parts (we couldn’t find any parts over 1 ½”)! This was in my mind a miracle of God to allow camp to go on. It was already evening, so we would have had to drive to Pueblo and back, or had someone drive 2 ½ hrs from the valley to bring us a part, and would lose our water in the mean time. It was just as special of a miracle that we came up on it when we did as I had just checked the tank and would have gone an hour or two before checking back as it fills very slow. Thanks to God!

Had a great staff team this week and it was a pleasure to serve with them. Some of them were would be campers who signed up late, but because we were so short of help we offered for them to come as helpers instead which drew a few more of the group who were old enough to do it and that freed up a few more beds, which got used, so praise God for His provision. We were in a real pinch on helpers that week.

JR WEEK #1

This week we had 84 campers and 32 staff, for a total of 116 people up at camp. It was the first week to fill up this year, and it was pretty much filled after the June 1st weekend. God provided a very capable mature staff of Counselors and a solid team of helpers who got stuff done in a hurry when they all worked together. Lots of young help and several that will do more weeks for the rest of summer. We had an exemplary staff team this week, with adult counselors and a helper team that got stuff done together real fast, and had great comradely.
Our special speakers this week were Jeremy Hoyt from Fountain and Tim Muth, some guy from the Arkansas Valley. The response to the talks seemed pretty constant throughout the week, but especially on the last 2 nights with kids accepting Christ both times. At the campfire service, we counted about 10 or so that claimed to have accepted Jesus at camp this year. The testimonies were a very nice mix of all kids of different decisions. Some were telling how they were saved, some spoke about committing their life to Christ, some to witness when they get home, some to read their Bible every day like they were doing at camp, some were excited to hear that the Bible and science agreed and that strengthened their faith. There were some super sweet stories in that group of kids for sure, that counselors and staff shared after talking with them.

One boy sure made a big turn-around from being trouble at the beginning of the week to connecting with his counselor and really jumping all in to everything as the week went on, and then accepted Christ and expressed a strong desire to be baptized, which I encouraged him to do at home with his family and church there to support him and be encouraged at what God is doing in him. Another of those sweet stories was one I got to see personally. First day she was difficult and from years past was a little worried about her being disruptive and distracting to other kids, but by the first service, she had calmed down and kind of kept to herself all week. I could tell she was deep in thought a lot and that something was going on, but she really didn’t open up until the last night when she came forward and I had the honor of being with her when she accepted Christ! What a privilege!

Maintenance wise, this was an easier week for sure. The Goldings did several things for us over the weekend as they were our “weekend retreaters”. They came to do the laundry and small stuff so the camp could stay open and would be open when people arrive on Sunday. The washing machine was broke down still until the middle of the week when the part finally arrived, and they ended up taking it to La Veda’s laundry mat (about $55.00) One of the things they did for the camp was fix the shower in the cook’s cabin that was leaking (same issues from the winter on both of those pluming jobs). They also lengthened the bed in the new room in the cook’s cabin to be able to handle a Queen Size mattress which the Wise’s sent up on Saturday morning! Praise God that we have a family room or couples room to use for staff now, and didn’t lose any beds to do it- we actually gained one).

Thank you all for your support and prayers to make this week a possibility. May God richly bless you and keep you.

INTERMEDIATE WEEK #1

This week was a very small week sand-witched in-between several packed out weeks. Not sure if we understand exactly why that was, but it is what it is. We had 35 campers and one of our largest weeks for helpers with 34! It was an impressive kid to adult ratio to be sure. The weather did not cooperate very well as it rained the first few days and we were a little worried we would not be able to do the hike or boating for lack of warm enough weather. It was so cold and rainy that we emptied our lost and found boxes from years past of blankets and coats to try to help.  It eventually warmed up enough to do the hike on Thursday and the boats on Friday. In fact it was kind of helpful during the miserably cold and wet days that there were so few campers, so that we could do activities in doors and everyone could fit! The games were great and creative and the kids had lots of fun even though they were indoors for a big part of the week.

Our special speakers were Tom Fite from Tucson, and Luke Heim from Pueblo. They both did a fantastic job and the response this week was very strong and felt like practically everyone was moving toward God in some way or other. The testimonies this week were a picture of brokenness to hope. Lots of love expressed to one another, and encouragement as several told of how they dedicated their life to Christ this week. Not sure if there were any salvation experiences, but there were quite a few that were definitely committing themselves to Christ. I was moved by the testimonies, and the love that I was hearing toward God and the hope He was infusing in them. I think I personally had more one on one conversations with kids where they told me what God was doing I them and what they felt He was calling them to. What a privilege to be one who is there when the Spirit is moving in the life of one of these little ones. God is so good, and did extraordinary things in the lives of these kids.

Special thanks to the Melsers who came up and did maintenance for me so I could focus on other things this week. They got lots done and were a huge blessing to me personally. I pray that God would bless the others who cooked, helped, cleaned, counseled, taught… May God richly bless you for your labor of love! Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift, and the humbling privilege of serving Him with these kids.

INTERMEDIATE WEEK #2

We had 98 campers and 39 staff this week for a very packed week. This week we needed to open up our helper cabins on both sides to get all the kids in from the Firestone group who send 4 counselors, and three helpers from their church and really owned this week.  So, a special thanks goes out to Prairie Community Church in Firestone, CO for really stepping up this week and loading up on the staff and even renting a van to use all week to help camp run smooth.

Our speakers were Ken Vallez from Karate Plus in Colorado Springs for the morning slot, and Chris Silver from Iowa for the evenings. He has been a speaker and counselor in the past and came back after a few years of not being able to come to camp. They both did a great job of building up the trustworthiness of God and His Word in the minds and hearts of these kids. One of the themes that kept popping up in the testimony time was to spend more time in the Word, and be faithful to church-and paying attention when they are there, trusting God more and being encouraged that the Bible is trustworthy in regard to science. The last night was a wonderful movement to respond to the call of God for sure! Several came forward and talked with counselors, I sure had several counseling sessions myself, and it was sweet to see young people drawing closer to God and committing to follow Him whole-heartedly. There was at least one salvation that I heard about, and God sure worked this week in spite of some difficulties. One of the difficulties was having to discipline a couple of young men for fighting by sending them home early. Both responded very well to the discipline and it afforded some long talks with me that may not have happened had they not have fought. Tears were shed and lessons were learned, questions about God and faith were answered because God uses everything to move his plans forward. It is a pleasure being His hands and feet in the lives of these amazing young people. Thanks to the many staff who made this week possible, and especially for making this week very successful by being the hands and feet of Jesus to demonstrate His unfailing love to these kids.

I had a wonderful “maintenance man” this week who got a lot of little things done and kept me from getting pulled away several times each day (Thanks, Babe!). On another maintenance note, the trash was going to need dumped before the week was over, but Lincoln Farris, who was up to help, burned trash on our hike day and made us a lot of room to keep us from needing someone with a truck to come rescue us before the week was out. Also, Jason Burns came up to assist me as an assistant Director and was such a personal blessing to me as he learned everything he could about my job and lifted my hands all week. God blessed me through Him for sure. Thanks to all my wonderful staff for the great week of camp! May God richly bless you all for your service of love!

JR. WEEK #2

We had 88 campers and 35 staff this week for another over-booked week. Once more we kicked the helpers out of their cabins and made room for them in campers, tents and the loft to keep from having to turn campers away on the last week of camp. I don’t think we turned any kids away, but there was only one empty bed on the guy’s side when registration was over. It was a great week of camp, and I feel that God really used the staff and moved in the lives of the kids who came.

Our special speaker was Brad Doherty from Branson, CO and I took the two morning sessions to talk more science and how it speaks to the trustworthiness of the Word of God. The campers were very responsive to God this week and about 10 or so stayed afterward to talk to counselors about their decision to accept Jesus for the first time. Not sure how many were truly salvations, but it was a great response for sure. Also, it was great to see virtually everyone respond to a hand washing that Pastor Brad did to symbolize the desire to let God wash away their sins, both for the first timers as well as those who needed to rededicate themselves to God. Most of them just did it and then went out without praying with a counselor. Most services where we offered to pray with them, several would take us up on the offer, which is a sweet privilege to pray with them and let them know they are cared for.  At the camp fire service, the testimonies were super sweet and the majority of the testimonies seemed to paint a picture of kids who enjoyed their time with God that we gave them in the mornings, and wanted to make time for God when they went home too. The rest of the testimonies were excellent, to the point and varied enough to feel like God just did an amazing work in the lives of the kids who were here.

On another staff note, I want to say a special thank you to the Lord’s Chapel in Segundo, CO. They provided a couple head cooks and several helpers this week and were the most represented church. They actually ran the kitchen this week with the cooks they sent which allowed our head cook to be free to stay home for the last week of camp and we appreciated that very much.  And the rest of the staff this week really jelled fast and worked well together. I am always amazed at the teams God pulls together for each week and then what He does through them. Thank you all for your labor of love and for your friendships and help with camp. May God richly bless you all!

SUMMARY REPORT-2015

There were 394 campers this year at camp.  Over 100 staff members came this summer. Some did more than one week, and also there were plenty of staff kids. Some of the staff kids worked and served as though they were staff. We seemed to always have just enough to do what needed to be done. Before camp started it looked like we would not have enough staff for any of the weeks and a plea was sent out. I want to thank you all for helping to get the word out and especially to those who stepped in and volunteered, most of whom said they had really been wanting to help and figured we would already be filled up. May God supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus! The only position that didn’t always get filled was having an actual maintenance man every week so I would not be tied up with repairs. Actually I felt like we had some amazing staff this year and so many went above and beyond the call of duty to make camp a huge success. There were several weeks where staff brought up extra housing, like trailers, or tents, and then were also willing to be displaced, including using our loft again to free up our fourth cabin on either side to give us more camper beds. We still had to turn kids away for lack of room on Sr. high Week, Jr. 1, and Int. 2. In fact the Int. 1 was the only week we did not fill beyond our preferred amount, and only had half a camp. We assume it was still because of the July fourth weekend, but really don’t know why we could not fill that one even when we were out of room in the int. 2 week. The fullness is good, but it does present other problems like needing a church van for each of our 8 cabins which house 14 people each, which still would not cover the staff. We generally only have two or three. Over-crowded, might be the best way to describe this summer of camp.

God sure moved in the lives of young people this year and lots of campers took another step toward God this summer. Praise the Lord for always working and always drawing people to Himself. There were probably about 20 salvation decisions and many more rededications, and surrenders. It usually felt like most of the kids took their next spiritual step every week, though those kinds of decisions are hard to quantify, we are very excited to see the way the kids respond and testify around the campfire of the things God is doing in their hearts. During the camper’s orientation on the first day of each week I talk to the kids about reducing the noise in our lives. Ps. 19 says that creation is constantly telling us about the glory of God and when you reduce the noise in your life (referring in the meeting to cell phones and media etc…) then it is easier to hear God speak. When I am done I ask them to give me a show of hands if they are willing to do a voluntary fast from their noise to hear God speak and it is usually an instant 99% show of hands which usually is confirmed in the way they respond to God the rest of the week. Most come with the intent to grow spiritually and hear God speak to them. It is pretty cool to see young people being turned on to spending time with God each day and moving forward in their walk with Him. God is so good to allow so many of us to be a part of that. I personally had the honor of talking to dozens of kids one on one and then getting to see someone accept Christ for real is one of the sweetest perks to this job.

Lots of improvements were made this year to camp thanks to several work groups. Special thanks to the Cotopaxi Church for their donation of linoleum floor for the dining room and then also installing it, and fixing our picnic tables and providing three new ones at their own expense, building a wall in the cook’s cabin to make one end private, painting, cleaning, and so much more. I was not looking to improve camp this year, as I am still pulling to raise money for the chapel project, so that was an extra blessing along with many others who also pitched in to help camp run well this year. God bless each of you, I know you don’t do it for the praise of men, but we are thankful and appreciative of all the work that was done behind the scenes to make camp happen.

In His Service,

Tim Muth, Camp Director

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